Ottawa To Reimburse Kinder Morgan Inc. For Any Losses On Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau says that Ottawa is willing to write a cheque to energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan Inc. in order to ensure that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets built as planned.

Speaking at a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday, Minister Morneau said the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will compensate Kinder Morgan, the pipeline expansion architect and builder, against any financial losses incurred as a result of British Columbia's attempts to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from proceeding.

“The indemnification would allow Kinder Morgan to finish what they started, what they received federal and B.C. approval to do,” the Finance Minister said Wednesday during a media briefing that outlined what Ottawa is willing to do to help the project proceed.

The Finance Minister spoke as Kinder Morgan Canada's stakeholders gathered in Calgary for their annual meeting. The assurances from Ottawa provide an incentive just weeks before the company's potential drop dead date. Kinder Morgan has threatened to abandon the project if a clear path forward isn't reached by May 31.

“As a government we need to ensure that the rule of law is respected and that investors have the certainty needed to complete the Trans Mountain expansion project because it's in the national interest to do so,” said Minister Morneau.

Minister Morneau said that if Kinder Morgan abandons the project, the federal government would reimburse any other investor that would like to take the project on against financial losses as long as the support is beneficial to Canadians. He wouldn't say if there was a cap on how much money Ottawa was willing to indemnify the pipeline's backer.

“This is an exceptional situation,” Minister Morneau told reporters. “We are still considering all options, both financial and legislative .... It's too early to speculate on the mechanics of any future agreement.”