Our View: How much is the bill for Trans Mountain?

Costs are going up for the massive oil pipeline project Ottawa plans to buy.

Kinder Morgan has just upped the bill that will likely fall to Canadian taxpayers.

With the federal government agreeing to take over the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan, Canadians were going to pay for the cost of not only the purchase, but the construction as well.

The purchase price was $4.5 billion, the construction cost has now ballooned from $7.4 billion to $9.3 billion.

The new information filed by Kinder Morgan also pushes back the date of completion by a full year, to 2021.

The sale isn’t finalized – yet – but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government hasn’t given itself much room to back out.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the project was “in the national interest.” It’s meant to keep Canada’s natural resource economy ticking along, particularly the economy of Alberta, hit by the decline in the price of oil some years back.

The first stages of the controversy over the pipeline have been primarily about environmental issues and Indigenous land rights. Though some First Nations have agreed to allow the pipeline to go through, others have been protesting, marching, and rallying.

But the underlying question, once Canada took it over, is will the deal actually be in the national interest?

At what point does the price rise too high? How long will it take to pay back an investment of this size? Given the volatile price of oil and the uncertain future of fossil fuels as a power source, the longer the payback period, the worse this deal looks for Canadians.

– M.C.

Just Posted

New Langley mall owners have multi-use vision in mind

H&M opens in Willowbrook Thursday, offset some of the space left vacant by the departure of Sears.

Pitt Meadows airport manager resigns

Guy Miller was just two months on the job

UPDATED: Controversial “covenant” now optional for TWU students

The move may allow the school to start its own law school, after a long legal battle.

Legendary umpire retiring after 40 years

Aldergrove’s Gord Hanly caps an outstanding 40 year career

Early success sees Clayton farmers’ market looking to grow

The first half of the season exceeded expectations, and now the market could go to once a week

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

UPDATE: ‘Faint fuel odour,’ ‘sheen’ seen on Fraser River beach after tug carrying diesel sinks

Tugboat carrying up to 22,000 litres of diesel sinks in Fraser River Tuesday morning

Column: Mother orca’s display of grief sends powerful message

The grief of this orca mother may not be visible anymore, but we must not forget.

Seven people with ties to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug bust

Delta police have secured 94 charges against seven people, including drug and firearm offences

Second measles scare this summer at YVR

An infected traveller flew out of Vancouver’s airport three times

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

PM Trudeau and federal ministers to meet on Vancouver Island

Cabinet retreat will be held in Nanaimo from Aug. 21-23

Most Read