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Prime Minister, premiers meet over controversial Trans Mountain pipeline

Prime Minister, premiers meet over controversial Trans Mountain pipeline

"This is something that we continue to be committed to - working with Indigenous peoples on building a better, more sustainable future for all Canadians is at the heart of what this government does".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has put his Liberal government squarely behind the Kinder Morgan Trans Canada pipeline - angering environmentalists and empowering the oil-rich province of Alberta. "My responsibility is to defend our coasts and to defend the interests of British Columbians, and I'll do that until I'm no longer the premier", he said.

Despite the number of First Nations communities that have a stake in the project - whether they have negotiated benefit agreements with Kinder Morgan or have been protesting at the Burnaby construction site - there were no Indigenous leaders at the meeting on Sunday. The company said it would make a final decision on the pipeline by May 31.

She confirmed Alberta's interest in financially backing the Trans Mountain expansion, even going so far as buying out the $7.4 billion project.

At a press conference following the meeting, Notley said that the "constitutional crisis" she says creating costs almost $40 million a day.

Notley called B.C.'s actions a "considered attempt to create uncertainty" and said Alberta won't engage in "esoteric debates" meant to "to harass a project to death".

Speaking before the meeting, a federal government source said past examples of help included a bailout of the auto industry in 2009, federal loan guarantees for a hydro-electric project and Ottawa's investment in an offshore energy project. "We have important discussions ahead, and I'm looking forward to it", Trudeau said at the outset of the session with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan.

Horgan and Trudeau did agree to "address the gaps" in the $1.5 billion federal Ocean Protection Plan.

The B.C. premier said the three-hour meeting was civil but that he did not budge on his opposition to the pipeline.

"It will be built", Trudeau told reporters, as he predicted work on the pipeline would begin again by early summer.

Notley simply stated that the pipeline "will be built".

The prime minister didn't shy away from criticizing Horgan.

- Legislative options - "We are actively pursuing legislative options that will assert, plus reinforce, the government of Canada's jurisdiction in this matter, which we know we clearly have", Mr Trudeau said.

"I don't think we would be in this current situation if the British Columbia government hadn't continued to emphasize its opposition to the project", Trudeau said.