Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets second green light from Ottawa

Image: Kinder Morgan Canada

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is giving the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion a second lease on life.

Tuesday's long-awaited decision to reapprove the contentious project comes nine months after the Federal Court of Appeal ripped up the original federal approval, citing incomplete Indigenous consultations and a faulty environmental review.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is sympathetic to concerns about the environment and the need to transition to cleaner sources of energy, but says that in order to fund that transition, Canada needs to take advantage of its natural resources while they are still needed.

As such, the Liberals will require that every dollar in federal revenue coming from the project be reinvested in clean energy and green technology.

That includes an estimated $500 million a year in new annual corporate tax revenues once the pipeline is in service, as well as any revenues from the promised sale of the entire expanded pipeline back to the private sector.

Trudeau says construction will restart this construction season, but there is no specific date yet. Trans Mountain Canada will have to apply a second time for all the necessary federal, provincial and municipal permits before breaking ground.

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