December 8, 2018 06:46 PM
NEB hearings are underway into the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion which would increase tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet.
Photograph By File
New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian has outlined at length the environmental concerns he has about the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, but what really bothers him is the escalating costs of the project and its weak business case.
In a submission to the National Energy Board, Julian criticized the government for claiming that the pipeline is making money pointing out interest on the $4.5 billion debt strips away any profit https://apps.neb-one.gc.ca/REGDOCS/Item/Filing/A96482
Julian called the Trans Mountain pipeline a â€œmoney-losing pipelineâ€� and said it was disrespectful to Canadians to say it was making money, referring to the governmentâ€™s recent â€œmini-budgetâ€� where the finance minister spoke about the pipeline, which is why he included the financial arguments in his NEB submissions.
Julian not only thinks too much was paid for the pipeline, but he points out the projected costs of expanding it are going up, and he estimates the purchase and constructions costs will come in at at least $15 billion.
â€œCanadian taxpayers, people who are struggling with huge family debt loads - weâ€™re seeing an erosion of pensions, huge debt for students trying to get to university â€“ and weâ€™re splurging now, according to estimates on construction and estimates on the purchase price, $15 billion on a pipeline that is no longer financially viable,â€� Julian said.
The NEB is holding hearings into the pipeline expansion, which runs from Calgary to Burnaby and into Washington State.
This summer the federal government announced it was buying the pipeline after the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the initial approval of the expansion saying there wasnâ€™t enough consultation with First Nations nor enough consideration of the impact of tanker traffic.
The hearings are set to wrap up on Feb. 22.