Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed his support for the Trans Mountain expansion project Friday vowing to fight on after the Federal Court of Appeal handed his government a ruling that threatens to derail the pipeline entirely.
Trudeau said the government is committed to building the pipeline the “right way” to satisfy the court’s demands.
Citing inadequate consultations with Indigenous peoples, Justice Eleanor Dawson nullified licensing for the $7.4-billion expansion Thursday, halting construction only days after shovels hit the ground on the 1,150-km project.
“We believe the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in the best interest of all Canadian. We are committed to upholding the national interests,” Trudeau said.
“We are taking the time now to understand the court ruling which addresses two things that are very important to this government. Getting the science and the environmental protections right and making sure we’re walking forward on a true path of reconciliation and partnership with Indigenous peoples. Yes, these are challenges but they have always been challenges,” he said.
Amid regulatory uncertainty, Kinder Morgan agreed to sell the existing pipeline and the expansion project to the federal government for $4.5 billion this spring.
Only minutes after the court issued its decision Thursday, the company’s shareholders in Calgary overwhelmingly approved the sale. The vote had been previously scheduled.
That purchase was finalized Friday with a price point of $4.5 billion.
Now, the Liberal government is the owner of a proposed pipeline project that could be subject to years of further review.