Reaction to Kinder Morgan buyout

The Canadian government is buying the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion system from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion.

Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Kinder Morgan announced the news May 29.

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Here's a look at the reaction. 

“We believe this is the best way to protect thousands of well-paying jobs and the safest and most effective way to get our resources to world markets. Make no mistake, this is an investment in Canada's future."

— Bill Morneau, finance minister, Canada 

"Today, we've taken action to create and protect jobs in Alberta and B.C., and restart construction on the TMX pipeline expansion, a vital project in the national interest."

— Justin Trudeau, prime minister, Canada

"We are pleased to reach agreement on a transaction that benefits the people of Canada, TMEP shippers and KML shareholders. The outcome we have reached represents the best opportunity to complete TMEP and thereby realize the great national economic benefits promised by that project."

— Steve Kean, CEO, Kinder Morgan

"This is a major step forward for all Canadians. We have met the deadline. This project has more certainty than ever before. We won’t stop until the job is done!"

— Rachel Notley, premier, Alberta

"I continue to have concerns about potential consequences. Ownership of the project does not change my concerns."

— John Horgan, premier, British Columbia

“The Prime Minister is forcing Canadian taxpayers to pay for his failure. He has still failed to create certainty in the Canadian energy sector. And what’s worse, the Prime Minister is nationalizing a pipeline and he can’t tell Canadians the total cost. He would have Canadians believe that the only way to build the Trans Mountain pipeline is to use billions of taxpayer dollars, but it’s not. Four pipelines were built under the previous Conservative government without a dime of taxpayer money."

— Andrew Scheer, leader of the opposition, Canada’s Conservatives

"John Horgan picked a fight with Alberta and provoked a conflict with Ottawa over a federally-approved project. This is the embarrassing result. John Horgan's lack of leadership has cost British Columbia — politically and financially."

— Dan Davies, BC Liberal MLA, Peace River North

"The announcement to buy the Pipeline assets may be good for the proponents of the pipeline provided the federal government actually proceeds with the project. However, it does not answer the fundamental constitutional question about jurisdictions. Who has the authority to approve and ensure interprovincial projects proceed? I would have rather the federal government moved more quickly, earlier on in this debate, rather than just buy the problem. What happens with the next controversial project? Do we buy that as well? This is a slippery slope I do not want Canada to be on."

— Rob Fraser, mayor, District of Taylor

"While this may look on the surface to be an excellent approach, it still leaves questions in my mind about the situation with B.C. and the relationship between B.C. and Alberta. As well, what signal is sent to private investors?"

— Lori Ackerman, mayor, Fort St. John 

“We are pleased to see some movement toward the project proceeding. It is unfortunate that what was a $7.9 billion private investment in our country's resource sector, which would deliver billions of revenue to the coffers of all levels of government for many years to come, now requires the tax payers of the country to back stop. It is also important to note that this action does nothing to diminish the BC Government’s desire to use every tool available to kill the project and does nothing to improve Canada’s reputation of a good place to invest in resource development.”

— Nelson Stowe, president, Fort St. John & District Chamber of Commerce

"The advancement of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is very good news for our business and the Canadian economy. We look forward to furthering our construction plans as we learn more about the projected timeframes ahead of us."

— Sean Surerus, president, Surerus Pipeline

“We’re delighted thousands of skilled workers, their families, communities, and all Canadians will be able to benefit from a project of national significance that is now getting the priority and attention it deserves. However, as builders, we are also concerned that government intervention of this sort not become the norm. Canadians shouldn’t have to get into the pipeline business in order to get projects built.”

— Paul de Jong, president, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada

“This really is a sad day for Canada, and Premier Horgan is squarely to blame. In less than a year on the job, John Horgan has ripped-up the approval of the Trans Mountain project; created a constitutional crisis; started a trade war with B.C.’s closest neighbour; sent a chilling message to investors that Canada does not respect the rule of law; and forced Ottawa to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to build a project that the private sector was more than willing to deliver.”

— Chris Gardner, president, ICBA

"From an international investor perspective, I say they now see us having made it unbearable for a major global private sector entity to operate in Canada. But we turned around and found a solution that makes it look self serving. It costs us more and we lose international credibility as a country to invest in."

— Rafi Tahmazian, analyst, Canoe Financial

“No investors came to the table earlier this month when the government first unveiled its plans to indemnify Trans Mountain. It’s incomprehensible that the federal government is putting so much at stake to build a project that violates Indigenous rights, clashes with our climate commitments and makes no economic sense."

— Jessica Clogg, executive director and senior counsel, West Coast Environmental Law Association

“Investors have been shunning Kinder Morgan’s pipedream and Kinder Morgan has successfully blackmailed the federal government into providing an exit strategy. Kinder Morgan is laughing their way to the bank, and Canadian taxpayers have just been saddled with an expensive and outdated project that won’t get built."

— Caitlyn Vernon, campaigns director, Sierra Club BC

“When an oil company owned by the Government of Canada is dragging protesting Indigenous youth off their own territory to make way for its reckless pipeline and tanker project, I hope Prime Minister Trudeau is ready to answer for the fact that all he had to do was let this thing fail."

— Peter McCartney, climate campaigner, Wilderness Committee

“It’s long-overdue good news that Canada will get its resources to tidewater and stop selling to a single customer – but the fact that our federal government had to step in proves there’s still deep uncertainty around investing in Canada. Our nation must take a hard look at itself: The regulatory regime in Canada is broken.” 

— Val Litwin, president and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce

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