Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC Application for Interim Tolls

Project Background

What is a pipeline toll?

  • What is a pipeline toll?
  • Pipeline Toll: the price charged by a pipeline company to use their pipeline
  • Who decides what price is fair?
  • That’s the job of CER’s Commission
  • The pipeline company proposes how much they would like to charge for the use of the pipeline
  • The parties that want to use the pipeline tell us what they are willing to pay
  • Then the Commission listens to everyone’s ideas
  • and makes a decision that is fair for everyone
  • Our goal is to protect the interests of Canadians
  • And keep the companies we regulate competitive
  • To learn more visit our website

Our role

In addition to ensuring that pipelines are safe for people and the environment, the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) also regulates pipeline tolls and tariffs. Tolls are the fees a pipeline company charges its customers to ship products, such as oil or natural gas, on its pipeline. The pipeline company uses toll revenues to pay for maintenance, earn back the money spent to build the pipeline and provide a return to its investors. Tolls also allow pipeline companies to operate and maintain pipelines safely.

A company can only charge a toll for pipeline services if it is included in a tariff filed with the CER or approved by a CER order. Pipeline tariffs specify the procedures by which shippers are to submit nominations for transportation service, including the form and timing of nominations. Sounds simple enough, but for some pipelines, a tariff could fill a large three-ring binder.

The Canadian Energy Regulator Act says tolls must be ‘just and reasonable’ and not unjustly discriminatory. Additionally, the Act does not allow unjust discrimination in service, which generally means all shippers must be treated fairly.


Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (Trans Mountain) applied on June 1, 2023, for approval of interim commencement date tolls and other related matters associated with the transportation of petroleum on the expanded Trans Mountain pipeline system (Filing C24695]) (Application).

To balance the need for efficiency and fair process, on August 1, 2023, the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator issued Process Letter No. 2 (C25730) indicating that the Commission intends to deal with the Application in two steps with a Preliminary Decision and a Final Interim Tolls decision.

The Preliminary Decision will not address all the issues that the Commission and interested parties, have identified with the Application in their June 2023 comments. Rather, the Preliminary Decision will focus on a narrower set of issues that can support an initial ruling with respect to just and reasonable interim tolls, on a timeline that is intended to avoid delaying the commencement date of the expanded Trans Mountain system.

The interim tolls are proposed to take effect once the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is complete and the expanded Trans Mountain system begins service.

The Commission will then establish a hearing process to consider broader issues that arise from the Application. Once this is done, the Commission expects to issue a decision that may update interim tolls (Final Interim Tolls decision), depending on the evidence it receives in the second part of the proceeding. Trans Mountain indicates that it will file for approval of its final tolls once as-built costs are known, following the project’s completion.

Timeline and Documents

Project Map

Trans Mountain Expansion Project configuration map


Interested parties must register, and be confirmed by the Commission, as an intervenor to participate in additional process steps [Filing C24789].

Choosing Your Participation Level in the Hearing Process

The level of participation in the hearing process should be based on how much it will impact your interests. A person’s involvement should correspond to the degree to which the application may affect you.

  • Intervenors
  • Intervenors must explain how an application impacts their interests and why Intervenor status is required. Being an Intervenor requires a time commitment and may involve costs to prepare and submit evidence. This includes submitting written evidence, asking questions about evidence, submitting and responding to motions, and making a final argument.
  • Commenters
  • Commenters are allowed to file one letter of comment that will be placed on the public record and considered by the Commission. However, commenters can’t ask questions about the evidence or present it in person at a hearing. Commenters are not required to register, but are encouraged to sign up for email notifications through the Participation Portal.

Details regarding the hearing process will be determined and communicated at a later date.


Get Information

Process Advisor

Canada Energy Regulator
Telephone: 403-292-4800
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Facsimile: 403-292-5503
Facsimile (toll free): 1-877-288-8803

Media Inquiries

Media Relations Team
Canada Energy Regulator
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265

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