OTTAWA — The Liberal government is being hoodwinked by Houston-based Kinder Morgan to get its contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built, Elizabeth May charged Monday.
“Kinder Morgan has executed an extremely effective piece of blackmail,” the Green Party leader spoke to reporters as members of Parliament returned to the House of Commons after a two-week constituency break.
May said she’s “astonished by the degree of mass hysteria” sparked by Kinder Morgan’s April 8 statement announcing it is suspending all non-essential spending related to the $7.4-billion project.
The company blamed British Columbia’s NDP government, stating that since the election in June 2017, the province had “been clear and public in its intention to use ‘every tool in the toolbox’ to stop the project.”
Kinder Morgan threatened to walk away from the pipeline, if an agreement can’t be made to move the project forward before May 31.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acted on the company’s ultimatum. After detouring back to Ottawa from a 10-day foreign trip to meet with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan, Trudeau announced the government will use financial and legislative measures to ensure the project moves ahead.
The pipeline is of “vital strategic interest to Canada,” Trudeau said. “It will be built.”
But May said the business arguments to support and push the project ahead are weak. And she questioned the diversion of taxpayer dollars into a project that may not be financially viable.
“How on earth is that an appropriate place to put public resources in 2018?” said the Saanich—Gulf Islands MP.
Pipeline has become ‘albatross’ around PM’s neck: May
The Federal Court of Appeal has yet to rule on an impending case involving Indigenous communities that could throw the project’s timeline off course, she noted.
“Everything you’ve been told about getting billions of dollars into the Canadian economy by finishing this project is highly dubious,” May said. “There is no case for it.”
The claim the project will create thousands of jobs is “highly questionable,” she added, pointing out how refinery jobs would be lost if unrefined cheap bitumen goes out of country for processing.
“I think we’re in the grips of a kind of passion play drama taking place for the benefit of Alberta voters to see who can be more dramatically more pro-pipeline: Rachel Notley or Jason Kenney.”
Notley and Horgan both have their political faiths riding on the project. Horgan’s NDP campaigned on a promise to do …
Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel