What’s the true cost of the Trans Mountain pipeline?

Every dollar that goes to this pipeline, is a dollar that would be better spent on solutions to the climate crisis and supporting people through the worst economic crisis of our lifetime.

In 2018, the Trans Mountain pipeline cost $5 billion. This past February it ballooned to $13 billion. Now, it could be well over $20 billion of public money. But, we don’t know the true cost because Trudeau’s government refuses to tell us.

Tell Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, to release the numbers and prioritize a green recovery from the pandemic.

Flood Freeland’s Phonelines

Tell us the true cost of the Trans Mountain Pipeline!


On September 14th, hundreds of people joined an e-rally to deliver over 8,500  petition signatures demanding that Trudeau and Freeland show us the true cost of TMX. Watch the recording here. 

Sign the petition

Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux,

We deserve to know the true cost of the Trans Mountain pipeline. You bought this project using public money, and the cost was already rising before COVID-19 hit.

Release the updated costs for this pipeline.

We need to know if you’re serious about your promises to resume Parliament with plans to “build back better” with a “green recovery.” Let the public decide between spending billions of our dollars on a climate-wrecking pipeline, or helping struggling people across the country by building back better after the COVID 19 pandemic.

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Why take action now? 

On Monday August 17th, Finance Minister Bill Morneau resigned. One of the fossil fuel industry’s closest allies in cabinet, Morneau was the architect of the decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline (TMX). Since COVID struck, he has been hiding the pipeline’s ballooning costs.

Less than 24 hours later, Trudeau shut down Parliament and announced that he’ll lay out a detailed COVID recovery plan on Sept. 23. He made big promises about how his government plans to help Canada “build back better” with a “green recovery.” There’s no green recovery with a multi-billion dollar pipeline. With Morneau out, we have a chance to find out the true cost of TMX. Tell Justin Trudeau to release the numbers and tell us how much of our public money he’s spending on TMX.

About Trans Mountain

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a new fossil fuel pipeline that would carry tar sands from Alberta to just outside of Vancouver, BC. Originally owned by Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan, the Government of Canada bailed the project out in 2018 when Kinder Morgan threatened to walk away, and we bought it for $5.4 billion.

Then, in early 2020, the Government released updated costs for the project. Now at nearly $13 billion and climbing, public support for the pipeline dropped as the public was told that we would need to foot this growing bill. This was all before COVID-19 hit, which no doubt has driven the cost of the project even higher.

Before Justin Trudeau bought the Trans Mountain pipeline, the project was such a bad bet that Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan walked away from the project. Here’s why:

  • Shaky Economics: Trans Mountain requires ongoing tar sands expansion to make sense, and that requires a high price of oil. Before the pandemic hit, and the price of oil collapsed, the economics for Trans Mountain didn’t make sense. They make even less sense now. Read More. 
  • Local Opposition: There has long been a large and loud opposition to Trans Mountain all along the route, where concerns of an oil spill are top of mind. The existing pipeline that this expansion is being built atop has – by the companies own reporting – leaked more than 80 times, as recently as June 2020. Read More.
  • Climate Change: The Trans Mountain pipeline will create millions of tonnes of carbon emissions, making it impossible for Canada to do it’s part in tackling the global climate crisis. Despite this, their own review of the project refused to consider the complete climate impact of the project. Thanks to all this, the pipeline faces opposition all across Canada, and the world. Read More. 
  • Indigenous Rights: Indigenous communities all along the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker routes have raised major issues with the construction of the pipeline since it was first proposed. These groups have challenged the project in court, and on the land, with opposition continuing to grow. Read More. 

Why is knowing the cost so important?

We’re in the midst of a pandemic and on the cusp of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Every dollar that is spent on the growing cost of this pipeline is a dollar that isn’t going to help people and communities weather this storm.

We also know that the more this project costs us, the less people want it. We need to know if Justin Trudeau is hiding these true costs because he’s worried that the public will reject the pipeline that his government bought back in 2018.

What does it mean to build back better from COVID-19?

Now a talking point of governments like Justin Trudeau’s, the idea of a build back better agenda from COVID-19 is based on the concept of a Just Recovery. In Canada that means a recovery effort that follows six principles: 

  • Put people’s health and wellbeing first. No exceptions
  • Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people
  • Prioritize the needs of workers and communities
  • Build resilience to prevent future crises, like the climate crisis. 
  • Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders
  • Uphold Indigenous Rights and work in partnership with Indigenous peoples