Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Another Crown corporation

Gasoline is destined to become a lot more than $2 per litre.

Gasoline is destined to become a lot more than $2 per litre.

Instead of allowing a private sector corporation with billions of shareholder dollars to invest, at zero risk and cost to Canadian taxpayers, the Kinder Morgan (KM) Trans Mountain pipeline will instead be built by our federal government, at a significantly higher cost than the projected $7.6 million.

KM already owns the right-of-way, and as an investor-owned and operated pipeline, costs to build and maintain will always be under very close and intense scrutiny, but that is not where we are going with this project.

As Trudeau progressively is dis-connecting from his role as our prime minister, he is also losing a grand opportunity to create and develop a comprehensive and desperately needed National Energy Policy.

We will instead end up with what we absolutely do not need, another Crown corporation, with an as yet undefined price tag.

This new Crown corporation will become Trudeau’s latest and a massive political screw-up, as he also is allowing a couple of rookie premiers to undermine his statutory authority as the prime minister, only to try and save a couple of Liberal MPs in B.C.

This new Crown corporation will also be obliged to reimburse KM billions of dollars spent to perform environmental and engineering studies and conduct public forums, including years wasted and millions of extra dollars spent, ‘consulting’ First Nations, who for some bizarre reasons have been left out of that process.

The time is also long overdue to define, in infinite detail, what is required to have ‘been consulted,’ as it has become a multi-billion-dollar cloud of uncertainty hovering over every single proposal to explore and extract natural resources that belong to all of us.

It’s inevitable, that Trudeau will award those First Nations a significant compensation package, warranted or otherwise, for allowing this pipeline to occupy what they without any doubt will insist is ‘their’ holy lands, and that will be in the form and character of billions of dollars in royalties, they will be collecting long after this new pipeline will have delivered its last barrel of oil.

The federal government will also have to negotiate with KM to obtain what will become a very comprehensive, costly, and life-long lease agreement to access and accommodate this government owned pipeline on KMs private and exclusive right-of-way. A final detail remains to be resolved, and that is to find a name that is appropriate, inclusive, and relevant – PetroCan II – PetroPipe – or just plain stupid.

Andy Thomsen

Peachland