Mike Hudema, a climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace Canada, said the government "has just signed up to captain the Titanic of tar sands oil pipelines, putting it on a collision course with its commitments to indigenous rights and the Paris climate agreement".
Morneau has already unveiled the third option: leaving original project architect Kinder Morgan to handle construction, but covering any cost overruns incurred as a result of political interference.
Ferguson's conclusion was that Canada has a "broken government system".
Hours earlier, the federal Liberal government revealed that it will spend $4.5 billion to buy Trans Mountain and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core assets.
Alberta's premier says the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion "has more certainty", after the federal finance minister announced plans to buy the project Tuesday morning. "The only (way) in our estimation that that can be done is through exerting our jurisdiction by purchasing the project".
There is a long history of state involvement in large Canadian business enterprises.
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"This is an extremely sad day for Canadian taxpayers", Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said during question period. And there is something in that.
"We are purchasing the assets; we are purchasing the existing assets, and the investment in the twinning of that pipeline, and those assets are what is required for us to move forward with the expansion", he said. But so, perhaps more by accident than design, is the fact that the feds may have snapped up a bargain.
Morneau says it is not the Government of Canada's intent to be a long-term owner of the pipeline and it will work with investors to transfer the project and related assets to a new owner to ensure the project operates in the public's interest.
Once the sale is complete, Morneau said, Canada will continue the construction on its own, with a view to eventually selling the whole thing down the road, once market conditions would allow it to get the best price.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wanted the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline extension built in the worst possible way, and now he's done it.
The decision represents "a massive, unnecessary financial burden on Canadian taxpayers", Canadian Taxpayers Federation Federal Director Aaron Wudrick said.
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Kinder Morgan has valued the project at $7.4 billion. In the decade before 2015, not one pipeline was built to tidewater.
The federal government can in theory step in and disallow any provincial laws that British Columbia might use to block the pipeline, but this provision in the Canadian constitution has not been used since the 1940s. It is deeply unpopular with the province's environmentalists and many indigenous groups, and Mr Horgan has been fighting to delay its construction over regulatory concerns.
Notley's New Democrats have been pushing for Trans Mountain since they were elected in 2015. It may well have to do crack down on civil disobedience in ways it would have preferred not to.
Trudeau also spoke with BC Premier John Horgan following today's pipeline decision.
His support for the pipeline came with the proviso that it be part of an overall framework that included putting a price on carbon.
The purchase, for 4.5 billion Canadian dollars, ensures that the Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries oil from Alberta to a port in a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, will begin a planned expansion this summer.
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This government opposition has put B.C.at odds with neighbor Alberta, which would be the main beneficiary of the expansion and led to an exchange of threats and legislative moves that has aggravated bilateral relations to a freezing point. The court challenge was filed about two weeks later.