Trudeau Government’s ‘Billion Dollar Buyout’ – How Canadian Taxpayers Bought A Climate-Killing Pipeline

A New Report, written by Political Economist & University of Alberta Professor Emeritus Gordon Laxer, and published by the Council of Canadians

“In the midst of a climate emergency, many of us are scratching our heads as to why the government would buy such a white elephant where the math doesn’t add up and the environmental consequences are devastating.” – report author Gordon Laxer

A News Release from the Council of Canadians, a leading social action organizations based in Ottawa, Canada

Posted June 5th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa – On the eve of Canada potentially ratifying the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and the Liberal cabinet deciding the fate of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a new report reveals that not only is this pipeline a dubious economic investment with disastrous environmental consequences, but it will be specially protected by the new NAFTA.

The new report, Billion Dollar Bailout, is published by the Council of Canadians. Written by Gordon Laxer, political economist, prolific author and professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, the report shows how the new NAFTA will allow the government to subsidize the pipeline further.

“In the midst of a climate emergency, many of us are scratching our heads as to why the government would buy such a white elephant where the math doesn’t add up and the environmental consequences are devastating.

It could add 13 to 15 megatonnes of carbon emissions, which is like adding almost 3.8 million cars on the road,” says Gordon Laxer, author of the report.

“The fact that Ottawa protected the Trans Mountain pipeline in Trump’s NAFTA, allowing subsidies to the pipeline shows that it is business as usual for the government. Its actions are inconsistent with its rhetoric of being a climate leader.”

A banner displayed by protesters in the spring of 2018, after Canada’s federal government made its multi-billion-dollar purchace of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project

The report:

  • Shows how the government overpaid for the pipeline by $1 billion and could be on the hook for $10 billion more for its expansion. 
  • Debunks the myth that the pipeline could serve Asian markets and shows how the pipeline is a questionable investment.
  • Discusses the climate and sovereignty impacts of the CUSMA’s energy goal of integrating Canadian oil and natural gas into the U.S. market.

Recently elected Alberta’s Premier, Jason Kenney, a former Harper government MP and close ally of Ontario Premier Doug Ford and current federal Tory leader and prime minister wanna be Andrew Scheer, is strong on approving and building pipelines for tar sands oil.

On June 18, the Liberal government is slated to decide whether it approves the pipeline expansion in the midst of a full-throttle attack by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney who supports the project.

“While Jason Kenney goes to war on behalf of the project, we need to remind the federal government that there is nothing to be gained by giving into him. The deal to support a carbon tax and a cap on oil sands emissions in exchange for the pipeline’s approval brokered by the previous Notley government is dead.  The federal government has an obligation to meet its environmental commitments, not Jason Kenney’s threats.”

The report and a handimation video on it can be found\billion-dollar-buyout.

Gordon Laxer PhD is the founding Director of the Parkland Institute.  Political Economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, Dr. Laxer is the author or editor of six books including: After the Sands. Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians, and Open for Business: The Roots of Foreign Ownership in Canada.

About The Council of Canadians –

Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization, mobilizing a network of 60 chapters across the country.

Through our campaigns we advocate for clean water, fair trade, green energy, public health care, and a vibrant democracy. We educate and empower people to hold our governments and corporations accountable.

Join us and be part of a global movement working for social and environmental justice. We believe a better Canada and a fairer world are possible. Together, we turn that belief into action.

The Council of Canadians is a registered non-profit organization and does not accept money from corporations or governments. Our work is sustained by the volunteer energy and generous donations of people like you.

For more information about the Council of Canadians and its advocacy work, click on –

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



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