“The federal government has made a choice, a decision that was motivated by the decisions of a private company that gave a deadline, not to me, not to the people of British Columbia, but to someone they characterized as stakeholders”, Horgan said.
“I think they needed to leave all the options on the table and, certainly, the private marketplace would have taken effect”, she said. “Our environment generates millions in economic activity, from tourism to film and fisheries”.
“This is a great day for Canada, for our customers, for our employees”, Kinder Morgan Canada CEO Steve Kean said on a morning conference call.
May was at the announcement and technical briefing. The governing Liberals insist the project is a financial victor, and they will sell the pipeline to some lucky new owners somewhere down the road.
Morneau, the finance minister, called the deal to buy the pipeline a “a commercial agreement” and insisted that the Canadian government didn’t intend to remain owner of the facility.
McLeod said the cost to taxpayers is simply too much, especially given the fact Texas-based oil giant Kinder Morgan was willing to foot the bill.
“Governments do a lot of things right, but running businesses is probably not near the top of the list”, Wall said. “It might”, said David Austin, a lawyer at Clark Wilson LLP in Vancouver who has appeared before regulatory tribunals and advised on energy project development.
“This is why there’s 15 cases in court. that are not yet resolved obviously”, said May.
Under the agreement between the federal government and Kinder Morgan, the company would resume construction on the project, which was put on hold in April. So are First Nations. But the provincial government – elected a year ago on a pledge to block the project – filed a legal case seeking jurisdiction to impose additional marine protection measures, such as capping future bitumen shipments, that would effectively derail the project.
“Trudeau is gambling billions of Canadian taxpayer dollars on an oil project that will never be built – a project that Kinder Morgan itself has indicated is “untenable” and that faces more than a dozen lawsuits, crumbling economics, and a growing resistance movement that is spreading around the world”, Hudema said.
Weaver likened the investment in fossil fuel to investing in the horse and buggy industry at the advent of the auto.
Kinder Morgan is going to start construction on the pipeline this summer, with Ottawa providing loan guarantees for any money the company spends on the endeavour between now and when the pipeline is sold. “They are getting a very good value”, said Paul Bloom at Bloom Investment Counsel Inc, which owns about 300,000 shares in Kinder Morgan Canada. The decision was seen as a possible way to stop building the pipeline, even if it was approved on paper.
Meanwhile, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May pleaded guilty to criminal contempt after she protested at the Kinder Morgan construction site, violating a B.C. court injunction.
National Bank analyst Patrick Kenny believes the overall impact of the sale is “slightly negative” for Kinder Morgan, and plans to revisit the bank’s $19 price target for the company.
Alberta will contribute up to C$2 billion toward unforeseen costs, payable once the project is complete, Premier Rachel Notley said. “Those don’t go away and the 157 conditions that Kinder Morgan still hasn’t met, well that means the government of Canada hasn’t met them either”.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled the government’s long-awaited, big-budget strategy on Tuesday to save the plan to expand the oilsands pipeline.
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.