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Trans Mountain protesters decry 'Justin Trudeau memorial pipeline' in Burnaby, B.C.
05 June 2018, 07:19 | Justin Tyler
Trudeau costs us for his energy-sector failings
Protesters said the announcement made the week a hard one, but many said they are still optimistic. Canada has the world's third largest oil reserves but 99% of its exports now go to refiners in the United States, where limits on pipeline and refinery capacity mean Canadian oil sells at a discount.
Due to civil society protests that drew thousands of people to the Kinder Morgan tank farm on Burrard Inlet for months and resulted in hundreds of arrests, Kinder Morgan in April suspended all "non-essential" spending on the pipeline expansion.
The new pipeline will twin with an already existing 65-year-old pipeline and carry 890,000 barrels of Albertan crude oil 1,150 kilometres daily to a new port in Burnaby.
These deals included requiring oil producers to pay even if the project was blocked by regulatory holdups.
The majority of British Columbians likely aren't pleased with Ottawa's plans to put tax dollars to work on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, according to a new poll from Research Co.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley also spoke with Trudeau on Tuesday, confirming her support for the pipeline expansion.
The federal government announced last week that it was purchasing the Trans Mountain Pipeline and related assets for $4.5 billion from Kinder Morgan Canada.
The protests led by indigenous First Nations will continue, organized to safeguard Burrard Inlet where the City of Vancouver is located, by the group Protect the Inlet.
"We still have no guarantee of this project proceeding", he said. "We will not stand down no matter who buys this ill-fated and exorbitantly priced pipeline".
Federal government investments in major energy projects include the Syncrude oilsands mine in Alberta and the Hibernia oilfield offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, said David Finch, a Calgary-based oil and gas industry historian and author.
Since being elected in 2015, the federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has sought to balance a national climate change plan - including carbon pricing, emissions caps and investment in renewable energy - with the continued development of the oil sands, one of the country's largest economic engines. All they needed was clarity and certainty from the government so they could get construction underway. "Our government is determined to defend British Columbia's interests within the rule of law and in the courts".
In British Columbia, opponents are also concerned about the potential a tanker spill could have on the province's coastline.
Now, Justin Trudeau has chose to use taxpayer money to buy the entire pipeline.
Though the expansion has received federal approval, it has seen numerous delays because of local opposition and legal challenges.
"Buying this leaky old pipeline is like going to a casino and gambling your children's education fund", she said. "We are absolutely shocked and appalled that Canada is willingly investing taxpayers' money in such a highly controversial fossil fuel expansion project", Grand Chief Stewart Philip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told the Toronto Star.
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