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Trans Mountain pipeline opponents vow to keep fighting

31 May 2018
Trans Mountain pipeline opponents vow to keep fighting

In an act of "immense moral cowardice" that once again betrays his expressed commitment to helping confront the global climate crisis, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday that his government will purchase Kinder Morgan's "climate-destroying" Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion.

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. Canada says it plans to fund construction of the project until it can find another buyer to take over.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has maintained that Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in the national economic interest.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government would acquire the troubled pipeline expansion project on Tuesday.

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

Morneau criticized the New Democratic Party (NDP) government in British Columbia for creating "political uncertainty" and making it hard for Kinder Morgan to proceed with the project. "They're willing to get involved", said Ball.

"Indeed, we question (parent company) Kinder Morgan Inc.'s willingness to retain Kinder Morgan Canada longer term as it only contributes about two per cent of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and has reduced growth prospects".

The extraordinary move by the Canadian government to push ahead with the crucial pipeline has drawn strong reactions from across the country.

Indigenous leaders, who have been at the forefront of a grassroots campaign against the Trans Mountain project, have vowed that the pipeline "will never be built". "All they were really asking for was certainty that they could proceed with building the pipeline". "We won't stop until the job is done!" We will do our part to support this happening.

Because instead of having the private sector do it, Canadian taxpayers are now the owners of the Trans Mountain, for an initial outlay of $4.5 billion, with the final cost likely to be around $7.5 billion. He says the government is showing leadership and sending a signal to the worldwide community that "it can rely on Canada to get things done".

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.

"It does change it from a federally approved project to a federally undertaken project, but the reference case ... did not speak to a specific project", he explained.

The Desjardins analysts suggested that, even if the pipeline were to be built, it would not provide enough capacity for Canadian oil exports going forward. If completed, the project would twin the existing pipeline that has been in place since 1953. "The only (way) in our estimation that that can be done is through exerting our jurisdiction by purchasing the project".

Opposition United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney said his caucus reluctantly backs the $2-billion investment because the line must be built.

The Canadian government has announced it will buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project for C$4.5bn ($3.5bn US) - but does not intend to be the long-term owner of the project, which has faced fierce environmental opposition. He promised that this project could not go through unless it was done through a vigorous review, which he broke'.