Tories say pipeline impasse warrants House dropping everything to debate it

OTTAWA — The opposition Conservatives today will again ask for an emergency debate in the Commons on the Trans Mountain pipeline situation.

It is second time in two months the Conservatives have tried to get House Speaker Geoff Regan to agree the pipeline expansion situation merits a special debate to discuss the economic hit Canada will take and the plunging confidence investors have in this country as it struggles to get the big project off the ground.

In February, Regan’s office denied the request, saying it did not meet the criteria for an emergency debate but the Tories are asking again now that the company has halted all non-essential spending on the pipeline while Ottawa tries to reassure its investors that the project will move forward despite opposition from the government of British Columbia.

Conservative natural resources critic Shannon Stubbs wrote Friday to Regan giving notice, but will formally request the debate today.

This comes a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dispatched his finance minister to find a financial arrangement with pipeline builder Kinder Morgan to overcome investor jitters.

Trudeau is also looking at introducing legislation to reassert federal jurisdiction over the pipeline and says he is open to making additional environmental protections to satisfy British Columbia its coastline will be safe from an oil spill.

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