Feds Will Back Trans Mountain Project
CBJ — Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the Government of Canada will financially support the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, regardless of whether or not Kinder Morgan is the company that ultimately winds up being the primary builder.
Morneau made the announcement on the heels of Kinder Morgan saying it will likely pull the plug on the project if an agreement to move forward is not reached by the end of this month.
By showing it’s willing to financially support the project the hope is that other builders may come in and take over from Kinder Morgan. The carrot being dangled is that the federal government will indemnify any financial losses for Kinder Morgan or any other company that takes the lead on the potential project. In other words, there is a certain financial guarantee for whatever company that takes on the project that they will not be out of pocket if the project is shelved.
The main sticking point right now is the Province of British Columbia, which is concerned about environmental damage should anything go wrong, such as a spill. Cynics believe the B.C. government might merely be holding out for a larger piece of the financial pie, given that the pipeline will be traveling through the province and out of port to Asian markets.
Morneau made it quite clear on why he believes the $7.5 billion project has been stalled, placing the blame directly on B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan, calling the situation “politically motivated.”
The Finance Minister was non-committal on how much the federal government would be willing to kick in to see the project move forward.
“If Kinder Morgan isn’t interested in building the project we think plenty of investors would be interested in taking on this project, especially knowing that the federal government believes it is in the best interest of Canadians and is willing to provide indemnity to make sure that it gets done,” Morneau said from Ottawa.