Canada's Trudeau defends pipeline project

Graham Thomson: Emergency pipeline meeting in Ottawa ends with a whimper not a bang

Advertisment Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday that he has instructed his finance minister to enter negotiations with Kinder Morgan to "remove the uncertainty" hanging over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

"What is fantastic to me is that there's so much mythology that's part of the discourse - a lot of it coming from Rachel Notley, but some things are being parroted in the mainstream media analysis about what the various governments can or cannot do", said Lee, who is also co-director of the Climate Justice Project, a research partnership with the University of British Columbia's School of Community and Regional Planning.

The prime minister was not planning to be in Ottawa this weekend, as he was scheduled to head to Paris from Peru - he was there for the Summit of the Americas.

Trudeau insists the Kinder Morgan pipeline is within federal jurisdiction and that Horgan's government has no authority to block it - a claim Horgan wants the courts to evaluate, and one with which he says he plans to press ahead.

"Unfortunately, over the course of nearly a year, they have not specifically put forward proposals on how they would like to see us improve the oceans protection plan", said Trudeau. Worse, his insistence in pushing this project through despite significant Indigenous and community opposition risks everything that makes Canada great - our commitment to human rights, our lovely natural environment and our worldwide reputation as a peaceful nation of hard workers unafraid to tackle the challenges before us.

"We are responding to this situation".

"We saw in the past, a federal government supported this, a provincial government in B.C. that supported this, and the work had begun". The company set a firm deadline of May 31 to have that request fulfilled. Kinder Morgan plans to spend $7.4 billion on the expansion.

It is not clear whether Ottawa's financial and legislative backstops would ensure the pipeline gets built.

"Kinder Morgan's pipeline is a huge threat to Vancouver's environment and economy".

In the wake of this, Kinder Morgan threatened to pack in the project altogether, with the Canadian government and Justin Trudeau having stepped in to ensure its continuation. Ottawa could buttress that support by enacting emergency legislation that would force the project to move ahead.

"This was the opening of the dance, there are still a couple more numbers to be played", he said of the political talks.

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"We've been calling for this for months", Conservative leader Andrew Scheer told reporters Sunday.

"The fundamental issue concerns the process for approving projects like this", he said.

June 29, 2017: The B.C. Liberals lose a no-confidence vote, clearing the way for NDP Leader John Horgan to become premier.

Leaders from the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, the Tsleil Waututh First Nation and the Squamish First Nation held an event for the media on Monday.

Those measures have the aim "of making sure that one, that this pipeline will be built and two, that all of the investors involved know that we take this seriously and they can be confident it will go through", said a source close to the government on Monday.

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

A failure to build pipelines over the last decade has had material economic impacts on the broader economy, analysts suggest.

The lack of pipeline capacity means Canadian crude trades at a discount to the US oil benchmark.

"We won't stop until this pipeline is dead", said Will George, who works with the Protect the Inlet campaign. "It's Canada's second largest export", Stubbs said.

"Part of the Canadian Free Trade agreement is an energy chapter - the rules are already in place for the free flow of electricity through Quebec", he said.

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