Morneau to announce Ottawa’s decision on Trans Mountain early Tuesday

Morneau to announce Ottawa’s decision on Trans Mountain early Tuesday

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau will announce as early as Tuesday morning where the government plans to go with Kinder Morgan to ensure the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets built.

There are three options on the table, which include the government buying and building the expansion, then selling it once it’s complete; and buying it on an interim basis, then selling it to investors and leaving them to handle the construction.

Morneau has already unveiled the third option: leaving original project architect Kinder Morgan to handle construction, but covering any cost overruns incurred as a result of political interference.

The federal cabinet has been summoned to meet Tuesday morning, two hours earlier than usual, after which Morneau will discuss which of the three options the government has decided on.

Kinder Morgan gave Ottawa until May 31 to convince it to proceed by settling down jittery investors who fear a court challenge from the B.C. government that would make the project too great a liability.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has put a lot of political capital on the project, pledging over and over again that the pipeline expansion is in the national interest and will be built one way or another.

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