Canada's PM Trudeau pledges money, new law for pipeline project

Sean Kilpatrick  CP                       Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Lima Peru

Sean Kilpatrick CP Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Lima Peru

"I have instructed the minister of finance to initiate formal financial discussions with Kinder Morgan, the result of which will be to remove the uncertainty overhanging the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project", Trudeau told reporters, calling the line "a vital strategic interest to Canada".

The B.C. premier said the three-hour meeting was civil but that he did not budge on his opposition to the pipeline.

Speaking after his meeting with the duelling premiers, Trudeau insisted that the Trans Mountain pipeline would go through. "It will be built". If anything, the positions of the two NDP premiers appeared all the more entrenched when the meeting was over.

The head of Canada's largest business association hopes the Trudeau government won't invest in the pipeline and will use its legislative power.

Kenney warned new federal legislation can be challenged in court.

Trudeau declined to discuss the specifics of Ottawa's proposed financial buy-in, saying only that the feds "have engaged in financial discussions with the Kinder Morgan". He said the government would "pursue legislative options" to "assert and reinforce jurisdiction in this matter".

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Beatty had harsh words for the B.C. government's opposition to the pipeline project.

"We do not intend to issue updates or further disclosures on the status of consultations until we've reached a sufficiently definitive agreement on or before May 31 that satisfies our objectives". "If the federal government was serious about this, the simplest thing would have been two weeks ago, to pick up the phone and say, 'You know that meeting we scheduled to sign the ($4.1 billion) in infrastructure funds?" Approval came in consultation with the previous B.C. Liberal government, which gave its consent to the project after its own conditions were met.

Horgan emerged from the Ottawa meeting citing continued concerns over environmental risks in transporting diluted bitumen from Alberta through B.C.to Asian markets.

"What is incredible to me is that there's so much mythology that's part of the discourse - a lot of it coming from Rachel Notley, but some things are being parroted in the mainstream media analysis about what the various governments can or cannot do", said Lee, who is also co-director of the Climate Justice Project, a research partnership with the University of British Columbia's School of Community and Regional Planning.

"That is why we're at this point right now".

Horgan and Trudeau did agree to "address the gaps" in the $1.5 billion federal Ocean Protection Plan.

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"If we have to, it'll be our Standing Rock", he said. "It's something we very much are open to doing".

"Sure we can get tough, but it's just so senseless", he said.

"What the government of British Columbia is doing undermines the national interest, divides the country, thwarts the rule of law and severely undercuts our ability to attract sorely needed investment to Canada", he said.

Before Sunday's duelling news conferences were even complete, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was front and centre, accusing Trudeau of sitting on his hands for too long and frittering away investor confidence in Canada as a whole.

At the legislature Sunday, Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel said Ottawa already has the jurisdiction it needs. "Anything else leads to anarchy", said Day, an Alberta cabinet minister before entering federal politics. He noted Trudeau's father would not have stood for what the Horgan government is doing - despite his reputation as an oilsands opponent.

"It became very clear that the level of polarization around this debate required significant measures", Trudeau told reporters in Lima when asked why he made a decision to call the meeting between Notley and Horgan after the government initially resisted the idea.

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