Trudeau Government Buys Kinder Morgan's Failing Pipeline

A81964-2_Appendix_C_-_Overall_Map_Showing_the_PPBoR_Segments_-_A5J2R1.jpgThe Trudeau government today committed all of us to buy the entire Trans Mountain pipeline system and expansion project. This has many serious implications for everyone in Canada.

Easy to see are the costs, which will stretch from the initial $4.5-billion purchase price to at least $11.9-billion to get through construction. That figure is based on cost estimates that Kinder Morgan did not update for their Kinder Morgan Inc and Kinder Morgan Canada AGMs, both of which were this month. Care to hazard a guess why they didn't update those estimates? That figure is also only correct if a Crown corporation can build something like the expansion project without cost overruns. (Kidding! Of course there will be cost overruns!)

Less certain are questions around the on-going NEB processes and conditions compliance. Some NEB conditions are specific to the company's contracts and financial arrangements. There are route hearings that won't be finished until at least October. With the government to take ownership in August, how will those NEB processes and commitments be transfered or replaced?

pa110223_sm.jpgAlso uncertain are the implications for Canada's international standing on climate and Indigenous rights and reconciliation, and the spill risks inherent in the 65-year old legacy pipeline that runs through ecologically and economically vital areas on its way from Northern Alberta to the Southwest corner of BC. Kinder Morgan has done repairs in hundreds of locations on the old pipe in recent years, in some places patching and in some places replacing the old pipe. That work has not been done in the populated areas of the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver where it will be most difficult and expensive and where the costs of a spill would be greatest.

Today's announcement seems like a very smart move for Kinder Morgan. Somehow the Trudeau government seem to think it's a good investment for Canadians. As for WaterWealth's role, to date the federal government have been able to keep the concerns of families in the path of the pipeline at arms length, pointing that outstretched arm at the company and NEB processes. Now as the (soon to be) new owners, will our own government be more responsive to these concerns than Kinder Morgan was?

One of the worst sections of the proposed expansion is its route across Chilliwack -- the community where WaterWealth was formed and from where we continue to operate.


Rather than take digging the new trench as an opportunity to make the system and our community safer, Kinder Morgan had planned to place the new pipeline alongside the old one where it would run;

  • across schoolyards where hundreds of children play each day and where we know even teachers are not all familiar with the emergency manuals Kinder Morgan provided;
  • through residential neighbourhoods as little as 6 metres from homes and where Kinder Morgan's hearing evidence said homes might have to be removed in the event of a spill;
  • across two of the region's most significant salmon spawning areas and a world renowned recreational fishing river;
  • upstream of a nature reserve that is home of a major Great Blue Heron colony and one of the last undiked wetland areas in the Lower Mainland;
  • dangerously close to drinking water wells of the City of Chilliwack and Yarrow Waterworks.

WaterWealth will continue to work to have the project route across Chilliwack changed and the old pipeline rerouted with it to a safer route where those risk areas are avoided and where maintenance and emergency access is improved. We continue this work with hope that our own federal government will be more responsive to legitimate concerns of residents than Kinder Morgan was.

You can help by writing to federal representatives to voice your concerns and to tell them that if we are to own this pipeline we demand that it be managed responsibly and decrease rather than increase the direct risks to Canadians.

MP Mark Strahl: [email protected]

Finance Minister Bill Morneau: [email protected]

Minister of Natural Resources James Carr: [email protected]

Prime Minister Trudeau: [email protected]


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commented 2018-06-03 11:23:31 -0700 · Flag
The highway 1 route through Chilliwack would minimize the danger to the Chilliwack aquifer, minimize repair costs if a breach in the pipeline were to occur, and (in my opinion) cost no more to implement than the presently planned route through the city. Why has Kinder Morgan so far refused to consider this relocation?
commented 2018-05-29 21:11:57 -0700 · Flag
The talks were last month original pipeline had 10 years more service before needing replacement another reason a new pipeline was needed so after a new pipeline is in place old pipeline is going to shut down in 10 years possibly unless other older pipelines are still in operation in Canada ..Tests are needed