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QuickQuotes: Ottawa's $4.5B Trans Mountain play welcomed, condemned

Last Updated May 29, 2018 at 2:40 pm PDT

Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks at the National Press Theatre during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. The federal Liberal government is spending $4.5 billion to buy Trans Mountain and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core assets, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Tuesday as he unveiled the government's long-awaited, big-budget strategy to save the plan to expand the oilsands pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – Some of what was said Tuesday about the federal government’s plan to spend $4.5 billion to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline and all of Kinder Morgan Canada’s core assets, part of a strategy to rescue a proposed expansion of the oilsands pipeline.

“It must be built and it will be built.” — Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

“Make no mistake: this is an investment in Canada’s future.” — Morneau.

“We believe this is the best way to protect thousands of well-paying jobs and the safest and most effective way to get our resources to world markets.” —Morneau.

“The majority of Canadians support this project. The majority of Canadians understand that we are in a transition to a clean-growth century and we will not get there overnight. But we will get there.”— Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.

“The prime minister is forcing Canadian taxpayers to pay for his failure. He has still failed to create certainty in the Canadian energy sector. And what’s worse, the prime minister is nationalizing a pipeline and he can’t tell Canadians the total cost. He would have Canadians believe that the only way to build the Trans Mountain pipeline is to use billions of taxpayer dollars, but it’s not. Four pipelines were built under the previous Conservative government without a dime of taxpayer money.” — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

“Climate change leaders don’t spend $4.5 billion dollars on pipelines. We need a government with a vision that takes our future seriously.” — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on Twitter.

“The project was never in Canada’s national interest, but the government of Canada and the Trudeau administration got itself painted into a very tight corner by insisting it was in the national interest, insisting it must be built, insisting it would be built.” — Green party Leader Elizabeth May.

“As of today, this is the most certainty that this project has ever had. That certainty is absolutely critical.” — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

“The federal government has made a choice, a decision that was motivated by the decisions of a private company that gave a deadline, not to me, not to the people of British Columbia, but to someone they characterized as stakeholders. The federal government has responded and that’s their business.” — British Columbia Premier John Horgan.

“The decision raises some real questions … the federal government has done something out of necessity. The message is that our system here is broken and that it’s going to repel private sector investment if we don’t do something to fix it. So we need to fix it.” — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister.

“Not only will it enable our producers to get their product safely to global markets, where they can get a fair price, but it will also create thousands of jobs in communities across Canada. Additionally, it will generate billions in economic activity.” — Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“The project has always been in the national interest. CEPA is concerned about the implications of the government’s financial intervention for future transmission pipeline projects. We do not believe that this outcome will instill investor confidence in Canada.” — Chris Bloomer, president and CEO, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.

“The federal government’s decision to purchase Trans Mountain is a totally reckless use of public money. It leaves Canadians on the hook for a risky pipeline that lacks a viable business case, flouts Canada’s commitment to Indigenous rights and reconciliation, and faces intractable legal, political and regulatory obstacles.” — Patrick DeRochie of Environmental Defence.

“This is the moment in history where Justin Trudeau has revealed that he never cared about Indigenous rights or reconciliation. The cost that they did not calculate in their $4.5 billion purchase is that Indigenous front lines will stop this pipeline.” — Will George, Tsleil-Waututh member and spokesperson for the Coast Salish Watch House.

“This decision will haunt the Trudeau government. Those of us who knocked on doors for him will not forget that he took billions of dollars from Canadian families to buy out an oil pipeline that violates Indigenous rights and our commitments on climate change. Thousands of people have committed to stand with Indigenous leaders to stop this pipeline. All hell is about to break loose in British Columbia.” — Tzeporah Berman, deputy director, Stand.earth.