Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Graham Thomson: Alberta government celebrates Trans Mountain pipeline project purchase

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau.					Canadian Press Patrick Doyle Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Canadian Press Patrick Doyle
Sandra Phillips | 31 May, 2018, 19:31

Berman is a director of Stand.earth, one of the groups that organized an anti-pipeline protest in Vancouver on Tuesday after Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the government's plans for the pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C. Another protest is planned in Victoria on Thursday.

The Government of Canada has reached a deal with Kinder Morgan to buy the highly contested Trans Mountain Pipeline.

That decision prompted the Alberta government to call an emergency cabinet meeting to come up with a response.

"I was taken aback". Now the Canadian government wants to spend billions more of taxpayer dollars to increase its country's contribution to the climate crisis.

By buying the pipeline outright, the Trudeau government has gone all in on this project. Completing the expansion of the line to triple its capacity will cost an very bad lot more - the estimate now is $7.4 billion and costs could well escalate with further delay.

He said it sometimes seems the cost of being Canadian is to help patch together troubled megaprojects.

"You can't stop in the middle". "They'll either print more money or they'll have the Canadian Pension Plan fund it". "This is not in the public interest". That would bring the total price-tag to nearly $12 billion.

Harrison doesn't rate the chances of finding a buyer too highly either.

"The Indigenous-led, people-powered movement that led Kinder Morgan to abandon ship on this project is stronger than ever and will not back down".

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He said the company will have a "profitable piece of pipe" if it can complete the expansion.

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 Independent Contractors and Businesses Association released a statement saying B.C. has sent a "chilling message" to investors and forced Ottawa to take on the project.

Trudeau would not tip his hand Monday on the state of talks with Kinder Morgan, but reiterated his government's constant refrain that the project is absolutely going to be built.

Morneau's commitment still doesn't guarantee the expansion will be built.

He said the government's announcement does not assuage these concerns, but that he would rather deal with the federal government than a private corporation. But again, little has changed - her hand still hovers over the faucet, just in case B.C. doesn't wake up and see the light: "It remains something that we would consider using should it become something that's necessary for us to maximize our resources".

A claim in the federal Court of Appeal alleges there hasn't been adequate consultation with First Nations.

British Columbia's goal has always been to delay Trans Mountain as long as possible, and it still is.

"Some felt this was in the bag, and that it would be not built after all, but sadly for them it has been made clear this thing is going to be built", Crey said. The Squamish remain opposed to the project, he said.

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