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article imageTrudeau: New legislation will 'make Trans Mountain happen'

By Karen Graham     Apr 15, 2018 in World
Ottawa - The meeting is over and as expected, no one had a change of heart over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. So Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking a tough stance to ensure the pipeline will be built.
"I have instructed the minister of finance to initiate formal financial discussions with Kinder Morgan, the result of which will be to remove the uncertainty overhanging the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project," Trudeau said after meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan in Ottawa, according to CBC Canada.
The prime minister also said that federal legislation is coming that will "reassert and reinforce" the fact that the federal government is well within its jurisdiction to approve the project and ensure it goes ahead.
"We are one country with a federal government that is there to ensure the national interest is upheld,” he told reporters after the meeting in Ottawa. “We are going to get the pipeline built. The measures we will be taking in the coming weeks are focused on assuring that this pipeline gets built."
In laying out what was discussed and his plans, Trudeau offered very few details, however, he did say any discussions with Kinder Morgan officials would be held in private that may include a financial solution.
"Ideally, we wouldn't be in this situation right now," Trudeau said. "Ideally, the rhetoric and actions by the B.C. government would not have led to the concerns of the company, that got approval to move forward on a project that is in the national interest," he said, reasserting that environmental concerns and the Canadian economy can work together.
Trudeau walking a slippery path
Trudeau's political ambitions are at stake as he pushes to get the pipeline built without stepping on the toes of voters, many of which are wondering why he hasn't been more assertive in getting major projects completed, while others are dismayed at his apparent disregard for environmental protection.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer had something to say on the issue, claiming Trudeau's record proves Canadians can't trust him to get major resource projects completed.
"His damaging policies from a national carbon tax scheme ... to the convoluted extra red-tape burden of Bill C69 have only led to more uncertainty and instability in Canada's resource sector," Scheer said.
Bill C-69 proposes to enact the Impact Assessment Act, which establishes a new federal process for gathering information and making decisions about environmentally significant projects across Canada (e.g. mines, pipelines, and nuclear power plants). Bill C-69 would repeal the existing Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
The provinces' premiers have their say
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley held sway with reporters long enough to say her province and Ottawa had agreed on a plan to "eliminate" investor risk surrounding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. She said the commitment would "assure the pipeline would be built."
"The federal government, along with the government of Alberta, has commenced discussions with Kinder Morgan to establish a financial relationship that will eliminate investor risk," Notley said.
B.C. Premier John Horgan also did not elaborate on any details of the "legislative and financial measures" promised by Trudeau to push the project forward.
"Despite all of the commonality between the three of us, we continue to disagree on the question of moving diluted bitumen from Alberta to the port of Vancouver," he said.
"We had a discussion about options; the federal government laid out their plans over the next number of days ... and we had a discussion about what role British Columbia could continue to play to protecting and defending our coast."
Horgan also made it clear that Trudeau had made no threats to him and had promised he had no intention of punishing B.C. residents.
More about trans mountain pipeline, Trudeau, Canada, national interest, bc government
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