Pipeline purchase will be widely felt

Elizabeth May

"I'm concerned that there could be catastrophic consequences of a diluted bitumen spell, regardless of the owner of the pipeline", Horgan said in a press conference Tuesday morning. The finance minister says the move will "ensure" the oilsands pipeline expansion gets built.

"Canada's purchase of a tar sands pipeline and expansion project eviscerates any claim it has to climate leadership at a key moment - doubling down on the world's dirtiest oil, rather than closing the gap on the country's Paris climate commitments", said Anthony Swift, the Canada program director for the US -based Natural Resources Defense Council, in a statement.

Donna Oleksiuk holds a sign bearing a photograph of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during a protest against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion in Vancouver on Tuesday May 29, 2018. The purchase includes the pipeline, pumping stations, and rights of way along the route.

Denouncing the project as a grave threat to Indigenous lands and Canada's water supply, green groups and climate activists vowed to do everything in their power to thwart the pipeline expansion.

"This is a declaration of war against indigenous people because they're not recognizing our own sovereignty", says Kanahus Manuel, a Secwepemc midwife and mother of four.

"It's an outrageous and reckless decision by the Canadian government".

Gwyn Morgan, former CEO of Encana, joins BNN Bloomberg to provide perspective on Ottawa's decision to buy Trans Mountain.

But even if the Keystone XL pipeline is built, Canada is still selling 99% of its oil to refineries in the US and that narrow market means they now get far less per barrel than they would if they had access to an alternative market. "For too long we have relied on one trading partner for our oil and gas exports", Carr said.

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.

Along with multiple legal challenges involving the pipeline, the Squamish Nation and five other First Nations are involved in a Federal Court of Appeal case that targets Ottawa's approval of the project. After it completes the project, Canada plans to sell the pipeline.

Manuel is preparing for a battle this week, as she expects the federal government will manage to greenlight the project.

Energy East was supposed to carry crude from Alberta's oil sands to an export terminal in Saint John, in New Brunswick.

The ensuing uncertainty, paired with vociferous opposition from environmental groups and some Indigenous communities in B.C., prompted Kinder Morgan to halt investment until the federal government could inject some certainty into the project.

"While today's decision by the federal government to purchase the existing Trans Mountain pipeline and the assets of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is a departure from the normal process for pipeline development in Canada, it is not without precedent".

The main opposition Conservative party is becoming more competitive in polls, and even took the lead in one Nanos Research survey released on Tuesday, which showed Conservatives at 36 percent public support and the Liberals at 33 percent. He promised that this project could not go through unless it was done through a vigorous review, which he broke'.

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