Canada willing to back controversial pipeline
The Canadian government announced Wednesday that it will financially back the CAN$7.4 billion ($5.79 billion) Trans Mountain pipeline expansion even as a looming constitutional crisis envelops the project.
The pipeline will carry enhanced quantities of oil west from the Alberta oil sands through the province of British Columbia (B.C.) to the Pacific Ocean, where the oil would be shipped to Asian markets.
But the B.C. government has gone to court to determine if it can block the project over environmental concerns.
Meanwhile, Alberta has threatened to reduce oil and gas shipments to B.C. if the project is stopped.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed the pipeline would be built because it is vital to Canada's economy.
But Kinder Morgan, the U.S.-based company that is behind the project, has halted work due to the uncertainty surrounding the expansion.
At a press conference Wednesday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government would step in and financially back the project either with Kinder Morgan or with another company, if necessary.
"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 interests of Canadians and is willing to provide [financial] indemnity to make sure that it gets done," Morneau said.