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Critics question Freeland’s claim Trans Mountain pipeline project commercially viable

Summary

Despite Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s announcement last week that the federal government would spend “no additional public money” on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, supporters and opponents of the deeply divisive project both say it is unlikely Ottawa can sell […]

Despite Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s announcement last week that the federal government would spend “no additional public money” on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, supporters and opponents of the deeply divisive project both say it is unlikely Ottawa can sell the pipeline without providing some kind of financial backstop to potential buyers.

Freeland’s statement came late on Feb. 18, the same day Trans Mountain Corp. announced the total project cost had increased to $21.4-billion, and that CEO Ian Anderson would be retiring. Freeland (University-Rosedale, Ont.) said the project was still commercially viable, but that from now on it would have to rely on private financing.

“We’re not surprised by the latest costs. Those of us that have been close to it, that’s been the rumoured number for a long time,” said Paul Poscente, an industry veteran who serves as the executive director of Nesika Services on a voluntary basis. Nesika Services is a not-for-profit group set up to advise the Indigenous communities that will

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