‘Facts and ev­i­dence’

Trudeau stands by Kinder Morgan de­spite chang­ing pol­i­tics in B.C.

Cape Breton Post - - News | Business - BY JOANNA SMITH

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau is stand­ing by the Kinder Morgan pipe­line project, even as the New Democrats and Greens in B.C. are team­ing up to fight it.

“The de­ci­sion we took on the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line was based on facts and ev­i­dence on what is in the best in­ter­ests of Cana­di­ans and in­deed, all of Canada,” Trudeau said Tues­day in Rome, where he held a joint news con­fer­ence with Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Paolo Gen­tiloni.

“Re­gard­less of the change in govern­ment in Bri­tish Columbia or any­where, the facts and ev­i­dence do not change.”

Trudeau said his Lib­eral govern­ment un­der­stands that grow­ing a strong econ­omy re­quires tak­ing lead­er­ship on both the en­vi­ron­ment and the econ­omy.

“That is what drives us in the choices we make,” he said. “We stand by those choices.”

His com­ments come as the anti-pipe­line Green party and NDP in Bri­tish Columbia an­nounced Mon­day they’ve come to an agree­ment that could cast doubt on the project’s fu­ture.

The lead­ers of the two par­ties say they’ve reached a deal that could see the for­ma­tion of a mi­nor­ity NDP govern­ment in the province.

Both have voiced their op­po­si­tion to the Trans Moun­tain ex­pan­sion, which would see the pipe­line run­ning from Edmonton to Burn­aby nearly triple its ca­pac­ity.

For Al­berta Premier Rachel Not­ley, the pipe­line stand of her fel­low New Democrats in B.C. threat­ens a project which she says is vi­tal both to her province and the national econ­omy. No province can veto the line, she said in a state­ment.

“It’s im­por­tant to note that prov­inces do not have the right to uni­lat­er­ally stop projects such as Trans Moun­tain that have earned the fed­eral govern­ment’s ap­proval,” Not­ley said.

“This is a foun­da­tional prin­ci­ple that binds our coun­try to­gether. There are no le­gal tools avail­able to prov­inces to stand in the way of in­fras­truc­ture projects that ben­e­fit all Cana­di­ans.”

Kinder Morgan went ahead Tues­day with its ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing for the ex­pan­sion. Shortly af­ter the open­ing bell, shares (TSX:KML) traded at $15.77, down 7.24 per cent from the $17 they were priced at in their ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing. The first trade was for $16.25.

Trudeau also praised the ben­e­fits that in­ter­na­tional trade can bring to a world where peo­ple are anx­ious about the fu­ture.

In a speech to Ital­ian par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in Rome, the prime min­is­ter held up the trade deal be­tween Canada and the Euro­pean Union as an ex­am­ple of an agree­ment that can both cre­ate new jobs and en­sure more peo­ple can ben­e­fit from eco­nomic growth.

“We are proud of it, and you should be, too,” Trudeau told 45 par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and other dig­ni­taries in the Sala della Regina, or the Queen’s Room, a ma­jes­tic com­mit­tee room at the Cham­ber of Deputies in the Ital­ian Par­lia­ment.

“It will cre­ate the kind of growth that ben­e­fits all our cit­i­zens, not just our wealth­i­est.”

The trade agree­ment, known as CETA, is now be­ing con­sid­ered by the Se­nate.

Trudeau thanked the Ital­ian par­lia­men­tar­i­ans who sup­ported the deal, and said it would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the sup­port of “like-minded” lead­ers like Gen­tiloni.

CP PHOTO/SEAN KIL­PATRICK

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau meets with Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Paolo Gen­tiloni at Villa Madama in Rome, Italy on Tues­day.

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