Morneau on how Ottawa would handle Trans Mountain protests
Canada’s government will start a new round of consultations aimed at hashing out an agreement between indigenous groups that are competing for a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Officials will soon start reaching out to 129 indigenous communities affected by the pipeline, and will discuss ownership options including a revenue-sharing model or equity model, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Monday during an event in Calgary.
“What we’re trying to do is ensure that we have the financial, legal and business expertise from a broad number of the indigenous peoples impacted so that they can all be engaged and find a common approach to some form of investment,” Morneau said during a question-and-answer session at the event.
The government’s plans to expand the Trans Mountain oil pipeline cleared a key legal hurdle earlier this month after the Federal Court of Appeals ruled consultations with indigenous communities along the line’s route had been adequate. The line runs from Edmonton to a shipping terminal near Vancouver.
The decision spurred optimism the project, which would boost daily shipping capacity by 590,000 barrels, to a total of 890,000 barrels, will proceed, providing a rare bit of good news for the country’s ailing energy industry. Expanding the conduit would open the possibility of developing new markets for Canadian crude in Asia and reducing dependence on U.S. refiners.