Canada's Trudeau defends pipeline project

The Alex Fraser Bridge was one of the most congested in Metro Vancouver the Independent Mobility Pricing Commission found

The Alex Fraser Bridge was one of the most congested in Metro Vancouver the Independent Mobility Pricing Commission found

Trudeau said while his government is committed to working with both premiers to find a solution, "we must recognize that they remain at an impasse which only the government of Canada has the capacity and the authority to resolve".

OTTAWA-A high-profile meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers of Alberta and B.C. over the future of the contested Trans Mountain pipeline is underway on Parliament Hill.

Horgan said he'd received assurances from Trudeau that he would not "punish" British Columbians over their government's objections, meaning Ottawa isn't going to be withholding federal funds from an effort to get the Horgan government on side.

More than half the countries with which Canada has free trade agreements are in the Americas, Trudeau said, and the hope is to add a deal with Latin America's largest trading bloc, Mercosur, to that tally.

"We are going to get the pipeline built". Trudeau said Friday that he condemns the attack "in the strongest possible terms".

Notley spoke after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premier of British Columbia, who opposes plans to nearly triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline from oil-rich Alberta to the west coast.

Speaking before the meeting, a federal government source said past examples of help included a bailout of the auto industry in 2009, federal loan guarantees for a hydro-electric project and Ottawa's investment in an offshore energy project.

"The federal government can't buy off the opposition to this failing pipeline. the resistance continues to grow", said Mike Hudema of Greenpeace Canada.

Trudeau also says federal legislation is coming that will "reassert and reinforce" the fact that the federal government is well within its jurisdiction to approve the $7.4 billion project and ensure it goes ahead.

It is not clear whether Ottawa's financial and legislative backstops would ensure the pipeline gets built. We are demonstrating not just that we are exerting and understanding the responsibilities that come with the federal government, but demonstrating as well what we have long held - and what Canadians understand: "that the environment and the economy must go together".

"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".

Trudeau gave few details on the legislation he intends to introduce.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by the Canadian division of Texas-based Kinder Morgan would dramatically increase the number of oil tankers traveling the shared waters between Canada and Washington state.

"It has gone through the hoops and, quite frankly, if co-operative federalism means we never, ever, ever make a decision, well I don't think that's a co-operative federalism that Canadians think is in their best interests", she said.

The lack of pipeline capacity means Canadian crude trades at a discount to the USA oil benchmark.

On Monday, Alberta is expected to move ahead with emergency legislation aimed at exacting economic pain on B.C., potentially including restrictions of crude shipments into British Columbia, the province has said.

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