The federal government’s plan to sell at least part of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project to Indigenous owners has entered a new stage, with Ottawa indicating it’s prepared to provide financial backing to First Nations and Métis communities to help them acquire ownership stakes in the pipeline, and one group that had been pursuing a stake leaving the field.
In a recent letter to Indigenous groups, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Ottawa would support Indigenous communities with access to capital, meaning communities would not need to risk or use any of their own money to participate.
The letter also states that taking part in the federal government’s sales process would not prevent Indigenous communities or Indigenous-led proponents from participating in a commercial divestment process to acquire additional equity in Trans Mountain.
The letter, dated Aug. 2, was not publicly released by the government but a copy was reviewed by The Globe and Mail, and previously reported by Bloomberg. Since the federal government bought the pipeline in 2018, several groups have emerged as potential Indigenous ownership ventures, including Calgary-based Project Reconciliation,
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