John Horgan says federal pipeline purchase doesn't change BC government's course

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.					Charles Krupa  AP

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Charles Krupa AP

The deal ensures construction that was suspended April 8 by Kinder Morgan's jittery investors will now begin immediately under the ownership of a Crown corporation, with plans for the federal government to seek other investors to soon take it over.

"It's the kind of epic disaster of the last century I couldn't imagine a modern government doing, but that's exactly what we are doing", May said.

"Two out of five proposed new tar sands pipelines have now been cancelled in the face of indigenous and environmental legal challenges, widespread public opposition and changing economics", Hudema said.

Morneau called the purchase an "exceptional situation" and said the government doesn't intend to be a long-term owner of the pipeline.

The government is taking control of both the 715-mile pipeline and its expansion that is meant to increase capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.

That sentiment was echoed by Iain Black, president of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. "He had an opportunity to walk away from pipeline politics and get on with the real work of leading Canada, and the world, in a 100 per cent renewable energy revolution, but instead he's opted to ignore science, Indigenous rights and the voices of people across Canada and bailed out a unsafe, unwanted pipeline with public money".

"A government that promised to end fossil fuel subsidies and to champion the clean economy should not be spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money to buy out a fossil fuel expansion project", he said in an emailed statement.

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".

"It does change it from a federally approved project to a federally undertaken project".

Prime Minister Trudeau has said the Trans Mountain expansion is vitally important for Canada, a project of strategic interest and a major job creator. Will George, a Tsleil-Waututh member who is spokesperson for the Coast Salish Watch House, said, "This is the moment in history where Justin Trudeau has revealed that he never cared about Indigenous rights or reconciliation".

"The cost that they did not calculate in their $4.5 billion purchase is that Indigenous front lines will stop this pipeline".

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced this morning that the government will spend $4.5 billion to buy the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline and take over the expansion project from Texas company Kinder Morgan.

"We've always reckoned that the Trans Mountain expansion was logical in terms of, if you build the pipeline, the volumes will flow through it". "Interest has already been expressed from investors in Canada including large pension funds", said Morneau.

Kinder Morgan had set a May 31 deadline for the political uncertainty around the pipeline to be resolved or it was prepared to walk away from the project.

"The message being sent is that to get anything built, the federal government has to nationalize it", Scheer said. Kean is also CEO of Kinder Morgan, Inc., the Houston-based firm that owns 70 per cent of the Canadian firm.

Federal Green Party MP Elizabeth May echoed those concerns.

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. The oil sector hasn't seen these prices since late 2014, but most companies in Alberta are receiving significantly less, just above $40 United States a barrel.

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Canada to buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline