Canada's Trudeau set for emergency summit on pipeline crisis
OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will on Sunday try to tackle an escalating dispute over a oil pipeline project that threatens to undermine his political and economic agenda.
Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd wants to almost triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain pipeline from oil-rich Alberta to the Pacific province of British Columbia, which strongly opposes the idea on environmental grounds.
Trudeau - who says the expansion will benefit the economy and needs to proceed - is due to hold a emergency meeting at 10 am ET (1400 GMT) with the premiers of both provinces.
"This is not about punishing British Columbians, this is not about hurting Canadians, this is about bringing forward a project in the national interest," he told reporters in Peru late on Saturday before returning to Ottawa.
"We will do it in such a way that doesn't seek to further polarize or raise the temperature in this debate."
Although Trudeau's Liberal government could invoke emergency powers to ensure the project goes ahead, that would most likely anger voters in British Columbia and cost the Liberals support in a federal election in October 2019.