Canadian Government Approves Multibillion Pipeline Expansion

Pipes are seen at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain facility in Edmonton Alta. Thursday

"The Trans Mountain Expansion is projected to inject $46.7 billion into the Canadian economy and will provide much-needed revenue to fund numerous social, health and education services that Canadians, British Columbians, and Kamloopsians rely on", wrote the Chamber.

Supporters say it is a vital conduit to help Canadian oil reach higher-priced global markets, but opponents, including environmental and indigenous groups and some municipalities, argue the risk of a spill is too great.

The decision to approve the project a second time comes nine months after the Federal Court of Appeal ripped up the original approval, citing incomplete Indigenous consultations and a faulty environmental review.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney expressed doubt about the Trudeau government's commitment to the pipeline, saying he would not celebrate Trans Mountain's approval until oil is flowing through the expansion.

November 29, 2016: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approves the Trans Mountain expansion, part of a sweeping announcement that also saw approval of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline replacement, but the end of its Northern Gateway project. "We are in the exact same place as we were in 2016 way back when he approved this project the first time".

It remains to be seen if the Trudeau government will have the conviction to support this project in the face of continued litigation and delay tactics by opponents.

Many indigenous people see the 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) of new pipeline as a threat to their lands, echoing concerns raised by Native Americans about the Keystone XL project in the U.S. Many in Canada say it also raises broader environmental concerns by enabling increased development of the carbon-heavy oil sands.

"It was essential to show the world that our country can get major infrastructure projects approved", said CEO Tim McMillan of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers at an afternoon news conference.

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Trans Mountain will be applying to the National Energy Board within days for a licence to resume work on the project, which was halted last August when the Federal Court of Appeal rescinded regulatory approval.

"What happens to qwe 'lhol mechen [orcas] will happen to us", Raynell Morris with the Lummi Nation said in a statement. Elected in 2017, Horgan has promised to fight the pipeline tooth and nail and has mightily resisted the project, which the federal government bought for $4.5 billion from Kinder Morgan in May 2018.

The expansion is expected to nearly triple the current capacity of the pipeline from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels.

The Liberal government previously approved the expansion in 2016 but that decision was overturned past year after a court ruled the government had not adequately consulted indigenous groups.

All the tax profits from the project will go towards clean energy ventures, Trudeau said.

Tax revenues and proceeds from the eventual sale of the pipeline - which Ottawa purchased a year ago for Can$4.4 billion (US$3.3 billion) from Kinder Morgan to salvage the troubled expansion project - would be invested in "Canada's transition to clean energy". "I think (Evraz) is not at where they want to be so I believe it's still good news", said Day.

A federal advisory panel says if travelers are going to need a federally acceptable piece of ID for domestic flights, it should be easier to get one.

From Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia they speak to oil workers and First Nation activists, politicians and indigenous leaders, those who are vocal supporters and those who have set up barricades and blocked pipeline construction.

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