Trans Mountain pipeline costs soar to $30 billion 

March 10, 2023
Pipeline construction skyrockets, en route to being largest boondoggle in Canadian history

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (VANCOUVER, BC) — Earlier today, Trans Mountain Corporation revealed in a statement that construction for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is now projected to cost approximately $30.9 billion. This represents an $8.7 billion increase from just over a year ago when the company last issued a cost update, which is larger than the $7.4 billion that the whole project was projected to cost when the federal government purchased the project.

The pipeline was purchased by the federal government in 2018, despite the lack of Indigenous consent for the project and despite it being in direct conflict with Canada’s commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement to keep global temperatures from rising above the 1.5 deg Celsius threshold.

“At $30.9 billion, this pipeline has become perhaps the largest boondoggle in Canadian history,” said Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director for “For that kind of money, the federal government could have more than doubled the amount of renewable electricity generated in the country. Instead, we are going to be saddled with an unprofitable pipeline.” 

The pipeline project is years behind schedule, and needed at least $10 billion in loan guarantee from the federal government to continue funding construction. Analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office and Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) have previously called into question whether the pipeline is viable at this construction price, and predicted that taxpayers will have to continue to pour money into the project if it is to be completed. With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set to release its next UN report in just over a week, instead of seizing this opportunity to show climate leadership, Canada is demonstrating that it is increasingly out of touch with scientific consensus that fossil fuel infrastructure is not in line with a climate-safe future.

“This pipeline never made sense,” said Biggs. “It’s risky for the climate, for coastal communities, and it violates the rights of Indigenous peoples. But at this price, no private sector buyer will ever take on this risk, which means that generations of Canadians will be stuck paying off Justin Trudeau’s debt.”

The existing Trans Mountain pipeline is already a major environmental and public health hazard with a long history of disastrous spills. In June 2020, 50,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a pump station located above an aquifer that supplies the Sumas First Nation with drinking water. The Trans Mountain Expansion Project would multiply these risks tremendously. If Canada moves forward with projects like Trans Mountain, the country is well on a path of further entrenching its dependence on fossil fuels while accelerating the climate crisis.


Media contacts: 

Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil & Gas Program Director,, +1 778 882 8354 (Pacific Time)