Trudeau vows financial backing, legislation to save Trans Mountain pipeline

Trudeau vows financial backing, legislation to save Trans Mountain pipeline

Indigenous leaders are promising to continue the fight against Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion despite the prime minister's insistence that it will be built.

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.

"This Prime Minister could not be less serious about this vital issue", said Leader of the United Conservative Party Jason Kenney.

Trudeau spoke at the end of a remarkable eight-hour stopover in the national capital, an unscheduled break from his overseas trip to accommodate the last-minute summit with B.C.'s John Horgan, who has staked his government's survival on opposing the pipeline, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, whose province's economic health depends on it.

A number of B.C. groups in opposition to the project, including Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, NDP MP Kennedy Stewart and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robert are expected to hold a press conference on the matter Monday.

"We are responding to this situation".

The federal government can and will do more on the pipeline's potential environmental impact, he added.

The meeting comes just a week after Kinder Morgan announced that it was suspending all non-essential work on the $7.4 billion project, citing what it called "extraordinary political risks". The company set a firm deadline of May 31 to have that request fulfilled.

"[Trudeau] said the federal government will moving with legislative and financial measures in the days ahead", Horgan said. Expanding Trans Mountain - in operation since 1953 - would move an additional 590,000 barrels a day from Alberta's oil sands to a terminal near Vancouver.

"Alberta has promised to release legislation this week but it's not clear what that's about", she said.

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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.

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

Trudeau declined to discuss the specifics of Ottawa's proposed financial buy-in, saying only that the feds "have engaged in financial discussions with the Kinder Morgan".

Opposition members of Parliament said Ottawa's supports are too little, too late.

"I'm quite confident that should these discussions end successfully, that the pipeline will be built - and that is good, because the pipeline is in the national interest".

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

"We are still waiting on judgements from the Federal Court of Appeal and from the B.C. Superior court which could have the effect of quashing or cancelling approvals that have already been granted" she said.

"Everyone wins in the sense it could have been much more belligerent", said David Moscrop, a political theorist who specializes in democratic deliberation and political decision-making at SFU.

The progress on pipelines to the U.S.is encouraging, but producers need access to new markets and predictability in building projects after several failed attempts, said Canadian Energy Pipeline Association president Chris Bloomer.

"If we have to, it'll be our Standing Rock", he said. Analysts at Scotiabank estimated in a recent report that discounts for Canadian crude would cost Canada $15.6 billion in 2018 in forgone revenues.

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