Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, opposition says 

click to enlarge ederal opposition parties are promising new information about the costs of the Trans Mountain pipeline in a morning news conference in Ottawa. Pipe for the Trans Mountain pipeline is unloaded in Edson, Alta., Tuesday, June 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
  • ederal opposition parties are promising new information about the costs of the Trans Mountain pipeline in a morning news conference in Ottawa. Pipe for the Trans Mountain pipeline is unloaded in Edson, Alta., Tuesday, June 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

OTTAWA — Opposition parties and environmental groups are urging the federal government to stop expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline, citing a poll saying Canadians are alarmed by the project's cost.

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, NDP environment critic Laurel Collins, as well as the Greens' parliamentary leader Elizabeth May, cited a poll on the rising price of the project in a news conference in Ottawa Wednesday.

According to a Nanos survey of 1,003 people, Canadians are increasingly uncomfortable spending public money to continue the project.

The federal government bought the existing oil pipeline between Alberta and the B.C. coast, and an unfinished plan to twin it, for $4.5 billion in 2018.

The latest tally says the total cost of the twinning project will be $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate.

The Liberals under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped in with public money when the company driving the project, Kinder Morgan, found the regulatory obstacles and legal challenges posed too much of a risk.

Some of those hurdles have since been cleared and the government says it intends to sell the completed pipeline at a profit once it's done, reinvesting the proceeds into fighting climate change.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2020.

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