Trudeau government ready to indemnify Kinder Morgan for Trans Mountain project – A bad investment for taxpayers and the climate
Montreal, Wednesday, May 16, 2018 – Équiterre condemns today’s announcement by Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau to indemnify Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan in case of financial losses, should its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project fail.
“The federal government has decided to put the financial risk of the Trans Mountain project squarely on the shoulders of Canadians,” lamented Steven Guilbeault, Senior Director of Équiterre, an environmental organization who recently launched a petition against any financial involvement by Ottawa in the project.
Money can’t buy everything
In terms of pollution, the increase in tar sands production that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project would allow is equivalent to adding three million cars on our roads. The additional carbon pollution would seriously compromise Canada’s ability to meet its Paris Climate commitments. “Despite this support from Ottawa,” added Mr. Guilbeault, “the project is still facing major opposition from many First Nations communities, the government of British Columbia, citizens in the Vancouver area, and it’s also the subject of many legal proceedings.”
Today’s federal government announcement of financial support is in response to a letter sent by Kinder Morgan to Prime Minister Trudeau on April 8, announcing that the company would temporarily suspend all non-essential construction work - an ultimatum designed to get the government to resolve the financial uncertainty caused by the political turmoil around the project.
“It’s obvious to us that the Government of Canada has given in to this Texan company’s blackmail,” stated Sidney Ribaux, Executive Director of Équiterre. “In our opinion, it’s an empty gesture, a desperate attempt to revive a project that is destined to fail because of legal obstacles and general opposition to it.” A recent Nanos poll shows that the majority of Canadians are opposed to the use of public money to finance the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Minister Morneau has not disclosed the amount of the compensation offered to Kinder Morgan, but stated that negotiations are ongoing in order to respect the May 31 deadline to resume construction.
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Media Relations, Équiterre
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