June 18, 2019 / 8:52 PM / a year ago

Canada approves oil pipeline expansion, says construction should start soon

Steel pipe to be used in the oil pipeline construction of the Canadian government’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project lies at a stockpile site in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Dennis Owen

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada as expected on Tuesday approved a hotly contested proposal to expand a crude oil pipeline it bought last year, providing hope for a depressed energy industry but most likely angering environmental groups.

Construction on the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is planned to start this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters. A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, earlier said Ottawa expected legal challenges against the approval.

Reporting by David Ljunggren and Kelsey Johnson; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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