'Certainty is increased': Notley on federal plan to buy Trans Mountain expansion

The Federal government has reached an agreement with Kinder Morgan to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline & related infrastructure for $4.5-billion. "They are getting a very good value", said Paul Bloom at Bloom Investment Counsel Inc, which owns about 300,000 shares in Kinder Morgan Canada.

The Canadian government said on Tuesday that it would buy a pipeline that has been the focus of widespread protests by environmentalists and some Indigenous groups, putting the government squarely on the side of the country's oil industry.

"What has changed? We have a different proponent on the pipeline.as far as the regulatory environment with respect to ensuring this pipeline is built, what has changed?" said Moe.

Export Development Canada will finance the purchase, which includes the pipeline, pumping stations and rights of way along the route between Edmonton and Vancouver, as well as the marine terminal in Burnaby, where oil is loaded onto tankers for export.

The federal Liberal government and its new Crown corporation are on track to be taught the same lesson. But the federal government, citing past court decisions, including some from the Supreme Court of Canada, contends that it holds sole authority over pipelines between provinces.

"It does not change the course that the government of British Columbia has been on since we were sworn in in July of 2017", Horgan said. "Given it will be stuck in court for a while, I don't think we will see this pipe built anytime soon".

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.

The Alberta government responded with a short-lived ban on the import of B.C. wines, and the passing of Bill 12, legislation that would allow the Alberta government to "turn off the taps" for oil imports to B.C.

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Morneau said the federal government does not plan to be a long-term owner and is in negotiations with interested investors, including Indigenous communities, pension funds and the Alberta government, which will provide funding for any unexpected costs that arise during construction.

Morneau said the government's purchase of the project "will ensure that we're able to safely get Canadian oil resources to world markets where we can get a fair price for them".

Facing stiff environmental opposition from British Columbia's provincial government and activists, Houston-based Kinder Morgan earlier halted essential spending on the project and said it would cancel it altogether if the national and provincial governments could not guarantee it.

Presumably, the cost to the new owners - us - will be about the same.

As for serving the broader national interest, as the Finance Minister claims, Canada's strategic interests do not rest with feeding more cheap feedstock to U.S. West Coast refineries and then buying back refined products at a huge price spread. Projects require clarity and predictability, and once approved should not be subject to costly delay tactics that thwart Canada's economic and social prosperity.

"The majority of Canadians support this project".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized those differences in his first public comment since his government's announcement.

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