Justin Trudeau has said Canada’s government is prepared to use taxpayer dollars to push forward plans for controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.
The move comes despite protests and efforts by a provincial government to halt the project on environmental grounds.
Canada’s government had only 24 hours notice that it would be thrust into a political and economic crisis by an ultimatum from Kinder Morgan to resolve the impasse or it would walk away.
The deadline left Trudeau scrambling for options in a dispute that could damage his re-election chances.
Just last week, Trudeau interrupted a foreign trip to meet the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia, reiterating his government’s determination to see the project completed.
“The Trans Mountain expansion is a vital strategic interest to Canada − it will be built,” he told reporters after the meeting.
The prime minister said the project – which would nearly triple the flow of Alberta’s bitumen to the west coast – is in the national interest.
“It means good jobs in Alberta, they’ve suffered tough times. It means good jobs in BC, thousands of them as the pipeline is built.”