Eugene Kung

June 20, 2018 - It has been a few weeks since the Canadian government’s stunning announcement that it would buy the embattled Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project from

Kinder Morgan for C$4.5 billion. Since then, hundreds (if not thousands) of articles, news stories, analysis, satire and commentary pieces have been produced. In this blog post we try to

answer some of the most common questions we’ve received about the purchase, and what it means moving forward.

Melanie Green

June 15, 2018

VANCOUVER—The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion may run into more obstacles that could cause serious delays, according to analysis by environmental law organizations.

Experts say the timeline for the pipeline’s completion could be pushed back by as much two years, with over 1,000 permits unresolved, no determined basic route and as many as 25 hearings yet to be conducted.

Justine Hunter

June 6,, 2018 - Ottawa’s decision to nationalize the Trans Mountain pipeline project will make it the owner of a spur line that feeds Alberta oil to Washington State’s refineries – and opens up a new front in Canada’s conflict with foes of increased oil capacity.

An environmental coalition in Washington State is gearing up to battle the new owner of the pipeline project, saying Kinder Morgan’s pipeline plans include additional capacity to ship oil to their jurisdiction.

Thomas Homer-Dixon and Yonatan Strauch

JUNE 1, 2018

Thomas Homer-Dixon is a CIGI chair at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and professor in the faculty of environment at the University of Waterloo.

Yonatan Strauch is a doctoral candidate in the school of environment, resources and sustainability at the University of Waterloo.

Hal Bernton
Washington Spur KM

This is a piece of the much larger acquisition of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, announced last month. An option to more than double the capacity of the small Washington spur line would create the potential for exports from the state — and huge pushback.

The Canadian government is purchasing  a vital link in Washington’s oil network — a nearly 70-mile pipeline spur running through Whatcom and Skagit counties that feeds crude oil to four refineries, according to financial-disclosure documents.

CHRIS HELGREN/REUTERS A sign warning of the subterranean presence of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline in seen in ranchland outside Kamloops, B.C. on Nov. 16, 2016.

The company spilled about 4,800 litres of medium crude oil at its Darfield station.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A spill from Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline late last month was 48 times larger than initially reported, officials said.

The spill volume reported from the company's Darfield station north of Kamloops on May 27 was revised to 4,800 litres from 100 litres, the B.C. Ministry of Environment said Sunday.

Bruce Livesey
The logic to Trudeau’s action may lie in an obscure and overlooked 2014 agreement to ensure China got a pipeline built

31 May 2018 
Why is Justin Trudeau buying a pipeline?

Canada’s government announced yesterday it was planning to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5bn. This pipeline – which transports oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the western coast of British Columbia – is at the centre of a bitter political war that shows no signs of abating.

David J. Climenhaga

If Canadians are going to have to pay the $10 to $15-billion cost of expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline, it's important they aren't bound by side deals that are not in the public interest made by the project's former corporate owner.

Andrew Nikiforuk
Cartoon by Ingrid Rice.

Trans Mountain existing assets valued at $550 million in 2007.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has proposed sacrificing Canadian taxpayers to bail out an uneconomic U.S. pipeline owned by former Enron executives.

Let’s parse the fantastic numbers, because they will affect all of us. And the bill for taxpayers won’t be $4.5 billion as Morneau claims, but much closer to $20 billion, says economist Robyn Allan.

Robyn Allan
An oil tanker leaves Vancouver Harbour under the Lion's Gate bridge. File photo by Jonathan Hayward, Canadian Press

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced on May 29 that the Government of Canada will buy the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system from Kinder Morgan at a price of $4.5 billion.


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