If none comes forward, only then will Kinder Morgan take Ottawa's $4.5-billion offer to its shareholders.
"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, a right-leaning group that advocates for lower taxes. But $4.5 billion won't cover the future construction costs.
"If they didn't spend it on that, they'd spend it on something else", she said.
Several First Nations have alleged in court that Trudeau's approval of the project was not legal since the government failed in its constitutional duty to consult them.
You need to get the oil to market on a competitive basis, absolutely essential.
St. Louis-based Edward Jones senior analyst Jen Rowland said while the deal is a "slight positive" as it helps reduce balance sheet leverage and removes this significant project execution overhang, "the bad news is KMI's growth outlook is muted without" the Trans Mountain expansion project.
Now, Wall said, the government takes on the risk of completing the project itself, which puts taxpayers in a precarious position.
Morneau has already unveiled the third option: leaving original project architect Kinder Morgan to handle construction, but covering any cost overruns incurred as a result of political interference.
The province's opposition led Kinder Morgan to suspend nonessential spending on Trans Mountain last month.
Morneau pointed out that once the pipeline was built, the owners would receive user fees in the form of tolls from the oil companies transporting their product on TMX.
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.
Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said he's impressed with the federal government for "taking decisive action". Citing investor uncertainty, it also said it would give up on the expansion plan if British Columbia did not stop its attempts to block it by this Thursday.
Kinder Morgan last month gave Ottawa an ultimatum: Chairman Steve Kean said the company would suspend all work on the expansion project entirely if the legal issues surrounding it can not be resolved by May 31, adding that it would not continue risking shareholder funds on the project unless the clouds over it clear.
The price tag is less than the company's estimated $7.4-billion projected cost but taxpayers will be on the hook for $4.5 billion according to details released by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr at a news conference Tuesday.
Premier Rachel Notley included the comment in a tweet she posted shortly after the federal government's announcement Tuesday morning.
Notley added: "This is the most certainty this project has ever had".
The B.C. government is still fighting the project in court.
Still, the federal government approved the pipeline in November 2016, on the condition that it meet 157 conditions related to its impact on Indigenous communities, environmental impacts and myriad other areas.
Canada loses $15 billion every year on the sale of oil because the USA remains its only export customer, resulting in a lower price, Trudeau argues.
Canada's oil sector has been stung in the past year as foreign energy companies retreated amid concerns about the environmental toll, high production costs and a risky regulatory regime.