Ottawa has long championed the construction of trans-province pipelines to transport the nation's petroleum wealth to the coast and ultimately foreign markets in Asia. Yet environmental opposition to Trans Mountain and other crude oil pipelines in the western province of British Columbia is so vast it threatens the very viability of these projects in the country.
A New Democratic Party-led alliance set to take power in British Columbia vowed on Tuesday to block Kinder Morgan Inc's plans to expand Trans Mountain, setting up a fight with energy-rich Alberta and the federal government.
The parties said they would use "every tool available" to stop the expansion of a pipeline designed to carry crude from Alberta's oil sands to the west coast.
Shares in parent company Kinder Morgan ended down 4.3 percent. The firm said last week that expansion remained on track to start service at the end of 2019.
"It sounds like this is going to set off a battle between B.C. and the Canadian government," said Morningstar analyst Sandy Fielden, adding it was unclear what Kinder Morgan could do at this point.