Canadian government purchases Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion

Canada’s government has announced plans (CBC) to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline and related infrastructure from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion (US$3.5bn). 

(Read more about the Trans Mountain pipeline in this WikiTribune story: “Canada torn between First Nations and oil companies as pipeline dispute escalates.“)

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The pipeline carries crude and refined oil from Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is wholly owned by the Canadian division of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and has been in use since 1953.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the project was an investment in the country. “Make no mistake, this is an investment in Canada’s future,” he told a news conference.

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Critics have argued that the pipeline expansion does not make economic sense, and contradicts the Canadian government’s environmental commitments. The project is also the subject of legal action from First Nations communities.

Writing in the Guardian, investigative journalist Bruce Livesey suggests that if the expansion is not completed the Canadian government could be subject to legal action under Canada’s trade deal with China. 

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