The Trudeau government is nationalizing the U.S.-owned Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project in a $4.5 billion sale. Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement in Ottawa on Tuesday, the Financial Post reports.
When completed, the pipeline will transport Alberta petroleum from Edmonton to Vancouver, for shipment to foreign markets.
The pipeline is enthusiastically supported by the Alberta government and vigorously opposed by the B.C. government, some First Nations groups and a host of environmental groups. The Trudeau government has the ultimate say on whether the project continues but has been reluctant to get tough with protesters who stage regular demonstrations and harass pipeline workers.
Kinder Morgan executives were beginning to wonder if the project was worth the bother. As CBC News reports, the company’s CEO is happy to extricate itself from the pipeline. “We think this is a great day not only for our company but for Canada, and we’re happy to be participating in it,” Steve Kean said on a conference call that followed Morneau’s announcement.
Morneau insisted the government will attempt to resell the pipeline back to the private sector when work is completed. He even suggested the province of Alberta might like to buy it.
“Make no mistake, this is an investment in Canada’s future,” Morneau said.
Morneau was vague about exactly how much the project would cost — after the sale is complete. Kinder Morgan has suggested the final bill for the pipeline would amount to $7.4 billion.