Industry Reaction Mixed Over Ottawa's Move to Buy Trans Mountain

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Opinions held by Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer are largely on the same page as Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe's when it comes to the federal government's decision to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline project from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion.

Braun, said last month that delays in getting the pipeline built were threatening the provincial economy, said he was happy with the move and that it is a step to "restore confidence in our country as a place to invest".

But even if the Keystone XL pipeline is built, Canada is still selling 99% of its oil to refineries in the US and that narrow market means they now get far less per barrel than they would if they had access to an alternative market. "Horgan and the NDP will continue to play politics with British Columbia's future, and this time it will cost us billions".

The purchase ensures that the Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries oil from Alberta to a port in Vancouver, will begin a $5.2B expansion this summer.

"But even besides that, we have always opposed this expansion of pipeline projects", said Mark Bigland-Pritchard with Climate Justice Saskatoon.

However, Kevin Birn, an oilsands analyst with IHS Markit, said it's not actually without precedent for the government to participate in projects like this - like the Hibernia oil platform, Line 9 and various heavy-water treatment projects.

Rempel says that Trudeau should have taken a better look at how to enforce federal jurisdiction rather than write a cheque. Ottawa was forced to act because of "politically induced uncertainty created by the province (of B.C.)" after the project was already approved which has "potentially devastating impacts on investor confidence in Canada", he said.

That price doesn't include the construction costs - which finance minister Bill Morneau refused to reveal at Tuesday morning's press conference but which one investor estimated at $6 billion - or the loan guarantees to get the project back up and running during this construction season.

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"We'll get that pipeline built", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters as he headed into a cabinet meeting. Kinder Morgan itself paid a fraction of that ($550 million) to acquire those assets in 2007.

"We need to see a detailed plan laid out", Lindbjerg said.

Back in April, Kinder Morgan announced it was halting all "non-essential" operations on its Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project pending an establishment of certainty that the project would continue despite entrenched opposition by the British Columbia government.

Should it go over-budget, Green said, the feds won't just be able to stop paying.

Ottawa has the constitutional authority to build interprovincial projects like pipelines, but B.C. Premier John Horgan has gone to court to get a judge to weigh in on whether B.C.'s jurisdiction for the environment would allow him to regulate what flows through the pipeline. Pipeline opponents are also calling out Trudeau for abandoning federal commitments to take action on climate change and respect the rights of indigenous nations.

Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, was initially in favour of the Trans Mountain expansion, but said her support is wearing thin now with the $12-billion bill being handed to taxpayers.

Kean said the Canadian government would help search for an alternative buyer.

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