The Oil Giant That Outsmarted Trudeau

The Oil Giant That Outsmarted Trudeau

On the heels of Trudeau's announcement, the Vancouver-based Indigenous rights group Coast Protectors scheduled a rally for Tuesday evening to "say no to Trudeau's pipeline buy out".

The pipeline's expansion faced a tenuous future as lawsuits mounted from British Columbia and indigenous people.

"Canada stands to sacrifice its worldwide reputation, irreplaceable iconic species like the Southern resident Killer Whales, and its commitments to meet its Paris Climate targets and to reconcile with Indigenous people - all while putting enormous risk on Canadian taxpayers".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who spoke with Horgan Tuesday, reiterated his government's opinion that it has jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines.

Kinder Morgan investors must still vote on the sale, which is scheduled to close in August, but the deal will allow construction to resume immediately, the minister said.

The announcement was made by Canada's finance minister, Bill Morneau, who called the proposed purchase "an investment in Canada's future".

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.

Indemnification means the federal government would legally agree to bear any financial losses incurred by Kinder Morgan because of yet to be defined "politically motivated delays". "The only (way) in our estimation that that can be done is through exerting our jurisdiction by purchasing the project". He also addressed those who question Ottawa's loyalty to the energy industry. "Let's get on with it and I think that's the positive we have to take out of it".

"We've agreed to a fair price for our shareholders and we've found a way forward for this national interest project, " he told a conference call with financial analysts.

Storm Alberto path tracking: Did tropical storm make landfall?
The National Weather Service issued the flood watch from Sunday evening until Monday for the northern two-thirds of the state. Sunshine and daytime heating into the mid/upper 80s will trigger numerous showers and storms by the afternoon hours.

The B.C. Chamber of Commerce welcomed the move, although it expressed concern about Canada's "broken" regulatory regime.

As Reuters discovered, it appears that Canada has been taken for a ride by Kinder Morgan. The three groups, as well as Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion, have been regularly demonstrating in different ways at Trans Mountain's two Burnaby facilities over the last few months.

"I think the transaction is a win-win. We were supposed to make 75 per cent of it", Mike Day, president of United Steelworkers 5890 said. It's actually better for Kinder Morgan than it is for Canada.

Now the Canadian government is stepping in to make sure the pipeline is completed over the objections of environmentalists, especially those in the Vancouver area who are anxious about increased shipping traffic and the possibility of spills along the coast.

Trans Mountain acknowledged in the agreement that none of the terms would prevent the province from changing direction on the project.

The Alberta government also has pledged a contingency fund of up to about $1.5 billion to provide emergency funds to the project if unforeseen circumstances arise.

The move to buy the pipeline from an affiliate of USA -based pipeline company Kinder Morgan follows the company's threat to pull the plug on the expansion because of delays caused by opponents of the project. The contribution will convert into equity in the pipeline.

Trudeau reminded the federal New Democrats that it is an NDP government, headed by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, that is the major provincial proponent of the pipeline project.

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