Federal Government Purchases Trans Mountain Pipeline
Posted on May 30, 2018 in News Release
NSBA disappointed in Trans Mountain purchase; believes political obstacles and risk still exist
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saskatoon, SK – Earlier today, the federal government announced plans to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion in an attempt to ensure that the pipeline is built free from politically motivated delays. However, the NSBA strongly believes that this purchase will not alleviate delays and obstruction from British Columbia and is a risky use of taxpayer money that may have damaging effects on Canada’s investment climate.
The NSBA notes that the obstacles with the Trans Mountain project are not financial, but rather political. It is the NSBA’s belief that no matter how much public money is committed to the project, political opposition to the project will continue. Additionally, this project has become symbolic of the investment climate in the country. The effective nationalization of this project risks further damage to Canada’s reputation as a good place to invest or embark on large projects.
“We see the opposition of the provincial government in British Columbia as the primary obstacle to this pipeline,” said Keith Moen, Executive Director of the NSBA. “Their opposition is based on their political principles and they do not seem to have concern for the money that may or may not be lost by taxpayers. Therefore, we have strong reservations about the Federal Government purchasing the project outright. By doing so, it creates a dangerous perception that the only way to complete such a project is for the government to financially guarantee it.”
The NSBA does give the federal government credit for taking action before the May 31st deadline imposed by Kinder Morgan. The NSBA also commends the government for negotiating a purchase price below the $7.4 billion value of the project.
“The federal government is entrusted with the responsibility of bringing the country together for projects that are in the national interest,” said Moen. “Trans Mountain presented an opportunity for the federal government to prove to Canadians and the world that its current leadership maintains the competence required to fulfill this responsibility. It’s unfortunate that the federal government’s cumulative actions have resulted in this seeming to be the only palatable option to keep the project alive, but at least it’s still alive.”
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The NSBA is a member-driven and focused business association in Saskatoon that serves, promotes and protects business throughout Saskatoon and beyond. The NSBA has recently rebranded to be known simply by its acronym – NSBA – to reflect its current membership which has grown considerably beyond Saskatoon’s north end. The NSBA has developed its mandate and reputation by being a relevant, topical and effective organization that interacts with all levels of government and industry on a variety of issues for the betterment of our local economy.