Morneau Says Feds Would Back New Trans Mountain Investors
If Kinder Morgan wants to abandon plans to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, there are plenty of other investors out there willing to take up the cause—and they will have the backing of the federal Liberal government, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says.
The government is willing to “provide indemnity” to any investors, be they the project’s original architects or otherwise, to ensure the controversial Alberta-B.C. project is able to proceed, Morneau told a news conference Wednesday.
The announcement, coming on the very day when the company’s Calgary-based Canadian operation is scheduled to hold its annual meeting, bore the hallmarks of an effort to ratchet up the pressure in advance of Kinder Morgan’s May 31 deadline.
Amid mounting opposition from the B.C. government, environmental groups and protesters, not to mention skittish investors, the company last month halted all non-essential spending on its $7.4-billion plan to double an existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.
“We are willing to indemnify the Trans Mountain expansion against unnecessary delays that are politically motivated,” Morneau said—a reference to B.C. Premier John Horgan’s ongoing refusal to allow the project to proceed, despite federal jurisdiction.