The Liberal government has decided to resolve the Kinder Morgan pipeline deadlock by buying the pipeline outright. The cost? $4.5 billion in taxpayers money. The decision is the culmination of a months-long battle between B.C.’s NDP government, the Alberta NDP government and the federal government.
Trans Mountain Pipeline: A brief history
An application for the pipeline was first made in 2013 by Texas-based Kinder Morgan to the National Energy Board. The proposal called for twinning an existing pipeline that runs from Edmonton, Alta. to Burnaby, B.C. and would nearly triple its output from 300,000 barrels a day to nearly 900,000 barrels a day. In 2016, the B.C. provincial government said that it did not support the pipeline because Kinder Morgan did not provide a plans for oil spill prevention and clean up efforts.
Still, the federal government approved the pipeline in November 2016, on the condition that it meet 157 conditions related to its impact on Indigenous communities, environmental impacts and myriad other areas. The decision was seen as a possible way to stop building the pipeline, even if it was approved on paper. Numerous legal challenges launched against the pipeline by the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby as well as at least four different First Nations.
But Kinder Morgan pressed on with exploratory work, resulting in repeated protests by local residents, civic groups, Indigenous communities and even the Green Party’s sole MP, Elizabeth May. However, the company upped the ante on April 8, when it said it was suspending “non-essential” activities on the pipeline, triggering fears it could sue the country under NAFTA’s investor-state dispute tribunal.
But today, it appears the Canadian government relented, agreeing to pay Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion for the pipeline, which does not cover the cost of building the actual pipeline. Therefore, we wanted to ask: Do you think Canada should pay for the Kinder Morgan pipeline? Let us know in the poll above or the comments below!