Feds have options to cut risk for Trans Mountain pipeline investors, says Carr

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Photo by Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

OTTAWA, O.N. — Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says Canada is considering several ways to reduce the financial risk for Kinder Morgan investors spooked by the uncertainty plaguing the planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Carr says the government is still examining its options, but won’t commit to a course of action before Sunday, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to meet with the premiers of British Columbia and Alberta.

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Ottawa’s options include buying a stake in the pipeline to both provide confidence the pipeline will be built and cash to compensate for nervous investors.

B.C. Premier John Horgan’s persistent threat to challenge the federal government’s jurisdiction in court has investors fearful that the project will be postponed.

Pipeline builder Kinder Morgan has halted all non-essential spending on the project until it gets assurances from Ottawa that the issues will be resolved. The federal government has until May 31 to respond.

Trudeau has put a lot of political eggs in the Trans Mountain basket, risking political capital among climate-change activists in search of middle ground that allows for pipeline construction along with environmental safeguards.

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