'Certainty is increased': Notley on federal plan to buy Trans Mountain expansion

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Finance Minister Bill Morneau told media that the next step will be to sell it off to the highest bidder once market conditions allow. While British Columbia has battled the project, Alberta has been a major backer, leading to increasingly testy battles between the two governments and calls for Ottawa to intervene.

Until now, Trudeau's government has used a soft tone to try to convince British Columbia to abandon its opposition to the pipeline, hoping not to alienate voters in the province before next year's general election. He insists there is no contradiction between fighting for the environment and defending Canada's oil industry and the economic benefits it brings. Because of pipeline bottlenecks and growth in output, the crude oil transported from northern Alberta has been selling at a substantial discount.

"We said we would meet the deadline".

"So we're in no different position than we were before trying to find the money to build the expansion, trying to find customers for the expansion, these were all things Kinder Morgan could not do as a private-sector company and now the government of Canada is going to try to do them?" said May. "We've agreed to a fair price for our shareholders and found a way forward for this national interest project".

The NDP government has opposed the pipeline expansion for environmental reasons and Horgan said he is still concerned about "catastrophic consequences" from a potential diluted bitumen spill.

He says what's important is that government is there to help.

On Tuesday, B.C. Premier John Horgan vowed to continue to fight the pipeline in court.

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A celebratory Notley told reporters the province's share would only be paid once the project is completed and oil is flowing, with Alberta receiving an equity share in the project in return. There is also objection to the high greenhouse gas emissions from the processing of tar sands. "We've seen an announcement here this morning, we need shovels in the ground, we need construction to start on this piece of infrastructure", Moe said.

Now the Canadian government is stepping in to make sure the pipeline is completed over the objections of environmentalists, especially those in the Vancouver area who are anxious about increased shipping traffic and the possibility of spills along the coast.

News that the federal government is buying the pipeline surprised Martin Tallett, president of Massachusetts-based oil market research firm EnSys Energy.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley cheered the news of the federal government's purchase on Twitter.

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making a historic mistake in buying the doomed Kinder Morgan project", Adam Scott, senior adviser at Oil Change International (OCI), said in a statement denouncing Trudeau's decision, which comes just weeks after fierce opposition from Indigenous groups and environmentalists forced the oil giant to halt construction operations.

Canada will also offer federal loan guarantees to ensure construction continues through the 2018 season as part of the deal with the company.

There is a long history of state involvement in large Canadian business enterprises.