Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for coming to committee.
Last time I was able to ask the officials about TMX, and I want to continue with that a little bit.
For the benefit of folks watching these committee proceedings, I'd just like to give a little bit of background. In 2018, the Liberal government denied the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Then they turned around and bought it for $4.5 billion, with the understanding and the comment that to complete this Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would be an additional $7.4 billion.
At the time, there was great concern that they had overpaid for this project. In fact, former Green Party leader Elizabeth May said that the decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline will go down in history as one of Canada's greatest epic economical boondoggles.
I did a little research as far as Kinder is concerned just to show that they actually did overpay. Kinder Morgan in that year recaptured all the depreciation and amortization on that project, plus they had to book a $596-million capital gain. In fact, it was so lucrative that Elizabeth May said that Kinder Morgan will be “laughing all the way to the bank”.
I just want to share that the base compensation for Kinder Morgan executives is $400,000, but between 2018 and 2019 the vice-president and chief financial officer received $3.2 million, the chief strategy officer received $7.2 million, the president received $8.8 million, the vice-president of natural gas received $11.9 million and the president of terminals got $9.7 million. The CEO got only $16.9 million between wages and bonuses.
We know the Liberals didn't do a good job of buying it. We know from our last meeting, which was only three months ago, that this project was at $21.4 billion, so it had tripled in price. Today, three months later, we're being told it's $31 billion.
Minister, can you tell this committee when you found out that this project was going to be $31 billion?