Trudeau Puts Money Where His Mouth Is On Pipeline Dispute

Support growing for Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in British Columbia

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

But the pipeline expansion project will be completed, the prime minister vowed today.

"The federal government, along with the government of Alberta, has commenced discussions with Kinder Morgan to establish a financial relationship that will eliminate investor risk", Notley said.

Horgan refuted the notion that Ottawa would punish B.C. financially for opposing the pipeline, saying that there were "no threats, no intimidation" from Trudeau in the closed-door "collegial meeting among peers". We are demonstrating not just that we are exerting and understanding the responsibilities that come with the federal government, but demonstrating as well what we have long held - and what Canadians understand: "that the environment and the economy must go together". Horgan's opposition to Trans Mountain is the main reason Kinder Morgan put the brakes on non-essential spending on the project a week ago.

On Sunday, Horgan did meet in the nation's capital to discuss the pipeline with Notley and Trudeau.

Up to this point, we've had a lot of reassurance and a lot of words from the Prime Minister about this project getting built. The company set a firm deadline of May 31 to have that request fulfilled. In January, the province considered halting any shipments of bitumen from Alberta until it could study the effects of heavy oil spills in vital waterways.

It is not clear whether Ottawa's financial and legislative backstops would ensure the pipeline gets built.

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Notley has repeatedly expressed exasperation over delays, saying the pipeline has already been through a rigorous regulatory process to be approved.

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.

Horgan emerged from the meeting Sunday showing no intention of letting off on his opposition to the pipeline.

"It has gone through the hoops and, quite frankly, if co-operative federalism means we never, ever, ever make a decision, well I don't think that's a co-operative federalism that Canadians think is in their best interests", she said.

The lack of pipeline capacity means Canadian crude trades at a discount to the USA oil benchmark.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto gathered on the sidelines of a major worldwide summit in Peru's capital, along with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo. But when the NDP took power previous year in B.C., Horgan's government announced a series of measures aimed at halting the project, saying the risk to B.C.'s coast from increased movement of diluted bitumen were too great. Canada could lose tens of billions of dollars if new routes to overseas markets aren't developed to shrink a discount on crude from landlocked Alberta.

Pence is in Peru instead of Trump, who was originally scheduled to attend but decided against it at the last minute, ostensibly to deal with the American response to a chemical attack in Syria.

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