Trudeau mum on pipeline front even as May 31 deadline looms

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insists his government is going to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built, but still has nothing to say about how, even as Kinder Morgan’s deadline clock ticks ever closer to the end.

The pipeline deadline is just one of two big dates coming for the Trudeau government this week, which could turn out to be one of the most important of his first mandate as prime minister, especially if he wants a second one.

Kinder Morgan’s May 31 deadline to decide if it has enough certainty to proceed is now just 72 hours away and while Trudeau says financial discussions continue, he also says there is nothing yet to say publicly.

The government has said it is willing to cover the costs of budget overruns on the pipeline caused by political interference from British Columbia, but the company has not yet indicated if that will be enough to convince it to put shovels in the ground.

The government is also lobbying hard in the United States this week since President Donald Trump only exempted Canada and Mexico from steel import tariffs until Friday.

Losing either of these issues would be big problems for Trudeau’s government as it starts to move into election-year planning to seek a second mandate.

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