Trudeau Puts Taxpayer Money Where His Mouth Is On Pipeline Dispute

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
Font Size:

OTTAWA — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has put his Liberal government squarely behind the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline — angering environmentalists and empowering the oil-rich province of Alberta.

Trudeau emerged from a meeting with the Alberta and B.C. premiers Sunday to tell reporters that the federal government is set to provide substantial financial backing to Texas-based Kinder Morgan in order that the pipeline, planned to stretch from Edmonton, Alberta to Vancouver, B.C., will be constructed.

“It will be built,” Trudeau told reporters, as he predicted work on the pipeline would begin again by early summer.

Trudeau’s meeting with B.C. Premier John Horgan, who opposes the project, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who desperately needs the pipeline, produced no compromise between the two provincial leaders who have taken to issuing threats and counter-threats to each other over the last week.

Kinder Morgan ceased production on the line last week due to persistent protests from environmental activists and First Nations opponents. Trudeau said Sunday that he has already told the company that federal funding will be available to ensure the pipeline is finished.

The prime minister also pledged that new legislation will clearly define the jurisdiction of the federal government over projects that traverse provincial borders.

Trudeau said the federal government supports the pipeline because it will produce high-paying jobs and would enable Canadian oil to be exported to markets outside of the domestic and U.S. markets.

The B.C. premier said the three-hour meeting was civil but that he did not budge on his opposition to the pipeline.

“We continue to disagree on the question of moving diluted bitumen from Alberta to the port of Vancouver,” he said.

Follow David on Twitter