Horgan, Weaver and Notley respond to federal government's Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

Canada to buy major pipeline to ensure it gets built

Horgan, Weaver and Notley respond to federal government's Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

The federal Liberal government is spending $4.5 billion to buy Trans Mountain and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core assets, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Tuesday as he unveiled the government's long-awaited, big-budget strategy to save the plan to expand the oilsands pipeline.

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

That said, if it takes federal ownership to construct a project that Kinder Morgan was unable to do, that may be sign of a broader failure in Canada - not a win.

He said the pipeline purchase provided the federal jurisdiction needed to overcome British Columbia's opposition, but gave no details of how this would work.

Canada's federal government said Tuesday it is buying a controversial pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast to ensure it gets built.

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

Denouncing the project as a grave threat to Indigenous lands and Canada's water supply, green groups and climate activists vowed to do everything in their power to thwart the pipeline expansion.

"We'll get that pipeline built", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters as he headed into a cabinet meeting.

The Trans Mountain project is created to increase capacity of the 65-year-old pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta, to Burnaby, B.C., from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.

Horgan said his province will continue to seek a legal remedy to stop the expansion. "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.

Alberta will also invest up to $2 billion in indemnity, to be converted to equity if necessary.

Under the agreement between the federal government and Kinder Morgan, the company would resume construction on the project, which was put on hold in April.

Presumably, the cost to the new owners - us - will be about the same. "We've agreed to a fair price for our shareholders and found a way forward for this national interest 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.

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers president Tim McMillan said it was "great news" that Ottawa was prepared to "step up to clear the path to construction" and ensure Trans Mountain had full political and financial support.

Canada approved the project in November 2016, following an expanded environmental review process that included additional consultations with Indigenous communities and assessing the amount of additional emissions likely to result from additional production. If Alberta simply upgraded what it sent through the Trans Mountain pipeline into oil, the existing pipeline's capacity, as well as that of all other pipelines that service the oil sands, could be boosted by a third.

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