Elizabeth May Pleads Guilty To Criminal Contempt After Kinder Morgan Protest

Darfield pump station

Darfield pump station

Canada will buy Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.'s Trans Mountain oil pipeline and its controversial expansion project for C$4.5 billion ($3.5 billion) in a bid to ensure it gets built amid fierce opposition.

In a statement, Kinder Morgan said it was alerted to an operational disruption through its internal safety system in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, said that this is an investment in Canada's future.

"We have agreed to a fair price for our shareholders and have found a way forward for this national interest project", said Steve Kean, chief executive officer of Kinder Morgan Canada and its parent, Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N).

Opponents of the Kinder Morgan project are concerned over the environmental impact of extracting more fossil fuels from Alberta's oil sands and the possibility of an oil tanker spill in Canada's Pacific waters.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May has pleaded guilty to a criminal contempt of court charge for violating a court-imposed protest-free zone at a Kinder Morgan work sit in Burnaby in March.

The Liberal government says it doesn't intend to be a long-term owner of the Trans Mountain expansion project.

"To investors considering Canada as a place to build big, important, transformative projects like the Trans Mountain expansion, we want you to know that you have a partner in Ottawa", Morneau said.

The Alberta government has agreed to cover any unexpected costs that arise during construction.

But the pipeline faces legal and regulatory challenges from BC that has delayed construction of the project.

May said Indigenous rights were not being respected in regards to the permits issued to twin the existing pipeline.

The company suspended all non-essential construction on the project in April, citing opposition from the B.C. government that put the viability of the pipeline in question.

Environmentalists also said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was taking Canada in the wrong direction and turning it into a fossil fuel company.

Ottawa is pressing ahead, firmly of the opinion there is no doubt about its jurisdiction.

Canada loses $15 billion every year on the sale of oil because the US remains its only export customer, resulting in a lower price, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau argues.

Editor's note: This article was updated with additional quotes and background at 11:05 a.m. on May 29, 2018.

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