Following the news Tuesday morning that the Canadian government has purchased the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline for a whopping $4.5 billion, Castanet hit the streets to find out how Okanagan residents feel about it.
The purchase remains subject to the approval of Kinder Morgan shareholders. "It must be built and it will be built", said Finance Minister Bill Morneau in a televised statement.
The report said a lack of investment in the energy sector is a contributing factor.
Ottawa's decision to nationalize the Trans Mountain pipeline project and get the bulldozers rolling this summer has transformed the opposition on B.C.'s coast: The fight is no longer with a Texas oil giant - this is now Justin Trudeau's pipeline.
Finance minister Bill Morneau has said that he is prepared for Ottawa to own the pipeline in the interim, and that the project is being marketed to potential future buyers.
The pipeline connects oil sands facilities near Edmonton, Alberta, to tanks in Burnaby, near Vancouver on Canada's west coast.
"For sale: Stalled and collapsing pipeline project", reads the title of a Craigslist ad, posted May 29. They said more oil-by-rail shipments would be necessary.
"This changes nothing, in fact, we're going to have to work even harder to continue relaying that message to Justin Trudeau and his government", he told the NOW.
Meanwhile, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May pleaded guilty to criminal contempt after she protested at the Kinder Morgan construction site, violating a B.C. court injunction. Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr said that the political polarization over the pipeline's construction was atypical for Canada, and he suggested that the federal government's intervention would restore stability and certainty. If completed, it would almost triple the pipeline's capacity to transport crude and refined oil from Alberta to B.C.
"There's $4.5 billion to purchase the assets, then you have construction costs on top of that, indemnity costs", McLeod said.
Kinder Morgan had set a Thursday deadline to gain certainty over the project or abandon it altogether.
The $4.5-billion purchase price only buys a leaking 65-year-old pipeline, an aging tanker farm not built to withstand earthquakes, and a port facility as well as engineering plans and permits for the twinning of a high-risk expansion project. On the bad news side, it speaks to how hard it is to get a major resource-oriented project built in this country today.
While he isn't happy about the federal government's decision to buy the pipeline project, Milobar said "it's understandable why government wants it to proceed and it will be good if the government gets it across the finish line".
Opposition is fierce in British Columbia, where the Liberals won an unexpectedly large number of seats in 2015, yet Trudeau says the expansion must go ahead so exporters can ship oil to global markets. After it completes the project, Canada plans to sell the pipeline.
Calgary-based pollster Janet Brown said the premier should be careful not to be seen celebrating prematurely on a file - and a provincial economy - that has been bedevilled by swings and setbacks.
No legislative action is planned at this time, Carr said - noting no legislation is needed to move forward with the proposed commercial transaction.