Pipe­line sup­port­ers give Kinder Mor­gan some love

Edmonton Journal - - CITY - RYAN RUMBOLT RRum­bolt@post­media.com

Nearly 100 sup­port­ers gath­ered out­side the con­fer­ence cen­tre host­ing the Kinder Mor­gan an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in down­town Calgary on Wed­nes­day to show their un­wa­ver­ing sup­port for the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line amid un­cer­tainty about whether the ex­pan­sion project will go for­ward.

James Rob­son, spokesman for rally or­ga­niz­ers Canada Ac­tion, said the group is ded­i­cated to show­ing Cana­di­ans’ sup­port for the project.

“(Kinder Mor­gan) needs to have our sup­port and, more im­por­tantly, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment needs to know that they need to step in be­cause Cana­di­ans want this pipe­line, Cal­gar­i­ans want this pipe­line,” he said.

“Peo­ple all over Canada want this built.”

The rally started shortly after Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau said in Ot­tawa that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to get­ting the pipe­line built even if Kinder Mor­gan pulls out of the con­tro­ver­sial project.

Rob­son said an­other en­tity would “have the same prob­lem (Kinder Mor­gan) have now” if the com­pany pulls out and the com­pany “might as well get the project built in the man­ner it was ap­proved.”

Kinder Mor­gan stopped all nonessen­tial spend­ing on its $7.4-bil­lion project after de­lays from the B.C. gov­ern­ment, en­vi­ron­men­tal groups and pro­test­ers.

Morneau said the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has a “clear role” to play in quelling the “po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated in­vest­ment risk” posed by con­tin­ued de­lays from B.C. Premier John Hor­gan’s “de­lib­er­ate at­tempts to de­rail the project.”

Rob­son said Morneau’s com­ments plac­ing all the blame on Hor­gan con­ve­niently “takes the pres­sure” off Ot­tawa to bring Alberta and B.C. to an agree­ment.

“The fed­eral gov­ern­ment have shown they are will­ing to with­hold money to other prov­inces when they don’t play ball, and Bri­tish Columbia isn’t play­ing ball,” Rob­son said, adding it’s time Ot­tawa takes “tan­gi­ble ac­tion” against B.C.

“There’s a wide va­ri­ety of op­tions and they’re not tak­ing them,” he said.

Kinder Mor­gan gave the fed­eral gov­ern­ment a May 31 dead­line to bro­ker a deal but, in a news con­fer­ence from Ot­tawa on Wed­nes­day, Morneau said he be­lieves there are “other pri­vate sec­tor ac­tors that would be will­ing to move for­ward” with the project if Kinder Mor­gan pulls out.

DAR­REN MAKOWICHUK

A group called Canada Ac­tion or­ga­nized a gather­ing of about 100 pipe­line sup­port­ers in down­town Calgary on Wed­nes­day.

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