Sci-tech

Canadian government buys Trans Mountain project for $4.5 billion

Canadian government buys Trans Mountain project for $4.5 billion

In the case of the Canadian government's decision to purchase Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, this doesn't change much, at least not for B.C.

The federal government's decision to buy the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion is fuelling more controversy.

The Trans Mountain extension would connect Alberta to British Columbia and triple Kinder Morgan's capacity.

While the federal government has green-lit the pipeline, there has been opposition from Premier Horgan, who has taken the issue to the B.C. Court of Appeal with a constitutional reference case to argue that the province has jurisdiction to limit the flow of bitumen from Alberta into B.C.

Canada on Tuesday agreed to buy the pipeline for C$4.5 billion ($3.5 billion) in an effort to save a project that faces formidable opposition from environmentalists and British Columbia officials anxious the pipeline could spill its tar-like heavy oil. Did we get a bad deal?

In October, a disheartened Mayor Darling described the loss of Energy East as "a devastating blow" for Saint John.

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Taxpayers are putting up $4.5 billion to buy the existing pipeline and some related properties from its owner, Kinder Morgan, which is bailing on the entire project.

The pipeline has faced a number of legal and regulatory challenges from the BC government that has delayed construction of the project, which was approved by the federal government in 2016. The company said it would decide on the pipeline project's fate on 31 May. "It seems today that with this announcement and the federal government getting involved is they recognize how important natural resource development is for all of Canada - not just for the provinces where the projects are occurring".

The two western provinces have been sparring over the pipeline, a situation that Mr Morneau said can not be allowed to "fester".

Finance Minister Bill Morneau believes Canada's authority to build the pipeline will be able to overcome any resistance, be it from protesters or the B.C. government, but protesters and their banners are not going to magically disappear. The premier said she doesn't expect protestors will be treated any differently now that Ottawa owns the project. Who would have thought that Justin Trudeau - champion of the environment, friend to Indigenous peoples - would roll the dice on his premiership in the cause of building, of all things, an oil pipeline? "These are exceptional circumstances and should not be considered the norm", the association said. Its expansion is a key part of Canada's effort to boost oil exports to Asian markets - but the plan has been protested by indigenous groups and environmental activists, who warn of the risks of a spill and the hazards of increased petroleum tanker traffic.

In a prepared statement, Wilkinson said B.C. had provoked a constitutional crisis over the project. Steven J. Kean, the president of Kinder Morgan, called it a "great day for Canada, for our customers and for our employees". She must pay a $1,500 fine. "So we are putting on our war paint and we are putting on our battle gear and we're going to fight".


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