Indigenous communities offered stake in Trans Mountain

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Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has initiated communication with Indigenous communities to offer them an equity stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. The federal government will provide a special-purpose vehicle that enables individual community buy-ins and access to capital to secure their stake.  The community stakeholders will jointly exercise governing rights.

Meanwhile, Canada’s energy regulator has rejected Trans Mountain’s request to fast-track a near-threefold hike in shipping fees to energy companies, meant to help the embattled pipeline offset its ballooning costs. Trans Mountain, a Crown corporation, had submitted an application to the Canada Energy Regulator in June that included toll rates that had increased from $4 a barrel, set in 2013, to close to $11 per barrel now. The increases are based on the latest cost estimate for the project, which has risen six-fold from around $5 billion to $30.9 billion.

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