Canadian government to buy troubled Trans Mountain pipeline


Canadian government to buy troubled Trans Mountain pipeline

To do so, Canada will pay the pipeline's current owner, Kinder Morgan, $4.5 billion in Canadian dollars - about $3.5 billion in US currency.

The Government of Canada has reached a deal with Kinder Morgan to buy the highly contested Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Morneau said the federal government does not plan to be a long-term owner and is in negotiations with interested investors, including Indigenous communities, pension funds and the Alberta government, which will provide funding for any unexpected costs that arise during construction.

"It must be built and it will be built", Finance Minister Bill Morneau. He described the $4.5 billion buy-out as a "fair price for Canadians", and said the commercial agreement is a "sound investment opportunity".

Alberta's NDP government is prepared to put $2 billion forward to help backstop the expansion of the newly-nationalized Trans Mountain pipeline but there are few details about how the province's potential investment may play out.

The pipeline connects oil sands facilities near Edmonton, Alberta, to tanks in Burnaby, near Vancouver on Canada's west coast.

CEPA is deeply concerned that the government needed to purchase the project for it to be built and to assert federal jurisdiction.

The pipeline's expansion had been facing a May 31 deadline - imposed by Kinder Morgan - to solve the impasse between Alberta and British Columbia hampering the project's progress.

With files from the Canadian Press.

In British Columbia, Premier John Horgan said, "Tens of thousands of depend on pristine coastal and inland waters". The decision was seen as a possible way to stop building the pipeline, even if it was approved on paper. "We'll probably be able to roll out those details, that information, a bit more in the days to come but I'm not going to do it today", said Notley, who noted the province may end up putting no money toward the project.

Until now, Trudeau's government has used a soft tone to try to convince British Columbia to abandon its opposition to the pipeline, hoping not to alienate voters in the province before next year's general election. The federal government and the Houston company were in talks for over a month about saving the project, which Kinder Morgan threatened to abandon as of Thursday unless federal officials remove political.

Reaction to the deal is certainly mixed and coming from all parts of the country, including from British Columbia's two leading men and Rachel Notley, the premier of Alberta.

A Finance Department official says that as a Crown project in the national interest, Canada has special allowances to proceed that may not be available to a private-sector company.

Canada loses $15 billion every year on the sale of oil because the USA remains its only export customer, resulting in a lower price, Trudeau argues. Ottawa is deluding itself if it thinks there will be any stronger commercial interest in the project down the road than there is now. Again, all of this makes good financial sense for Canada but it's a bit surprising that Justin Trudeau is willing to directly challenge the environmental left to make this happen.



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