Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Canada's PM Trudeau pledges money, new law for pipeline project

Canada's PM Trudeau pledges money, new law for pipeline project Canada's PM Trudeau pledges money, new law for pipeline project
Melinda Barton | 16 April, 2018, 18:28

In a statement Sunday, Kinder Morgan said it will not issue any more updates on the status of consultation on the project until it has reached a definitive agreement by May 31.

"We are going to get the pipeline built".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated to reporters Sunday that First Nations were consulted before construction began.

Trudeau, speaking after an emergency summit with the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia, said "we are actively pursuing legislative options that will assert and reinforce the government of Canada's jurisdiction in this matter".

The project was reportedly approved by the federal government in 2016.

The prime minister revealed few details on the planned legislation and upcoming financial discussions, but he did share that the closed door talks between Morneau and Kinder Morgan "are happening" in Calgary, Toronto, Houston and NY.

"In principle, I don't believe it's the role of government to run a pipeline", said Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

However Beatty, a former Conservative federal cabinet minister, added that if the government "has no choice" but to take a stake in the project, it should "make it clear that the investment is short term and that it will divest its share once the project proceeds".

In an op-ed for The Globe and Mail on Thursday, Phillip said that Canada could have an "Oka-like crisis" on its hands if Trudeau tries to force the pipeline through.

"We do not want to kick the can down the road, for example, until we have another $2 billion in the project", he said.

Kenney warned new federal legislation can be challenged in court.

"It's important to highlight that this is not about punishing British Columbians".

Quebec has already signalled its concerns with a federally imposed solution to the pipeline political logjam.

"The federal government has a responsibility to bring Canadians together and to do things that are in our national interest".

Kenney said if the federal government was serious about resolving the deadlock, the simplest thing to do would have been to withhold infrastructure and job funding for B.C. indefinitely.

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. "It's just going to stiffen the back of Horgan".

Speaking before the meeting, a federal government source said past examples of help included a bailout of the auto industry in 2009, federal loan guarantees for a hydro-electric project and Ottawa's investment in an offshore energy project.

"Kinder Morgan can not proceed without the consent of the First Nations along its path, so many of which oppose it", said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the UBCIC, in a press release from February 8.

Day said taking a position "that threatens Oka 2.0 is completely irresponsible".

Coldwater First Nation near Merritt, B.C. declined to sign a deal to allow Kinder Morgan to expand the existing pipeline on its territory, Chief Lee Spahan told APTN in an interview.

"In a democratic society, if you don't like the laws that are in place, you work to change them". "This project has passed all of the environmental, legal and constitutional requirements". "What he is ignoring is that we are the uncertainty", said Will George, an organizer with Protect the Inlet from Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, in a press release Sunday.

Beatty had harsh words for the B.C. government's opposition to the pipeline project.