World

Federal government to finance Trans Mountain Pipeline: Canada PM Trudeau

Federal government to finance Trans Mountain Pipeline: Canada PM Trudeau

The dispute in Canada's west has oil-rich Alberta boycotting trade with British Columbia over its environment-based opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended Sunday his government's backing of a controversial pipeline project, the Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd oil pipeline, claiming the world could not afford to choose between the environment and the economy.

Speaking before the meeting, a federal government source said past examples of help included a bailout of the auto industry in 2009, federal loan guarantees for a hydro-electric project and Ottawa's investment in an offshore energy project. "It will be built". They have yet to lay out a plan on how they will make that happen, over the opposition of B.C. residents, its government and some Indigenous Peoples along the proposed routing of the pipeline.

Horgan referred to the meeting as "cordial" though acknowledged his disagreements with Trudeau and Notley over a number of issues. Horgan, however, betrayed no evidence that their confidence had anything to do with him.

Notley said legislation to allow Alberta to cut oil supplies to B.C., sure to send gas prices there soaring, would be introduced in the legislature this week.

Kenney warned new federal legislation can be challenged in court.

"We must recognize that they remain at an impasse, which only the government of Canada has the capacity and the authority to resolve", he said.

"I have instructed the minister of finance to initiate formal financial discussions with Kinder Morgan, the result of which will be to remove the uncertainty overhanging the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project", Trudeau told reporters, calling the line "a vital strategic interest to Canada".

Horgan also would not elaborate on the "legislative and financial measures" promised by Trudeau to push the project forward.

Sunday's meeting proved incapable of finding a solid solution, though Trudeau stated in a press conference following the meeting that the federal government is now engaged in conversation with Kinder Morgan about the financial security of the project.

Horgan's election previous year changed that. Notley and Horgan have been at the centre of a feud over Kinder Morgan's future as Horgan's fight against the pipeline has clashed with Notley's insistence the project go forward.

Political scientists were happy to see there was no federal bullying, no threats to withhold transfer payments aimed at infrastructure projects in B.C. for instance.




The company, unhappy about moves by the British Columbia government to impede the C$7.4 billion ($5.9 billion) project on environmental grounds, is threatening to walk away unless it receives sufficient clarity about the path ahead by May 31.

"That is why we're at this point right now".

The federal government can and will do more on the pipeline's potential environmental impact, he added.

"We can not change everything in our economies overnight", Trudeau said.

"I don't think their announcement was entirely arbitrary", he said.

Except Indigenous communities, he added, who as usual were not at the table.

The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association meanwhile insisted: "Premier Horgan is effectively ripping up a contract which Kinder Morgan negotiated in good faith with the federal and provincial governments of the day", said ICBA president Chris Gardner.

Trudeau and his cabinet ministers have declared that the pipeline is in the national interest and been adamant that it will be built.

GREEN Party Leader Andrew Weaver on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for considering using public funds to absorb investor risk in this project.

"His damaging policies ... have only led to more uncertainty and instability in Canada's resource sector", Scheer said.

At the legislature Sunday, Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel said Ottawa already has the jurisdiction it needs.

Horgan is not the only vocal opponent of the project, however.


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