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