Pipeline purchase revives talk of Energy East

Abbotsford opponents to the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline say the federal government's plan to purchase the project and take over construction does not change their position.

For his part, Trudeau rejected the idea, accusing the Conservatives of raising "old news" because they were embarrassed that they couldn't get pipelines built when they were in government.

Once the sale is complete, he said, Canada will continue the construction on its own, with a view to eventually selling the whole thing down the road, once market conditions would allow it to get the best price. "Horgan and the NDP will continue to play politics with British Columbia's future, and this time it will cost us billions".

Alberta is making up to $2 billion available if needed to keep the project going, but Notley said it's "very possible" the province will never pay a cent of it. If completed, it would almost triple the pipeline's capacity to transport crude and refined oil from Alberta to B.C.

Tzeporah Berman said the fight against the pipeline expansion is even bigger than those over logging in Clayoquot Sound. Any money put toward construction would be converted into an equity stake in the federal project, she said.

"This transaction is a workaround to solve a political problem between the Federal and provincial governments in Canada", he said.

Scheer, who is also the MP for Regina-Qu'Appelle, continued to lash out against the federal government on Wednesday, saying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is "making taxpayers bail him out for his own failures" and that the Liberals in Ottawa have done "literally nothing" for nearly a full year to get Trans Mountain built.

In a press release, Anna Gerrard of Climate Justice Edmonton said the pipeline purchase is a "misuse of public funds and political power", and that the project is guaranteed to fail.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who spoke with Horgan Tuesday, reiterated his government's opinion that it has jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines. Kinder Morgan itself paid a fraction of that ($550 million) to acquire those assets in 2007.

"You can't be a climate leader and build a pipeline to one of the largest carbon bombs on the planet", Hudema said.

The caveat, obviously, is whether the pipeline will be built.

The ensuing uncertainty, paired with vociferous opposition from environmental groups and some Indigenous communities in B.C., prompted Kinder Morgan to halt investment until the federal government could inject some certainty into the project. After a five-year (or longer) regulatory assessment to ensure the protection of Canada's environment, Kinder Morgan spent $1 billion and still faced months to years of delays due to court action and social protests.

Ottawa's purchase of the pipeline was meant to provide investors certainty that the project will move forward.

Should it go over-budget, Green said, the feds won't just be able to stop paying.

He said the government's announcement does not assuage these concerns, but that he would rather deal with the federal government than a private corporation. "Only Liberals would try to force through a pipeline and tankers through traditional First Nations territory and call that reconciliation", Cullen said, adding, "Watch he's about to say the environment and economy go together".

  • Anthony Vega