Pipe for the Trans Mountain pipeline unloaded in Edson on June 18, 2019. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Opposition parties and environmental groups are urging the federal government to stop expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline, citing a poll saying Canadians are alarmed by the project’s cost.

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, NDP environment critic Laurel Collins, as well as the Greens’ parliamentary leader Elizabeth May, cited a poll on the rising price of the project in a news conference in Ottawa Wednesday.

According to a Nanos survey of 1,003 people, Canadians are increasingly uncomfortable spending public money to continue the project.

The federal government bought the existing oil pipeline between Alberta and the B.C. coast, and an unfinished plan to twin it, for $4.5 billion in 2018.

The latest tally says the total cost of the twinning project will be $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate.

The Liberals under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped in with public money when the company driving the project, Kinder Morgan, found the regulatory obstacles and legal challenges posed too much of a risk.

Some of those hurdles have since been cleared and the government says it intends to sell the completed pipeline at a profit once it’s done, reinvesting the proceeds into fighting climate change.

The Canadian Press

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