Finance Minister fails to say how much taxpayer money the government is prepared to spend, and doesn’t explain how the project can move forward if Kinder Morgan decides against it.
Bill (Moneybags) Morneau released the Trudeau government’s ‘plan’ for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, but his proposal may leave more questions than answers.
While Morneau said the federal government will indemnify the project against ‘politically motivated’ delays, there are some key details that were left out.
Morneau said the government would provide indemnification to any company that built the pipeline if Kinder Morgan backed out, but didn’t explain how that would work considering that Kinder Morgan owns the pipeline.
“If Kinder Morgan isn’t interested in building the project we think plenty of investors would be interested in taking on this project, especially knowing that the federal government believes it is in the best interest of Canadians and is willing to provide indemnity to make sure that it gets done,” said Morneau.
Yet, if the original pipeline owner didn’t want to complete the project, what would be the incentive for another company to pick it up?
Morneau also failed to provide a dollar figure for how much the government would spend.
And finally, Morneau left an interesting caveat in his remarks, saying the financial backing has to be ‘fair’ and ‘beneficial’ to Canadians. That’s the kind of statement a government could use to justify not spending money on the project if their political viewpoint changed.
How did it come to this?
Morneau’s press conference seems to have failed to strengthen confidence in the project going forward. An online poll on BNN Bloomberg shows just 29% saying Morneau’s comments make them more confident about Trans Mountain, 21% say less confident, and a full 50% say “his comments don’t sway me.”
The deeper issue is how we got here in the first place. If the federal government has full authority to get the project approved, then there shouldn’t be a need for any taxpayer dollars to be spent on it at all.
Because of Justin Trudeau’s weakness and failure to get tough, Canadian taxpayers may now be on the hook for billions of dollars – if the pipeline even gets built at all.
Photo – Twitter