Prime Minister promises to make Trans Mountain Pipeline happen

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At the same time, however, Trudeau - speaking after a rare Sunday meeting with the warring premiers from both provinces - concedes there is more his Liberal government is willing to do to protect the B.C. coastline from a possible oil spill.

If Ottawa was really serious about supporting the Trans Mountain pipeline, it would freeze all discretionary funding to B.C., said Alberta Opposition Leader Jason Kenney criticizing the results of a tri-party meeting Sunday. Despite that, it is the most concrete Trudeau has been yet about how his government intends to solve the impasse that led Kinder Morgan to suspend all non-essential spending on the expansion project pending reassurance from Ottawa the pipeline will be able to go forward. "It will be built".

Notley said legislation she promised that will allow it to alter flows of oil through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline into B.C.is going to be introduced in the Alberta legislature this week. Alberta is the United States' largest supplier of foreign oil.

Kenney warned new federal legislation can be challenged in court.

The chasm between them did not go unacknowledged by the prime minister.

Stepping in as mediator in a last-minute meeting in Ottawa with the premiers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he has instructed the minister of finance to begin formal discussions with Kinder Morgan to remove uncertainty surrounding the $7.4-billion project. He also promised legislation that would reaffirm Ottawa's authority to press ahead with a development deemed to be in Canada's national interest. Analysts have suggested a federal equity position in the company would do little to placate investor concerns, and Kinder Morgan was neutral on the notion of financial backing.

Kinder Morgan, for its part, would not say Sunday whether it felt mollified by the day's events.


"That is exactly what we are doing", he said of the Trans Mountain salvage plan.

Kinder Morgan, meanwhile, has given Trudeau until the end of May to find a solution that would provide their investors a measure of confidence that the project would be allowed to proceed.

Trudeau said the pipeline was approved by his government in 2016 after a rejigged environmental assessment and Indigenous consultation process, and only in concert with the Liberals' climate change and oceans protection plan.

Hence why May 31 is also the deadline the company gave the government to restore investor confidence in the project. Horgan defeated Clark in an election a year ago. His minority government exists at the pleasure of the Green party, and on condition of his continued opposition to the project.

Horgan made clear that Trudeau made no threats and made it clear he had no intention of punishing B.C. residents.

Although Trudeau's Liberal government could invoke emergency powers to ensure the project goes ahead, that would most likely anger voters in British Columbia and cost the Liberals support in a federal election in October 2019.

"Ideally, we wouldn't be in this situation right now", Trudeau said.


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".

Except Indigenous communities, he added, who as usual were not at the table.

"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.

"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", she said.

Horgan's news conference was barely over before Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was at the podium, laying the blame for the impasse squarely at the prime minister's feet. But Horgan emerged re-asserting his government's opposition to the pipeline.

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


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