Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed on Sunday that the Trans Mountain Pipeline in western Canada will move ahead, saying that he instructed his finance minister to hold talks with Kinder Morgan to ensure the project stays on track.
Mr. Trudeau said that the expansion “will be built” and is a “vital, strategic interest of Canada”, following an interprovince squabble where the coastal British Columbia has refused to allow the pipeline to be built over environmental concerns.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her province and Ottawa’s financial plan will ensure that Kinder Morgan’s financial risk tied to the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline is mitigated, so that the project moves ahead.
B.C.’s premier, John Horgan, came out of a Sunday meeting with Trudeau and Ms. Notley saying that the prime minister intends to back up the pipeline with new legislation and funding, and will continue a court inquiry over jurisdiction.
Notley said “establishing a financial investment that mitigates investor risk”, stating that the pipeline is within the national interest of Albertans and Canadians.
Trudeau was at the Summit of the Americas and had planned to travel to France and the United Kingdom before plans changed last minute and he flew back to Ottawa overnight and met with the premiers on Sunday morning.
B.C.’s Premier John Horgan, who was recently elected, has refused to allow the new pipeline to be built through the western province to reach the coast, triggering trade conflicts with Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley.
The company building the pipeline, Kinder Morgan, has given the federal government until May 31 to deliver assurances that the expanded line will get built, and suspended all non-essential work on the project until it gets the guarantee.
The official stance of the federal government is that the pipeline should be built as a pipeline that will benefit the entire country, and conflict over jurisdiction has resulted in a squabble.
Mr. Trudeau has not yet forced his hand to force B.C. to back down over the $7.4 billion deal Ottawa signed to set up the pipeline.
The federal government said that there is no need to take the issue of jurisdiction to the courts as the law clearly states it has the power over whether the national pipeline can be built.
Horgan he would abide by a court decision.
Notley discussed “establishing a financial investment that mitigates investor risk”, stating that the pipeline is within the national interest of Albertans and Canadians.
Mr. Horgan told reporters after the Sunday meeting that he had a “cogial” meeting with the prime minister and Alberta’s premier but that there was no agreement reached.
Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer of the Conservative Party criticized Trudeau for not using Ottawa’s jurisdiction to get the project done, saying that the dispute between the provinces creates uncertainty for investors.
More details to follow. Image of premiers from previous files.