An environmental group has accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland of lying to Canadians about a high-profile pipeline project.
On February 18, Freeland declared that the federal government would not spend any additional money on the $21.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion.
However on May 10, Politico reported that the cabinet has approved a $10-billion loan guarantee on April 29.
Stand.earth pointed out today (May 11) that the loan is being administered under the Canada Account at Export Development Canada, which a federal Crown corporation.
The environmental group also noted that loan guarantees are considered to be subsidies by the World Trade Organization.
The Ministry of Finance told Politico that no additional public money is going into the project, so this does not signal a change of course.
“This is just more evidence that this pipeline is not viable, and that is way past time that the Liberal government allowed this project to be cancelled," Sven Biggs, a spokesperson for Stand.earth, said in a news release.
The parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Freeland is Terry Beech, who represents Burnaby North–Seymour. The pipeline goes across part of his riding.
Additional tanker traffic from the tripling of diluted bitumen shipments will travel through the waters off North Burnaby and North Vancouver's Seymour area.
According to a 2014 study for the City of Vancouver, the Trans Mountain project will generate about 71.1 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases annually through refining, distribution, and combustion.
That exceeds the entire total of greenhouse gas emissions generated in British Columbia in 2019.
The loan guarantee comes in the wake of UN secretary-general António Guterres accusing the globe's largest polluters of committing "arson on our own only home".
Since that comment was made in February, Canada has approved the Bay du Nord fossil-fuel project off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“In a world that is already reeling from forest fires, floods and the other very real impacts of climate change, Canada needs leadership that is fully committed to taking on the greatest challenge we have ever faced,” Biggs said. “We are long past the time where governments can be talking about fighting climate change in one breath, and approving new oil extraction projects or propping up a failing pipeline in the next.”