16 billion ways to kill Trans Mountain

Dogwood heads to Ottawa with new poll results showing public support dropping as costs skyrocket. Could this kill Trans Mountain?

Last week, Kai and I went to Ottawa armed with powerful polling results, a crack team of allies and thousands of you standing with us. We had meetings lined up with MPs and a press conference room booked — but honestly, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Check out this video of our adventures in the capital to find out what happened next.

On Wednesday afternoon, on the sidewalk opposite the Parliament buildings, my phone pinged and I opened it to read these headlines: “Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline”, “Opposition calls on the government to abandon Trans Mountain”, “As cost rises, support falls for Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, poll finds”.

I did a little dance, because right then and there it became clear how much things can change in a few short weeks.

Just days after the Federal Court of Appeal’s disappointing decision dismissing Indigenous court challenges against Trans Mountain, the government released an updated construction cost estimate: $12.6 billion. When you add to that the purchase price of the existing pipeline, that’s $16 billion taxpayer dollars being pumped into a climate-wrecking pipeline.

As it turns out, it’s not just you and me who think this is an outrageous use of public funds: the majority of Canadians agree. We commissioned a poll from Nanos Research that shows only 16 per cent of Canadians think the government should spend more than $12 billion taxpayer dollars to build Trans Mountain.

In other words, the public support Trudeau needs to press ahead with this toxic project evaporates once Canadians learn its true price tag.

In Ottawa, we put these game-changing poll results in the hands of MPs from four political parties. We shared new research showing Trans Mountain’s higher costs make it even more likely to become a taxpayer-funded white elephant. And we held a joint press conference with Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet, Environment Critic Laurel Collins from the NDP and Elizabeth May from the Greens. Our shared message: Stop borrowing billions of dollars to build Trans Mountain, and invest in renewable energy instead.

Opposition parties sound the alarm on rising costs of Trans Mountain, Feb 19 2020

Later that day, we sat in the public gallery of the House of Commons watching opposition MPs grill Justin Trudeau, telling him to stop wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on a “sinking ship”.

In a decade-long battle like the fight to stop Trans Mountain, often months will pass when not much happens. When it feels like we’re treading water or worse, slipping below the surface.

Not this week. Right now, I feel the political ground shifting beneath our feet. A door has been opened, leading to a different path on Trans Mountain, and it’s our job to show politicians they can walk through it.

Construction has only barely begun. It’s time change course while we still can, and invest in renewable energy instead of a climate-wrecking white elephant.

Sign the petition asking Trudeau to stop borrowing billions to build Trans Mountain.


12 Responses to “16 billion ways to kill Trans Mountain”

  1. Hendrik de Pagter says:

    Everyone’s math is off. Initial Killer Morgen purchase price was C$4.5 BILLION. Add to that the C$12.6 BILLION in construction costs for twinning the toxic dilbit pipeline. I get C$17.1 BILLION. Why is everyone so cavalier with my taxpayer C$1.1 BILLION?

    • Kai Nagata says:

      Hi Hendrik, the $4.5 billion purchase price included about 1 billion in construction and regulatory costs incurred by Kinder Morgan before the sale.

  2. Shirley A. Nobbs says:

    Trans Mountain needs to be stopped now.

  3. Alan Heikkila says:

    My father fed my family working in Canada’s forestry sector. I know Canada was built on its resources and I want all provinces to prosper, but timber is closing up shop and oil sands bitumen is a risky investment for numerous reasons. Low oil prices and mounting costs create economical risk and public opposition. In the long run, TMX is a waste of innovation when we should be getting ahead of our Paris Targets to ease the INEVITABLE transition to a low carbon economy in 2030 and beyond. Canada must clean up its energy, transport and agriculture systems and move towards sustainable, carbon neutral alternatives and not subsidizing a money-losing twilight industry.

  4. Steven Milller says:

    This “investment” doesn’t make economic sense. The price of oil is dropping way below what is profitable for Alberta tar sands oil. Please no more subsidies for the dinosaur tar sands oil. Makes way more sense to invest in non polluting renewable resources. Help Alberta become a leader in green energy.

  5. Barbara Berger says:

    I think things have definitely turned a corner with the price of oil sinking so low since March 9.

  6. BC’s needs for gas and oil are more than met by existing pipelines. the expansions and new pipelines are strictly for Foreign Oil Corporations to take Canada’s resources elsewhere. They provide a few temporary jobs for Canadians.

  7. Elma Gavin says:

    Stop using taxpayer dollars to bolster fossil fuel production and corporate profits from climate changing industry. NOW! Instead, support innovations to build sustainable energy solutions.

  8. bdruid says:

    There are no compelling reasons for Trudeau to continue to press for building TMX. It would just be throwing good money after bad. We recognize that Trudeau promised his crony Kenney and the oil interests in Alberta that he would build it; but he could just follow Trudeau Liberal standard operating procedures and do as he has done with most of his promises- Renege.

  9. Al Kline says:

    Right on! Then consider the Canadian government comments that the oil imports into Asia will allow their industry to use a cleaner fuel than the coal used at present. Instead it would allow them to create more dirty industries.

  10. A McIntosh says:

    Dissenting opinion: There will be more than enough toll revenue over the long life of the pipeline to give a good return to the investment. Not building the pipeline simply means handing over billions to Saudi, Russia and other nations who care nothing about the environment or human rights. It will make no different to global CO2 emissions. Trudeau made a good call on this one.

  11. Lothar Schiese says:

    BINGo! But there is more to this slight of hand. The pipe we bought is 66 yrs old AND has NEVER been inspected. No one comments on this, PLUS the current returns on the operation of the pipe is not what it should be due to our government letting something in the agreement SLIDE. Wish I could remember exactly what, I think a little digging will find it. We have a real screw up happening with the funding for infastructure spending as it is all borrowed monies, which comes through commercial banks at prime rates. From 1935 to 1974 ALL infastructure spending was FINANCED through the Bank of Canada at 0% interest and since then we have been paying the banksters. PET just happened to be PM at the time. Current debt $712 BILLION @ $3,162,100 per hour! This way beyond fucked! Canadians are SLAVES to the banksters courtesy of the very government that WE pay for through taxes. Ain’t this just peachy keen! https://theindependent.ca/2017/01/06/book-review-beyond-banksters-by-joyce-nelson/ KINDLY READ AND RAISE A LITTLE HELL or keep paying & paying & paying…paying to the banksters. I hope this organization reads this and creates a stink!

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