The finance minister says the move will "ensure" the oilsands pipeline expansion gets built.
"It's critical for all of Canada", said Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston, one of about 10 Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board members at a media event in favour of the development.
In return, Kinder Morgan will proceed with its original plan to twin the pipeline this summer while the sale is finalized, which likely won't happen until August, Morneau told a news conference in Ottawa.
To help attract a future buyer for the pipeline, Morneau said, the government plans to "extend the federal indemnity to protect any new owner from costs associated with politically motivated delays".
The pipeline purchase would also transfer to the federal government all of the people involved in building the expansion, including project managers and construction workers.
NDP MP Nathan Cullen, who's riding is in British Columbia, was also not impressed.
TransCanada spokesman Grady Semmens said in an e-mailed statement that the company isn't involved in discussions about the Trans Mountain pipeline, and that it won't comment further about speculation on the project.
The decision represents "a massive, unnecessary financial burden on Canadian taxpayers", Canadian Taxpayers Federation Federal Director Aaron Wudrick said.
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"This is a declaration of war against indigenous people because they're not recognizing our own sovereignty", says Kanahus Manuel, a Secwepemc midwife and mother of four.
"John Horgan picked a fight with Alberta and provoked a constitutional crisis with Ottawa over this project and this is now the embarrassing result", Wilkinson said. It spoke to the transportation of diluted bitumen through British Columbia by rail or by pipe.
"This is a major step forward for all Canadians", tweeted Rachel Notley, the premier of Alberta. "The only (way) in our estimation that that can be done is through exerting our jurisdiction by purchasing the project". "The government responded and that's their business".
Indigenous chiefs and First Nations have already assembled in Montreal earlier this week to protest the project, and Indigenous groups protesting the pipeline's construction in Burnaby said they'll push back regardless of Tuesday's announcement. However, the $4.5-billion loan may not be enough to see the pipeline through. Notley said construction is to resume on the line within weeks.
"Canada's purchase may "'be a vehicle to indemnify the project against regulatory risk", Katie Bays, an analyst with Height Securities LLC in Washington, said in a telephone interview.
Kinder Morgan Canada, the unit that raised C$1.75 billion (US$1.3 billion) for the project in an initial public offering a year ago, declined to comment on the speculation.
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.
The industry group representing pipeline operators said it is "pleased" the project is moving forward, but seemed anxious about the implications of a government buyout of a private pipeline project.
For those opposed to the pipeline twinning, including Indigenous leaders and environmentalists, the bailout probably came as a "big surprise, if not a shock", he said.