Once the KM sale is complete, Canada will continue the TMX construction on its own, with a view to selling it down the road once market conditions are more favourable.
"And only this prime minister would call himself a climate change leader and then be willing to spend $15 billion on a diluted bitumen pipeline to China", Cullen said.
Gladu said it's particularly frustrating from Sarnia-Lambton's perspective after Ottawa denied funding for key projects.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau has hinted there'll be additional costs to the Trans Mountain project, but says they'll be defrayed by revenue generated by the pipeline itself.
In a conference call with reporters, B.C. Premier John Horgan said Ottawa can't blame B.C. for its decision to buy the pipeline, and the federal finance minister will have to answer to taxpayers "about how he's disposing of their hard-fought tax dollars".
Lynn Perrin, a local anti-pipeline activist with Pipe Up, says she wasn't surprised by the decision but she was nonetheless disappointed. Earlier this month, her government passed a law giving Alberta the power to limit oil and gas exports to other regions, which could cause gasoline and jet fuel prices to spike in B.C.
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.
"For years and years and years, we've had pipelines built across Canada and the United States". Instead, he said Trudeau did nothing to fast-track any constitutional references and never introduced legislation to "entrench and enshrine federal jurisdiction".
For those opposed to the pipeline twinning, including Indigenous leaders and environmentalists, the bailout probably came as a "big surprise, if not a shock", he said. The purchase includes the pipeline, pumping stations, and rights of way along the route.
"This is yet another step in building an energy future with Canadians where the environment and economy go hand-in-hand".
A Finance Department official says that as a Crown project in the national interest, Canada has special allowances to proceed that may not be available to a private-sector company.
New Brunswick Liberal MP Wayne Long said that while he's thrilled with the Trans Mountain decision, he'd like Trudeau to take another look at Energy East.
"That is how we pay for the services that we provide to our province". But the lack of transparency on the sticker price will make it harder to sell to Canadians dubious about any government getting involved in a business it knows nothing about - far less a government so recently accused of systemic "incomprehensible failures".
"This move sets a awful precedent and signals to other prospective investors that large projects such as pipelines can not be built by private industry in Canada", said Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.