Vancouver protesters rally, vow to continue pipeline fight

Anna Jefferson
May 30, 2018

"When we are faced with an exceptional situation that puts jobs at risk, that puts our worldwide reputation on the line, our government is prepared to take action", Morneau told reporters.

Ottawa's decision to purchase the pipeline comes after months of uncertainty in Western Canada, where the federal government, Alberta and British Columbia have been embroiled in an escalating battle over the flow of bitumen. "This is a sad day for British Columbia".

The government does not intend to be the long-term owner of the pipeline, however, and has already begun speaking with interested parties about transferring ownership later on.

Kinder Morgan had paused non-essential spending on the project over disputes between provincial governments in Alberta and B.C.

Trudeau also spoke with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley about the decision.

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Until now, Trudeau's government has used a soft tone to try to convince British Columbia to abandon its opposition to the pipeline, hoping not to alienate voters in the province before next year's general election.

"Whether she wins (the election) that's another story, but had this not happened, she was toast", said Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

He added that if Trudeau "believes [in] building a pipeline to export raw materials to other jurisdictions to create jobs and wealth in other places, he'll have to be accountable for that".

"This move sets a awful precedent and signals to other prospective investors that large projects such as pipelines can not be built by private industry in Canada", said Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a right-leaning group that advocates for lower taxes. The much more ambitious Energy East project was abandoned by TransCanada Corp. amid outcry in Quebec - and no government move to save it.

Green Party leader and MLA for Saanich-Gulf Islands Elizabeth May said Kinder Morgan was "laughing all the way to the bank". With plans to renew construction activity this summer, the protest movement around this pipeline promises to be heated.

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As the Liberals try to make a government guarantee on the project, "this is taking a bad idea and turning it into a worse idea", West says.

"Today we actually took out Kinder Morgan". Suzanne Wilton, a spokeswoman for Enbridge, said the company is focused on its C$22 billion growth program and would not speculate on the project.

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

Under the proposed federal plan, the Trans Mountain pipeline will be placed under the stewardship of a new Crown corporation and Ottawa will divest itself of the project at a later date. However, at present, there is only one pipeline from the tar sands region to the port in Vancouver and that pipeline was built in 1953.

"I am happy with this morning's announcement", said Crey, who has been very supportive of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) in light of the potential economic spinoffs for the Cheam.

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Italy's constitutional court would first have to accept that the issue could be taken up by parliament. Italian President Mattarella addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg.


No legislative action is planned at this time, Carr said - noting no legislation is needed to move forward with the proposed commercial transaction. But Ottawa will immediately seek new buyers in the private sector and has promised to also extend insurance to them for any politically-motivated delays. Its expansion is a key part of Canada's effort to boost oil exports to Asian markets - but the plan has been protested by indigenous groups and environmental activists, who warn of the risks of a spill and the hazards of increased petroleum tanker traffic.

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