With the House of Commons adjourned until late September, I will once again be starting one of my favorite activities of the year, my summer listening tour.
This is an extremely important process for me as our Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding is geographically large with a diverse population.
Travelling to all areas within this riding and hearing the concerns from local citizens is critically important to the work that I do as a Member of Parliament.
One request that I have heard recently was for an update on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.
Since that time, I have had a few other citizens express similar requests and as a result I will share that update.
As you may recall, PM Trudeau announced that his Liberal Government had purchased the Trans Mountain Pipeline in 2016 for $4.5 billion from USA based Kinder Morgan.
The reason for this purchase was to spend an additional $ 7.4 billion to build the expanded Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The decision was controversial, however aside from the economic benefits and job creation, PM Trudeau also promised that “every dollar the federal government earns from this project will be invested in Canada’s clean energy transition.”
Since then, the project has faced several challenges and the construction costs, as well as the estimated timeline for completion, have increased significantly.
Recently our Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) reviewed this project and found that the construction budget has now ballooned to $21.4 billion, and the estimated completion date is not until late in 2023.
The more alarming conclusion from the PBO is, due to the significant increase in costs and increased construction timeline, the Trans Mountain Pipeline is no longer expected to produce any profit to the Government of Canada.
In fact, the PBO forecasts that Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project has a net current value of negative $600 million.
In other words, this investment is forecast to lose money for Canadian taxpayers.
It also means that the promise from PM Trudeau that “every dollar the federal government earns from this project will be invested in Canada’s clean energy transition.” will not generate those dollars to fund those projects.
It will have the opposite effect as fewer tax dollars will be available.
My question this week is:
Are you satisfied with how the Trudeau Liberal government has been handling the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.