On June 18, 2019, the Government of Canada approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, subject to 156 conditions. This approval is an endorsement that the Project is in the best interest of Canadians and triggers the regulatory and commercial steps that now can be completed to get shovels in the ground.

Here's a look back at how we arrived at this point:

May 23, 2012 — Project announced

Kinder Morgan Canada announces the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in response to requests from oil shippers to help them reach new markets by expanding the capacity of North America’s only pipeline with access to the West Coast. Shippers make binding 15- to 20-year contracts to participate in the Project. A follow-up announcement on January 10, 2013 sets the capacity of the expanded system at 890,000 barrels per day. Thirteen shippers including Canada’s largest oil producers such as Cenovus and Suncor are participating.

June 29, 2012 — Fees outlined

Trans Mountain applies to its regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), for approval of the contract terms and toll structure for shippers moving product through the expanded pipeline. Tolls and terms are for 20 years. The NEB approves the Application on May 16, 2013.

December 13, 2013 — Application filed

Trans Mountain files a 16,000-page Facilities Application for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project with the NEB. The eight volumes, contained in 37 binders measuring more than two metres in height, include details of the pipeline route and facilities, marine transportation and engineering components, as well as an assessment of the environmental and socio-economic effects.

The NEB names 1,650 participants for the hearing for the Project — including 400 Intervenors and 1,250 Commenters. Trans Mountain responds to more than 400 questions from the NEB and more than 17,000 from Intervenors through seven rounds of Information Requests. There are also four Indigenous Oral Hearings in locations in BC and AB and a 13-day Oral Hearing held in Burnaby, BC and Calgary, AB where 67 Intervenors registered to speak.

In addition to the NEB process, Trans Mountain has conducted a robust public engagement program since the announcement of the Project in 2012 that has included consultation with thousands of individuals to date. Through some 159 open houses and workshops and hundreds of meetings along the pipeline and marine corridors and more than 24,000 points of engagement with Indigenous communities, Trans Mountain improved and optimized its planning and mitigation measures to address concerns.

January 27, 2016 – Interim Measure for Pipeline Review announced

The Government of Canada announces Interim Measures for Pipeline Reviews that included undertaking deeper consultations with Indigenous Peoples, assessing the upstream greenhouse gas emissions associated with the Project and appointing a ministerial representative to engage communities, including Indigenous communities potentially affected by the Project, to seek their views and report back to the Minister of Natural Resources.

May 19, 2016 — Project recommended with 157 conditions

Following a 29-month review that included a thorough scientific and technical examination of all the evidence brought before the NEB, as well as a comprehensive environmental assessment, the Board concludes the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is in the Canadian public interest. It recommends the federal Governor in Council (GIC) approve it, subject to 157 conditions including requirements for environmental protection, emergency response, community impacts, engineering and safety, facilities design, air emissions, greenhouse gases and marine protection.

November 29, 2016 — Project approved

After a seven month federal review,  which includes an assessment of upstream greenhouse gas emission estimates associated with the Project and a Ministerial Panel report on additional views not heard during the NEB’s hearing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces  the Government of Canada approves the Project.

December 1, 2016 — Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience (CPCN) awarded

Acting on the Government of Canada’s instructions, the NEB awards Trans Mountain a Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience (CPCN), which permits construction and operation of the expanded pipeline system.

January 11, 2017 – BC issues Environmental Assessment Certificate

The Province of British Columbia announces the Trans Mountain Expansion Project has received its environmental certificate from the Environmental Assessment Office, subject to 37 Conditions, and has met the Requirements for British Columbia to Consider Support for Heavy Oil Pipelines (B.C.’s 5 Conditions).

August 30, 2017 – Construction authorized to proceed at Westridge Marine Terminal

The NEB advises that Trans Mountain has satisfied all applicable NEB pre-construction conditions for the Westridge Marine Terminal, clearing construction to begin.

September 29, 2017 – Construction begins at Westridge Marine Terminal

The arrival of the DB General, a critical piece of equipment needed for the building of Westridge Marine Terminal’s new three-berth dock, kicks off the construction phase of the Project.

November 20, 2017 – Detailed Route Hearings begin

Detailed Route Hearings begin in Hinton, AB, for Segment 1 and 2 of the Expansion Project. The hearings provide an opportunity for landowners and those potentially affected by the Project, who are granted a route hearing by the NEB, to share their concerns about the proposed detailed route. As part of the Detailed Route process, Trans Mountain submitted a Plan, Profile and Book of Reference (PPBoR) with the NEB in February and March 2017. It was divided into seven segments and described in detail the exact portion of the pipeline easement proposed to be traversed by the pipeline.

April 8, 2018 - Non-Essential spending on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is suspended

Kinder Morgan Canada (KML) announces all non-essential activities and related spending on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is suspended. KML also announced that under current circumstances, specifically including the continued actions in opposition to the Project by the Province of British Columbia, it will not commit additional shareholder resources to the Project. 

May 29, 2018 - Trans Mountain Pipeline System and Expansion Project to be sold

The Government of Canada agrees to purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and the Expansion Project for C$4.5 billion.

August 25, 2018 – Pipeline construction begins

Pipeline construction for the Expansion Project officially begins as crews kick off construction in Spread 2 (Central Alberta).

August 30, 2018 – Federal Court of Appeal Decision cancels Project approval

The Federal Court of Appeal issues a decision that cancels the Order-in-Council which had approved a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the Expansion Project. Trans Mountain begins taking measures to suspend construction related activities on the Project in a safe and orderly manner.

August 31, 2018 – Trans Mountain Corporation acquired by the Government of Canada

Following a vote by KML shareholders to approve the sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, the Government of Canada acquires the Trans Mountain Corporation (a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation) for cash consideration of C$4.5 billion.  

September 21, 2018 – Government of Canada Instructs the NEB to reconsider Project

In response to the Federal Court of Appeal decision, the Government of Canada announces it is instructing the NEB to reconsider its recommendations, considering the effects of project-related marine shipping. The NEB is required to complete a thorough and prompt review and deliver its report no later than February 22, 2019.

September 26, 2018 – NEB announces it will hold a Reconsideration Hearing

The NEB announces it will hold a public hearing to carry out its reconsideration process related to the application of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) and the Species at Risk Act to Project-related marine shipping.

October 3, 2018 – Federal government re-initiates Phase III consultations

The federal government announces it will re-initiate Phase III consultations with all 117 Indigenous groups impacted by the Project.

October 18, 2018 - NEB issues Hearing Order for Reconsideration Hearing

The NEB issues a Hearing Order for reconsideration of aspects of its Recommendation Report for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The Reconsideration hearing will consider any necessary changes or additions to its May 2016 Report, in light of the inclusion of Project-related marine shipping between the Westridge Marine Terminal and the 12-nautical-mile territorial sea limit in the “designated project” under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

January 25, 2019 – Reconsideration Hearing closes

Trans Mountain files its written reply argument with the NEB as part of the Reconsideration hearing for the Project triggering the closing of the hearing record. More than 118 Intervenors took part in the four-month hearing, which included 25 individual Oral Indigenous Traditional Evidence sessions in three locations. During the hearing, Trans Mountain submitted more than 2,500 pages of evidence and answered more than 550 Information Requests from the NEB and Intervenors.

February 22, 2019 – NEB recommends approval of the Project

The NEB releases its report and recommendations on the Reconsideration Hearing with an overall recommendation that the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is in the Canadian public interest and should be approved, subject to 156 recommended conditions and 16 new, non-binding recommendations to the federal government. The GIC now has a 90-day deadline to decide whether the Project should proceed.

April 18, 2019 – Timeline on Project decision extended

The GIC announces it has extended the timeline to make a final decision on the Project to June 18, 2019. This extension provides the time required to conclude Phase III Crown consultations with Indigenous groups.

June 18, 2019 - Government of Canada approves the Project

The Government of Canada's approval of the Project is an endorsement that the Project is in the best interest of Canadians.