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Canada's PM Trudeau pledges money, new law for pipeline project

16 April 2018

Trudeau emerged from a meeting with the Alberta and B.C. premiers Sunday to tell reporters that the federal government is set to provide substantial financial backing to Texas-based Kinder Morgan in order that the pipeline, planned to stretch from Edmonton, Alberta to Vancouver, B.C., will be constructed.

"The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was approved by the National Energy Board in May of 2016 and the Federal Cabinet in November of that year...18 months and no shovels in the ground", he said, adding that due to lack of progress "we need to see a change of government at both the federal and provincial level next year". "It will be built". "We will not be bought and we will block this pipeline".

Trudeau said private, financial discussions will be held with Kinder Morgan in the coming days to remove uncertainty over the project.

- Legislative options - "We are actively pursuing legislative options that will assert, plus reinforce, the government of Canada's jurisdiction in this matter, which we know we clearly have", Mr Trudeau said.

Alberta has promised to introduce legislation of its own on Monday or Tuesday, without providing details.

"I would also suggest that there is not a homogenous position on this issue amongst Indigenous communities", said Notley.

Speaking before the meeting, a federal government source said past examples of help included a bailout of the auto industry in 2009, federal loan guarantees for a hydro-electric project and Ottawa's investment in an offshore energy project.

Jocelyn Stacey, an environmental law professor at the University of British Columbia, said there are jurisdictional questions when it comes to the environment, and the possible effects an expanded pipeline might bring.

Trudeau cited investor confidence as one reason to help Kinder Morgan Canada, part of Kinder Morgan Inc KMI.N , which plans to nearly triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain line from Alberta to the Pacific province of British Columbia.

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"I don't think we would be in this current situation if the British Columbia government hadn't continued to emphasize its opposition to the project", Trudeau said.

Notley, meanwhile, said she felt "a lot better" following the meeting - and that once Morneau's talks with Kinder Morgan were complete, the project would proceed. "We don't believe that's the Canada that most Canadians want to live in".

"It's not right, it's not fair, and it's not legal".

Kenney repeated his calls for the prime minister to penalize withholding federal dollars for infrastructure and jobs training.

Kinder Morgan recently suspended its pipeline work amid the intense political uncertainty, saying it would drop the project if the parties fail to resolve their differences by May 31. "They do have quarterly reports to do, but it did speed things up. So, the fact that his political reality hasn't changed, his message hasn't either".

"We learned about a couple of things that aren't going to happen and one thing that is going to happen, and it's all what I expected". Northern Gateway would have sent bitumen from Bruderheim, Alta., to Kitimat, B.C., for transportation to Asian markets.

"That would have been extraordinary. Victoria that is violating our Constitution, undermining the Rule of Law, attacking free trade within Canada, and undermining our country's vital economic interests and yet all of those things have been taken off the table".

And Harrison noted Notley did not follow up on her previous threats to tighten the taps on oil headed to B.C. He also promised legislation that would reaffirm Ottawa's authority to press ahead with a development deemed to be in Canada's national interest.

Canada's PM Trudeau pledges money, new law for pipeline project