Canada's oil pipeline purchase sparks protest in Seattle

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Steel pipe to be used in the oil pipeline construction of Kinder Morgan Canada's Trans Mountain Expansion Project sit on rail cars at a stockpile site in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada May 29, 2018.

In an extraordinary move aimed at boosting Canada's tar sands industry in the wake of sharp environmental opposition, the Canadian government said Tuesday that it will spend $3.5 billion to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline and triple its capacity.

The Liberal government is hoping to entice another company to take over the project but if not, cabinet ministers have said they will move ahead with the pipeline expansion at a cost likely to top $7 billion, all at taxpayers' expense.

Has the announcement that the federal government is purchasing the Trans Mountain Pipeline triggered you to change how you would vote in the next election?

They vowed to keep protesting the $4.5-billion Trans Mountain pipeline that carries crude and refined oil from Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.

The planned expansion of Trans Mountain would almost triple the capacity, running from Alberta's oilsands to the Pacific province of British Columbia, which is opposed to the project.

However, the British Columbian government said Tuesday it wasn't backing down.

Export Development Canada will finance the purchase, which includes the pipeline, pumping stations and rights of way along the route between Edmonton and Vancouver, as well as the marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C., where oil is loaded onto tankers for export.

"Whether she wins (the election) that's another story, but had this not happened, she was toast", said Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Kinder Morgan is expected to resume work on the pipeline project this summer while the sale is finalised. "We will not stop until the job is done", Notley said. The challenge for Ottawa - and Bay Street - is figuring out how much of the long-promised pipeline expansion must be built before the perceived risks begin to drop away and buyers step up with attractive offers.

The big environmental groups are already announcing that the new project is doomed. Steven J. Kean, the president of Kinder Morgan, called it a "great day for Canada, for our customers and for our employees". Trudeau is gambling billions of Canadian taxpayer dollars on an oil project that will never be built - a project that Kinder Morgan itself has indicated is "untenable" and that faces more than a dozen lawsuits, crumbling economics, and a growing resistance movement that is spreading around the world.

According to Hudema, the movement opposing the project " will not back down" following the government's purchase. Also, the 26 lenders that Kinder Morgan negotiated with agreed to exempt the pipeline company from penalties on loans if the project was delayed or obstructed because of political problems.

The pipeline's expansion faced a tenuous future as lawsuits mounted from British Columbia and indigenous people.

A Finance Department official says that as a Crown project in the national interest, Canada has special allowances to proceed that may not be available to a private-sector company.