The federal government is exploring the potential for First Nations investment in the Trans Mountain expansion project as Ottawa and Alberta negotiate with Kinder Morgan Inc. to get the project back on track.
Several First Nations leaders who support the project in British Columbia say they would be interested in assuming an equity stake in it, depending on the terms. It’s unclear where the money would come from. Either the bands would have to supply the money themselves, or make an investment backed by the federal government.
Asked about the potential for Indigenous investment, federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr would say only that the government is pursuing all options in its discussions with Kinder Morgan.
Those options include the First Nations along the proposed pipeline expansion’s route taking an equity position, a source close to the negotiations said.
The participation by First Nations would constitute part of a broader financial backstop Ottawa and Alberta are looking to provide to Kinder Morgan in an effort to reduce the risk that political battles will result in further project delays and rising costs for its shareholders.