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TMX pipeline price spike 'mind-boggling' waste: CTF

Last Updated Feb 7, 2020 at 1:16 pm PST

Pipe for the Trans Mountain pipeline is unloaded in Edson, Alta. on Tuesday June 18, 2019. The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an attempt by British Columbia to assert authority over what can flow through an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says they expected a jump in the cost for the pipeline, but not by 70 per cent

The CTF director argues the money could have been spent elsewhere, blames the federal government

Delays and design changes have driven the cost to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The jump in cost was expected for the Trans Mountain pipeline, according to the Canadian taxpayers federation, but not by 70 per cent.

Now Kris Sims, CTF director, argues the $12.6-million being spent on the project could have been put to better use.

“That could build about six brand new Saint Paul’s hospitals. That money could buy nine new Pattullo Bridges, or build almost 300 new elementary schools,” she says. “To see this amount of money being needlessly wasted on a project that was in a private company’s hands for years is really disappointing.”

Delays and design changes have driven the cost to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion up from the $7.4 billion estimates made three years ago, according to the company.

RELATED: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion cost estimate rises to $12.6B

If the federal government had asserted its jurisdiction over the pipeline project, Sims says the delay of court cases could have been avoided. And if the government had done so, she says a private company would have been covering the costs instead of the taxpayer.

“Folks who are making these decisions in Ottawa, or not making decisions in Ottawa, won’t feel the brunt of it the same way the average hard-working taxpayer does. Unfortunately now, this is going to be our bill to pay. Let’s just hope they get this done as quickly as possible,” Sims says.

Ian Anderson, CEO and president of Trans Mountain, claims the pipeline will be making money right away.

“The cost of the project, as you know, is shared by Trans Mountain and our shippers, and they will tell you that this continues to be a project they very much want and need, one that will bring benefits to all Canadians,” he says.

To date, the pipeline project has cost is about $2.5-billion.

With files from the Canadian Press