'Betrayed' Canadians could launch unprecedented protests over pipeline: activist

Posted May 31, 2018

Opposition parties are sharpening their attacks on the government's decision to buy Trans Mountain for $4.5 billion to ensure it gets built, with the Conservatives looking to see how far the government is willing to go on other pipelines and the NDP arguing the Liberals have completely abandoned their environmental principles.

"We are purchasing the assets; we are purchasing the existing assets, and the investment in the twinning of that pipeline, and those assets are what is required for us to move forward with the expansion", he said.

The federal government's decision to take over the pipeline from Kinder Morgan doesn't change his government's position to oppose the expansion project from Edmonton to Burnaby or its decision last month to pursue a reference case to the B.C. Court of Appeal, Horgan said Tuesday.

"My experience is that people are motivated by betrayal, they're motivated by a lack of fairness, they're motivated by a sense of shared common goal and outrage".

Should it go over-budget, Green said, the feds won't just be able to stop paying.

Steve Kean, chairman and chief executive of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd., said the deal represents the best opportunity to complete the expansion project. "All they were really asking for was certainty that they could proceed with building the pipeline".

Horgan said Ottawa's decision to buy the pipeline does not reduce the risk to B.C.'s environment and economy, which is why the province is asking the court whether it has jurisdiction to protect itself from a spill.

Premier Rachel Notley isn't ruling out Alberta becoming a long-term investor in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

He said federal ownership will shield the project from B.C. political hijinks.

Kinder Morgan had previously threatened to pull out of Trans Mountain, setting a deadline of May 31 to resolve political uncertainty around its future.

Until now, Trudeau's government has used a soft tone to try to convince British Columbia to abandon its opposition to the pipeline, hoping not to alienate voters in the province before next year's general election. "For too long we have relied on one trading partner for our oil and gas exports", Carr said. After getting cold feet, Kinder Morgan had halted construction in April. Pipeline opponents are also calling out Trudeau for abandoning federal commitments to take action on climate change and respect the rights of indigenous nations.

"We know the majority of Canadians support the project, so it's positive to see shovels will be in the ground very soon", Bilous said.

"The message being sent is that to get anything built, the federal government has to nationalize it", Scheer said. Morneau declined to say what the government's ultimate financial outlay would be.

Sims anxious Canadians could be on the hook for more than just building the pipeline. Any money put toward construction would be converted into an equity stake in the federal project, she said.

The pipeline has faced a number of legal and regulatory challenges from the BC government that has delayed construction of the project, which was approved by the federal government in 2016.

At the same time as the Liberals were drawing up their plans to buy Trans Mountain, the government's budget implementation bill, containing the provisions to impose the federal carbon pricing "backstop" on recalcitrant provinces, was making its way through the House of Commons.