Home Economics Justin Trudeau to interrupt foreign trip to meet B.C., Alberta premiers over troubled Trans Mountain pipeline

Justin Trudeau to interrupt foreign trip to meet B.C., Alberta premiers over troubled Trans Mountain pipeline

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will break off a foreign trip to return to Ottawa for a meeting on Sunday with the premiers of two provinces arguing over an oil pipeline, his office said on Thursday.

The unexpected development is a sign of the pressure building on Trudeau to solve a dispute which could turn into a constitutional crisis.

Trudeau’s federal Liberals are pitted against the Pacific province of British Columbia, which opposes plans by Kinder Morgan Canada to almost treble the capacity of its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to the west coast.

Trudeau left Ottawa on Thursday for a nine-day trip, starting with a regional summit in Peru on Friday and Saturday.

“The Prime Minister will be returning to Ottawa following his visit to Peru to convene a meeting on Sunday, April 15 with the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia to discuss next steps for moving the Trans Mountain expansion project forward,” said the statement. It gave no further details.

Ottawa, which approved the project in 2016, insists it has jurisdiction. But the British Columbia government disagrees, citing the risk of a spill.

Kinder Morgan Canada, fed up with the delays, is threatening to walk away unless the dispute is settled by May 31.

Trudeau is scheduled to resume his interrupted trip on Monday when he travels to France and then on to London for a meeting of Commonwealth leaders.

 

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