Pipeline purchase is PM's fall from grace

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With an election on the horizon, I submit this purchase was more about controlling the political agenda then about seriously building a pipeline.

"Our government's position is clear: it must be built, and it will be built".

"Cheam formed partnerships with 13 companies involved in the pipeline construction process, and during the post-construction phase", Crey said, adding some are national companies, while others are local. "We're seeking the ensure the project gets done, but we will always try and make sure the project presents a fair situation for Canadians", he said. "The only (way) in our estimation that that can be done is through exerting our jurisdiction by purchasing the project".

Kinder Morgan, which stopped all "non-essential" work on the project in April, had said it would speak with stakeholders before making a final decision on May 31.

Delays had been costing Kinder Morgan $75 million a month.

Pending their approval, the sale would be finalized sometime in August or September.

Energy East, which would have converted a natural gas pipeline to oil and extended it all the way to New Brunswick, was cancelled last fall when TransCanada decided conditions had changed, including new federal regulations and lower oil prices.

"While accretive options may be surfaced, we do not see a potential transaction as sufficient to offset the potential upside from the Trans Mountain expansion project", the report said.

Multiple court cases are still pending against it, including the constitutional reference question from the B.C. government.

Crey wasn't completely surprised either by the bailout decision announced by Liberal government Ministers Bill Morneau and Jim Carr.

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March 9, 2018: B.C. Supreme Court grants interim injunction aimed at preventing anti-pipeline activists from protesting construction at two terminals in Burnaby.

Morneau stressed repeatedly the pipeline is commercially viable and profitable. For years, it transported standard crude oil without controversy.

In those heady days, it made some economic sense to build a pipeline devoted to developing Alberta's high-cost oilsands for export. "These are exceptional circumstances and should not be considered the norm", the association said. The goal is to have a new buyer in place for the vote, and to potentially turn a profit, they said. As part of the agreement, the Government of Canada has agreed to fund the resumption of TMEP planning and construction work by guaranteeing TMEP's expenditures under a separate Federal Government recourse credit facility until the transaction closes.

Horgan said his concerns remain rooted in what he calls the limited scientific knowledge of how diluted bitumen behaves in water, as well as perceived gaps in prevention efforts and response plans in the event of a spill.

So this was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "just watch me" moment.

"It does not change the course that the Government of British Columbia has been on", Horgan said.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley cheered the news on Twitter.

Notley says there is more certainty around the project than there has ever been and she doesn't plan to use her province's legislation to regulate the flow of oil exports for now.

She also said any money the province puts in will be converted to equity in the pipeline, so there should be no negative effect on Alberta's credit rating.

The federal Liberals have described the Trans Mountain expansion as being in the national interest and have long vowed that the project will be completed.