Trudeau under fire as Trans Mountain pipeline opposition grows

He said it could also affect the availability of B.C. residents to work in Alberta's oilpatch and B.C. exports of electricity and natural gas to Alberta, while possibly reducing federal income taxes paid by B.C. residents.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been widely criticised for vowing to get a multibillion-dollar oil pipeline project built in the face of widespread, indigenous-led opposition that is mounting across Canada.

He said his government will bring in a bill in the coming days that could result in less oil moving to British Columbia.

In the midst of the uncertainty over the pipeline, Kinder Morgan announced they have suspended all non-essential spending on the project.

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The company's announcement ramped up the fight over the contentious project, which has pit the federal government and the province of Alberta against BC. Just 12 per cent said they weren't anxious about any of the options listed, including the impact of fossil fuels, risk of pipeline spills, the impact of pipeline construction and tanker traffic "detracting from natural beauty".

"This crucial resource project will expand export markets for Canadian resources and create thousands of good, middle-class jobs and no one should be standing in the way of those jobs and the families that stand to benefit", Carr said in a statement.

D'Avignon pointed out that Alberta and B.C. have the most integrated economies in Canada and, if fuel costs rise in B.C., it will affect the cost of trade goods going to Alberta and the cost to ship Alberta products such as grain from West Coast ports.

Trudeau declined to discuss the specifics of Ottawa's proposed financial buy-in, saying only that the feds "have engaged in financial discussions with the Kinder Morgan". "As our prime minister has said, this pipeline will be built", Carr said.

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Kinder Morgan has given the government until May 31 to solve the pipeline dispute. "He is blowing this into a national crisis because of his mishandling of this file", said Kennedy Stewart, an MP in Burnaby, BC, which recently hosted a march against Trans Mountain. Eby said that it would be illegal and unconstitutional.

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The Alberta government said Monday it might restrict shipments on the existing 300,000-barrel-per-day Trans Mountain pipeline to diluted bitumen, thus displacing the refined products and light oil it carries. That "may inadvertently impact the price that people pay for it on the other end of the train track", Notley said.

So far, the bill for Canada's decade-old pipeline/oilsands insurgency has been disproportionately borne by private companies and their shareholders.

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Kurl adds that political attempts to strong-arm BC - such as Alberta cutting back oil exports to the province or Ottawa withholding infrastructure dollars - appear to be less effective in getting those now opposed to the project to say "yes".

  • Jermaine Castillo