Trans Mountain Pipeline Was Too Risky for Kinder, Trudeau Says

(Bloomberg) -- Uncertainty around the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion made it “too risky” for Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd., but the federal government will get it built and find a buyer, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Trudeau said he had to step in largely because British Columbia sought to upend federal jurisdiction. The federal government announced earlier Tuesday it would buy the pipeline, terminal and expansion project for C$4.5 billion ($3.5 billion) with an aim to ensuring it’s built, then resold.

“The project became too risky for a commercial entity to go forward with it; that’s what Kinder Morgan told us,” Trudeau said during an interview with Bloomberg’s Stephanie Flanders in Toronto ahead of a Group of Seven summit that Canada will host next week. "We are going to ensure that it gets built so that we can get our resources to new markets.”

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u is aiming to advance both environmental protection and economic development -- a delicate balancing act where the pipeline battle has become something of a ground zero. The government initially offered to indemnify the project, before ultimately buying it.

Trudeau said Tuesday he’s confident there will be buyers for the pipeline, and that many of the legal challenges “disappear” if the federal government owns it.

“We don’t intend to be in the pipeline business for the long-term,” he said. “It became a question of, is Canada able to actually get big projects built, and therefore we’re demonstrating that yes, we will do what we need to do to get projects that we properly approved built.”

READ MORE: Canada Would Rather Have No Nafta Than a Bad Deal, Trudeau Says

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