Finance

Kootenay MP questions Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

Kootenay MP questions Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

The overwhelming majority of Canada's oil exports are sold to American refiners at a discount to global benchmarks, reducing fuel prices for American consumers and income for Canadian producers. That would end British Columbia's efforts to regulate the project, argue government officials.

The province has committed to invest up to $2 billion in the Kinder Morgan project to backstop any risk and cover potential cost overruns, and that investment would be payable only once the taps have been turned on.

The Prime Minister responded with a quote from Notley that the government met the deadline set by Kinder Morgan and "this project has more certainly than ever".

"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.

Opponents of the pipeline are concerned about the risk of oil spills from tankers along Canada's pristine Pacific coast impacting fisheries and tourism. "We rallied people and we said to them "please, help us with this" and the people of Canada, they did that".

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

"This decision represents both a colossal failure of the Trudeau government to enforce the law of the land, and a massive, unnecessary financial burden on Canadian taxpayers", Canadian Taxpayers Federation Federal Director Aaron Wudrick said in a statement.

Although investors clearly felt something needed to be done since Kinder Morgan was threatening to pull out of the project, Ottawa's move to nationalize these assets left the markets with misgivings.

Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May called it a "huge subsidy to fossil fuels" on Twitter. "There are a lot of jobs in Saskatchewan that are either directly affected by the pipeline or indirectly affected by the pipeline".

"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.

"Because it will be owned by the Federal government, regardless of if the Province of British Columbia or others try to continue to delay, this project is going to move forward", he said. Horgan said that makes some difference in the paramountcy of the federal government, but the case will continue.

While Wilson admitted he doesn't know how accurate the cost estimates for the project are, he believes Canada ultimately will make money off it. "It polarized us. That is not who we are", Carr told the news conference.

The federal decision to buy the pipeline could prompt further legal challenges by Indigenous Peoples, said Prof.

Duane Bratt said it's too soon to say whether Trans Mountain will give Notley a bump in the polls, but no deal by Thursday would clearly have been a killer.

"The biggest mistake was the federal government didn't go to the supreme court to get a stamp of approval on jurisdiction".

"That's six and a half decades that we're talking about and of course it's quite exceptional that there are two provinces that see the issue quite differently".