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Trudeau government expected to buy Kinder Morgan pipeline, begin construction this summer

A major decision on the controversial 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan pipeline is expected this morning.

The Globe and Mail reports, “Federal officials were locked in negotiations with Kinder Morgan late Monday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepared to meet with cabinet ahead of the company’s fast-approaching [May 31] deadline to decide the fate of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.”

The Canadian Press adds that there appears to be three options on the table:

1- “the government buying and building the expansion, then selling it once it’s complete”

2- “buying it on an interim basis, then selling it to investors and leaving them to handle the construction”

3- “leaving original project architect Kinder Morgan to handle construction, but covering any cost overruns incurred as a result of political interference”

Bloomberg now reports, “Buying the pipeline outright has become increasingly likely and is now the most probable option for the Canadian government, [a person familiar with the talks] said, speaking on condition of anonymity… A purchase would mark a stunning development for Trudeau’s government — effectively nationalizing the country’s highest-profile infrastructure project until an operator can be found.”

That article adds, “Canada first offered earlier this month to indemnify the expansion project but is now likely to buy it, along with the existing pipeline… The Canadian government plans to sell the project — the existing line and its expansion — as soon as is reasonable once it’s guaranteed that it will be built, the person said.”

The Trudeau government is expected to announce its decision at 10 am EDT.

CTV reports, “Shortly before the announcement, [Finance Minister Bill] Morneau will brief his fellow cabinet ministers on the decision at 7:30 a.m.”

Construction on the pipeline is then expected to start this summer.

CTV notes, “Construction has begun on some of the modifications for the company’s marine terminal in Burnaby, where Trans Mountain’s oil is loaded onto tankers for export. The pipeline itself has been awaiting final route approvals, and construction permits. The May 31 deadline was set with construction season limitations in mind.”

CBC further notes, “Morneau has reached an agreement in principle with Kinder Morgan that a senior federal official says will allow the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to go ahead this summer.”

The Council of Canadians has been opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline since August 2011 by participating in marches and civil disobedience actions, supporting chapter activism, circulating petitions and more. We will continue with our opposition and resolve that this pipeline will not be built.

To read Council of Canadians campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue’s blog ‘5 Reasons to #StopKM’, please click here.