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Important Enough for It's Own Thread.... Energy

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11 hours ago, Malcolm said:

Problem with that is evidently the majority of those who live in BC are in favour of the pipeline, it is the extremists who are running the show however...... so perhaps a citizens revolt?  Or maybe our Federal Government will grow a "set" (sexist I know) and do something to solve the conflict.

A leader would have to have a set first..No?

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There is no try, and may the Force be with him

  • Calgary Herald
  • 12 Apr 2018
  • JOHN IVISON National Post
getimage.aspx?regionKey=p%2fITqDXT%2fMDTRvIxFuBuug%3d%3dDARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS A worker walks past heavy equipment as work continues at Kinder Morgan’s facility in preparation for the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, in Burnaby, B.C.

Following his pledge to build the Trans Mountain pipeline, noted Star Wars fan Justin Trudeau is in an existential moment.

Like Luke Skywalker trying to summon up the Force, he must do or not do. In the immortal words of Yoda, there is no try.

The consequence of failure is the collapse of his entire economic and environmental framework, not to mention reputational damage from which he might never recover.

That’s why I take at face value the contention by a number of Liberals that it is not a question of whether the pipeline will go ahead, but of how.

Still, nobody is placing bets on the mechanics of a resolution.

The government did itself no favours by holding a two-hour emergency cabinet meeting Tuesday, after which ministers scurried off as if they were part of a witness protection program.

The only indication the looming constitutional crisis is of more than mild concern to the Liberals came from Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr, who held a two-minute audience with waiting reporters to say the government is examining its options before dashing off to catch a flight.

Yet behind the scenes, the government is mobilizing for a protracted engagement.

A steering committee of the departments of Justice, Natural Resources, Finance, Environment and Fisheries and Oceans has been formed to pull together a plan ahead of the next cabinet meeting on April 24.

Ministers will explore the government’s legal, diplomatic and financial options.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh suggested Wednesday that Ottawa and the B.C. government send a joint reference to the Supreme Court, their joint effort hopefully expediting the application.

The feds are unlikely to bite: no matter how quickly things move through the courts they won’t move quickly enough to meet Kinder Morgan’s self-imposed deadline of May 31, by which time the company wants guarantees the project will proceed or it will walk away.

In any case, the jurisdictional issues are not in question. B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman admitted as much when he said his government no longer maintains it will use “every tool in the tool box” to stop the expansion of the pipeline, as it pledged in its election platform and in its agreement with its Green Party partners. Now, it talks about using tools “to defend B.C.’s coasts, economy and interests.”

The reason for the shift? The B.C. government was given legal advice that stopping the project was beyond the jurisdiction of the province, rendering any such talk unlawful.

More likely than a Supreme Court referral is the use of legislation in the House of Commons — such as the invocation of the Emergencies Act, where the government could claim that a public order emergency threatens the ability of the government to preserve “the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity” of the country.

Given the intransigence of John Horgan’s B.C. government, Ottawa’s diplomatic efforts are more likely to be directed more at Rachel Notley’s New Democrats than their fellow travellers across the Rockies.

It is one of the less-commented upon aspects of this rumpus that it is ostensibly a civil war between progressives who have worked together for decades.

It’s no coincidence that the most serious threat to the federation since the last Quebec referendum is happening on the watch of two rookie NDP governments, neither of which, apparently, has the competence to operate a spoon.

For all its foibles, Canada is a land of pragmatism, compromise and common sense. Notley’s immediate reaction to Kinder Morgan’s news was to pledge to buy the $7 billion pipeline outright, then to threaten an oil blockade on British Columbia. It was an ill-advised and impulsive response, kindled no doubt by the equally incendiary promptings of premier-in-waiting Jason Kenney, the province’s opposition leader.

Andrew Weaver, the Green leader in B.C. — who must be absolutely delighted at the economic bedlam he has unleashed — told CBC such a reaction would be deemed blackmail.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau met Notley in Toronto on Tuesday and the message to the Alberta premier was clear: STFU, because the government of Alberta can’t solve this problem.

“Public threats, in my estimation, aren’t helpful,” said Morneau.

There remains a plurality of British Columbians who support the pipeline — an advantage for Ottawa that will evaporate like snow in a river if the inhabitants of Lotus Land are forced to line up at the pumps to pay $2 a litre for gas.

The financial options open to Ottawa could include taking an equity position in the pipeline. But Kinder Morgan is not seeking such an investment. The Trans Mountain expansion is a viable commercial enterprise and the company is unlikely to want to forgo the financial upside, if it does get built.

The energy giant would apparently prefer Ottawa backstop the project, in the event it is blocked on the ground or in the courts.

Kinder Morgan’s behaviour has upset politicians at all levels and the May deadline it has announced suggests a degree of skittishness that may not be felt universally by all pipeline companies.

The ideal scenario for the federal government would be for Kinder Morgan to sell the entire project to a Canadian energy infrastructure company — or companies — with Ottawa providing risk-mitigation during the construction period, having already resolved jurisdictional doubts by invoking the Emergencies Act.

However it plays out, the course of the Trans Mountain drama will determine whether Trudeau’s flagging reputation for fulfilling his promises is restored, or damaged beyond repair.

For the country’s sake, may the Force be with him.

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Another non event or ??

Trudeau coming back Sunday to meet with Horgan, Notley on Kinder Morgan

Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves Ottawa on Thursday, April 12, 2018, en route to Lima, Peru. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick Staff
Published Thursday, April 12, 2018 12:00PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 12, 2018 12:03PM EDT

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making a detour in his multi-country trip to deal with Kinder Morgan.

Trudeau will fly back to Ottawa on Sunday to meet with British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. He will then leave for Paris

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And then we also need to talk about "Coal"

Yes, anti-pipeline Vancouver really is North America’s largest exporter of coal

‎Today, ‎April ‎12, ‎2018, ‏‎32 minutes ago | Tristin Hopper

Lately, it’s one of the few things that oil boosters and environmental activists can agree upon: Calling Vancouver a hypocrite for opposing carbon emissions while also being the continent’s largest coal port.

And both camps are correct. According to the data, Canada’s mecca of anti-pipeline sentiment does indeed rank as the largest single exporter of coal in North America.

Vancouver’s various coal facilities exported 36.8 million tonnes of coal in 2017, according to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

This places the B.C. city well above Norfolk, Virginia, the busiest coal port in the United States. Despite a massive spike in U.S. coal exports for 2017, only 31.5 million tonnes of coal moved out of Norfolk last year.

Vancouver’s coal exports also dwarf the total coal production for the entire country of Mexico. According to data gathered by the U.S. Congressional Research Service, Mexican mines have produced no more than 16 million tonnes of coal per year since 2006.

Much of Vancouver’s coal is handled by a single facility that ranks as the largest of its kind on the continent.

Westshore Terminals loaded 29 million tonnes of coal in 2017, nearly triple the combined coal exports of the entire U.S. West Coast.

It’s also right next to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, making it a familiar sight to any passenger aboard a ferry arriving from Vancouver Island. Currently, Westshore Terminals is in the midst of a $275 million upgrade to “replace aging equipment and modernize our office and shop complex,” according to the company.

B.C. mines provide much of the coal flowing through Metro Vancouver. Even as coal production enters a prolonged decline around much of the world, it has been positively thriving west of the Rocky Mountains.

“Coal production is a mainstay of the province’s economy, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue and supporting thousands of well-paid jobs,” reads the website for B.C.’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

Coal is the province’s number one export commodity, with $3.32 billion of coal mined in 2016. Much of this is metallurgical coal, which is exported to Asia for the making of steel.

In recent years, however, Vancouver’s coal ports have also accommodated a massive increase in exports of thermal coal, which is used for the production of electricity.

In 2008, only 4.4 million tonnes of Vancouver’s coal exports could be called non-metallurgical. By 2017, this had more than doubled to 11.3 million tonnes.

Controversially, almost all of this thermal coal is coming from the United States. As lawmakers in Washington and Oregon have begun shutting down their own coal ports due to environmental concerns, thermal coal producers in Wyoming and Montana have simply diverted their product through Canada.

In August, then-premier Christy Clark called for a ban on Vancouver exports of U.S. thermal coal in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. 

“They are no longer good trading partners with Canada. So that means we’re free to ban filthy thermal coal from B.C. ports, and I hope the federal government will support us in doing that,” she said at the time

In the main, however, Metro Vancouver has benefited handsomely from the presence of the coal industry, according to numbers compiled by the B.C.-based Coal Alliance. Between 2012 to 2017, coal-related companies spent $2.29 billion in Metro Vancouver, including $470 million in the City of Vancouver proper.

One the most visible contributions of the coal sector has been as a key sponsor of the Vancouver Aquarium. In 2012 Teck Resources donated $12.5 million to the attraction, the aquarium’s largest-ever single donation.

It’s difficult to precisely calculate the lifecycle carbon footprint of Vancouver’s coal exports, given that the city’s ports handle a variety of coal types, each with their own specific emissions profile.

But according to emissions formulas used by the Sierra Club, Vancouver’s 2017 coal exports will produce 99.8 million tonnes of CO2 over their lifetime.

For context, this is significantly higher than B.C.’s entire carbon footprint. In 2014, B.C. estimated that it produced 64.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent

It also means that B.C.’s existing coal exports are roughly as bad for the climate as anything scheduled to come out of the Trans Mountain expansion.

The completed Trans Mountain expansion would move 215 million extra barrels of diluted bitumen per year. Depending on the kind of Alberta bitumen the pipeline will be moving at any one time, this means that total product shipped through the expansion will emit between 129 million and 158 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifecycle. 

• Twitter: TristinHopper | Email:

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And the pressure on our PM builds.

April 12, 2018 2:59 pm
Updated: April 12, 2018 3:18 pm

‘A crisis of confidence’: B.C. businesses want Trudeau to stand firm on Kinder Morgan pipeline

amy-judd-crop.jpg?quality=60&strip=all&w By Amy Judd Online News Producer  Global News 

B.C. supporters of the Trans Mountain pipeline are joining forces today, demanding work resume on the expansion. Jordan Armstrong reports from downtown Vancouver where the business and community groups are speaking out .

More than 70 business, industry and community groups have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking for the uncertainty around the Trans Mountain pipeline to end.

Groups like the B.C. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council of British Columbia say business confidence is being shaken because of rising tensions on either side of the Rocky Mountains.

“We’re here today because the organizations and individuals in communities and businesses across this country believe we are at a point or crisis of confidence in Canada. A crisis that needs leadership and immediate attention to resolve,” says Greg D’Avignon, the president and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia.

“Over the last 48 hours, we have experienced an unprecedented flood of concern and countrywide activism born by the continued actions of the province of B.C. with regard to the recent announcement to suspend all non-essential spending on the federally and provincially-approved Trans Mountain pipeline project. This is no longer about a pipeline, but a referendum to see if you can rely on government process, regulations and the rule of law with any degree of confidence if you choose to invest, create jobs and prosperity in British Columbia and our country.”

“This can have lasting consequences to our reputation and for our country if not resolved.”

D’Avignon says some will say this issue is an economy versus the environment debate or as businesses opposing activist governments but he says both are wrong.

“This is about leadership in the face of difficult circumstances but clear choices. It’s about stability, our faith in democracy, the rule of law and confidence in our country.”

He adds the leaders need to act to restore B.C.’s reputation as a welcoming place to do business.

“The stakes are high right now.”

President and CEO Val Litwin says this has ramifications beyond the oil sector.

“We just heard from the clean tech industry here this morning. There are a lot of businesses and organizations out there in B.C. and across Canada that are worried that climate agenda will be challenged with this,” he says. “So we understand that we have to move forward. Again, the federal government has said yes and we have to honour that commitment.”

Tensions between Alberta and B.C. have escalated dramatically over the last several weeks following a decision this past weekend by Kinder Morgan to suspend all non-essential spending on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Kinder Morgan also issued a deadline of May 31 for the government to provide a clear guarantee that it will be able to ultimately complete the project once it ramps up the next phase of investment and construction.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: the Kinder Morgan pipeline row is about to get real

Trudeau has always pledged support for the pipeline and is flying back to Canada from Peru this weekend for a joint meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan over the dispute.

Trudeau is set to put pressure on British Columbia’s provincial government to drop its resistance to the pipeline project, but will try to avoid tougher measures that might alienate voters who helped his Liberals win power, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.

“In the coming years, if this corrosive, self-interested behaviour we are witnessing persist, the confidence in our reputation in the world as a place to live, work and invest will be gone,” says D’Avignon.

He adds they want to see the federal government “use every tool necessary,” including the expansion of the $1.5-billion Ocean Protection Plan to provide the “leadership necessary to establish our confidence in Canada.”

Premiers John Horgan and Rachel Notley also received the letter.

Both will meet with the prime minister on Sunday.

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Originally Trudeau (the little potato) was going to fly Lima to Paris.

How would the little twin engine A310 have done this?

Would have flown via Canada anyway?

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1 hour ago, Fido said:

Originally Trudeau (the little potato) was going to fly Lima to Paris.

How would the little twin engine A310 have done this?

Would have flown via Canada anyway?

I thought that I had started a new thread with this.

and in the Airlines section 

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Trudeau's pipeline dilemma: lose seats in B.C., or lose a lot more elsewhere

The political calculations seem simple — there are more Liberal MPs in B.C. than in Alberta. But the electoral consequences of the Trans Mountain pipeline dispute go beyond local politics.

British Columbians aren't the only ones watching to see how the PM handles this standoff

Éric Grenier · CBC News · Posted: Apr 13, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 6 hours ago
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline extension will go ahead — but how great a political price is he willing to pay? (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

Finding the right political balance between the environment and the economy isn't easy for any party. For Justin Trudeau's Liberal government, it's especially awkward.

The dispute over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is only the most recent — and potentially the most volatile — example of this problem.

British Columbia's government doesn't want the project to go ahead. Both the federal government and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley argue that the pipeline expansion is in the national interest and say B.C. Premier John Horgan should back down.

Adding to the urgency is the deadline imposed by Kinder Morgan, the company behind the project. It wants government assurances by the end of next month that the pipeline can be built.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Trudeau will sit down with Horgan and Notley in Ottawa for a meeting that will require an unscheduled pit stop between the prime minister's trips to Lima, Peru and Paris, France.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, also trying to mediate between two NDP premiers, wants the federal government to join B.C. in a Supreme Court reference to decide on jurisdictional issues. The federal Conservatives have long called for Trudeau to do more to get B.C. to drop its actions against the pipeline.

The Liberals say that all options are on the table, but insist that the pipeline will get built.

If they're right — if the Trans Mountain expansion is built — the Liberals can expect to pay a political price for it in British Columbia, where the project is deeply controversial. But would they stand to lose more support in B.C. if the pipeline goes ahead than they might in the rest of the country if it doesn't?

Lots to lose in B.C.'s Lower Mainland

On the face of it, the electoral calculation looks simple. In the 2015 federal election, the Liberals won four seats in Alberta, where the pipeline is very popular. But they won 17 in B.C. (and added an 18th in a byelection late last year). 

Opinions on the pipeline are divided in B.C. A recent survey by the Angus Reid Institute found that British Columbians are split down the middle on whether the provincial government is right to delay the Trans Mountain expansion.

On the pipeline itself, 23 per cent of British Columbians said they strongly support it, while another 24 per cent say they strongly oppose it.

Opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline project is greater in the Lower Mainland than in the B.C. Interior. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC)

But opinions are not uniform throughout the province. A poll by Insights West conducted last fall found that British Columbians in the Lower Mainland were twice as likely to strongly oppose the pipeline than they were to strongly support it. In the B.C. Interior, where resource industries are major employers, more respondents strongly supported the pipeline than strongly opposed it.

Only one of the Liberals' 18 seats in B.C. is located in the Interior. The other 17 are in the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland.

So the Liberals have a lot more to lose in the Lower Mainland than in the rest of British Columbia and in all of Alberta — where the four seats the party won in 2015 likely amount to the best the party can reasonably expect there in the current political climate.

But this it isn't a simple matter of comparing the Liberals' meagre electoral prospects in Alberta to their more significant ones in British Columbia.

More to lose outside of B.C.?

Though the pipeline is a top-of-mind concern for British Columbians and Albertans, failing to get the project completed could have consequences for Liberals nationwide.

A poll commissioned by the Ecofiscal Commission and conducted by Abacus Data recently found that 60 per cent of Canadians agreed that "Canada should continue to develop its oil and gas resources and get them to markets while we are using carbon pricing and other measures to transition to a lower carbon future." Another 40 per cent of those polled agreed that the country needs "to take measures to greatly slow or stop development and transmission of oil and gas."

That 40 per cent is a significant minority, but it's already being fought over by the NDP, the Greens and (in Quebec) the Bloc Québécois. The Liberals' entire strategy of balancing the economy with the environment is aimed at the other 60 per cent.

Support for the Trans Mountain pipeline is strong in Alberta and Saskatchewan. (Mark Matulis/CBC)

This suggests that failure to get the Trans Mountain project completed could disappoint those Canadians who feel that the development and export of oil and gas is an important part of the country's economy. It could leave the Liberals looking like bad economic stewards and convince more voters that economic growth and a cleaner environment aren't two sides of the same policy coin.

In other words, the wheels come off Trudeau's plan to put a price on carbon if he doesn't also have a new pipeline to offer. And with provincial politicians like Jason Kenney in Alberta and Doug Ford in Ontario poised to become big players on the national stage, the prime minister doesn't need to give them any more ammunition in their fight against carbon pricing.


Not everyone likes a compromise

The hastily organized meeting between Trudeau, Notley and Horgan, and the last-minute change in Trudeau's travel plans, suggest the government has concluded it has more to lose nationally than to gain locally by letting Kinder Morgan throw in the towel.

Notley and Horgan have no such calculations to make — particularly Horgan, given that almost all of his party's seats are on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland.

Singh, meanwhile, knows that his party's support is lowest in Alberta, highest in British Columbia. The NDP holds 14 seats in B.C., but just one in Alberta.

In Quebec, where the pipeline is least popular, the New Democrats can't afford to alienate any more voters. By backing B.C.'s request to put the dispute before the courts, Singh has apparently picked his side — and it isn't with Premier Notley, who once called Singh "irrelevant."

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has asked the federal government to join the B.C. government in settling jurisdictional disputes related to the pipeline at the Supreme Court. (Patrick Doyle/Canadian press)

The Conservatives' supporters are almost uniformly in favour of the pipeline. They have no need for any compromise at all.

If the Liberals manage it, balancing the economy and the environment is the kind of grand political compromise that can pay off in spades. The Abacus Data survey found that 84 per cent of Canadians say transitioning to a low carbon economy is a good goal, but 75 per cent say that the transition should be managed "in ways that are careful to not drive up the cost of living too much or cost too many jobs."

The alternative would be to repel both those voters who want to see the balancing act succeed and opponents of the pipeline who will not forget that Trudeau supported it.

What's at stake here for the Liberals is not the fate of a few seats in the Lower Mainland, or the party's tenuous hold on its beachheads in Alberta. It's the argument that the prime minister has made, time after time, that — between the NDP and the Conservatives — the Liberals' middle road is the path forward

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13 hours ago, Fido said:

Originally Trudeau (the little potato) was going to fly Lima to Paris.

How would the little twin engine A310 have done this?

Would have flown via Canada anyway?

Moved as it seemed to belong in the discussion about oil. If it was a new thread to compare the capability of various aircraft types and not about our PM on the other hand. :D

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From a Western Canadian......


“ This morning as I was leaving the house, a piece on the news came up about the Stars Air Ambulance service and how they had helped as rapid responders in the Humboldt tragedy. For those not familiar, Stars is largely privately funded and as I caught a peek of an up close image of the chopper ambulance, I noticed the following corporate sponsors:

Shell Canada
Trans Canada Energy
Conoco Phillips
Canadian Natural Resources ltd
Crescent Point Energy
Exxon Mobil

along with many others.... Between 2016 & 2017 Stars has flown over 1500 air missions to people in medical distress in Alberta alone, not to mention their missions in Sask and Manitoba. For those who like to demonize the energy industry, consider how many deaths may have occurred if companies like the above decided not to support this service. 

You know who's corporate sponsorship is absent?

David Suzuki Foundation
Tides Canada
Greenpeace Canada
Pembina Institute


In fact none of these so called 'save the planet' organizations spend a dime to fill the gaps within our communities. As those holier than thou types look to drive Canada's energy industry into crippling positions, maybe they should ask themselves if the organizations they support will lift a finger to support the critical infrastructure services that Canadian Energy Industry companies do to the tune of several hundreds of millions via direct contribution and taxes?  The answer is, not a chance...


Well I had no idea of the traction this would generate. Once it started taking off I quite frankly expected to be inundated by the lunatic fringe, to which that number has rather surprisingly only been around a dozen.  I have been pleased to see many people admit to being enlightened to the type of support a service such as Stars gets from the energy industry. 

As has been pointed out by many, this type of critical service is not the only type that receives support from the Canadian energy industry. Community centers, children's hospitals, community groups of all types, sports teams, rec centers, and on and on have been the beneficiary of untold amounts of support from the energy industry.  The true amount likely is not easily comprehended by many.

To those minuscule few who tried to lash out, accusing me of trying to  politicize the Humboldt tragedy, I'm truly sorry over your lack of comprehension skills and how it affects your life.  Other than factually pointing out the genesis of my observation, I made no such effort.

To those few who lashed out and said they were offended, I say fine, be offended. I'm sorry truth, logic and common sense offends you.

For those who say it's not fair to compare the companies I listed with the organizations listed as well, I suggest some research into where the funding from those activist organizations comes from. Those pockets are enormously deep, mostly outside our borders, and serve an agenda. Take the time to follow the money. 

That's all “ 




Edited by Jaydee
  • Thanks 2

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Justin ...when you meet the premiers on Sunday....remember “Sunny Ways, Sunny Ways” everything should be fine.

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He may be correct but if so it is just one more example on how our nation is at a cross roads and it is time to stop the tail from wagging the dog.

pril 13, 2018 6:33 pm

Pipeline meeting ‘not something’ P.M. would have tried with Quebec: Mulcair

img_56751.jpg?quality=60&strip=all&w=40& By Richard Zussman Online Journalist based at B.C. Legislature  Global News

Former federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would never treat Quebec the way he is treating British Columbia in the ongoing battle over pipeline. Mulcair says Trudeau is breaking the rules of confederation by trying to force the pipeline twinning down B.C.’s throat.

“There is no question this is not something Mr. Trudeau would have ever tried with Quebec,” said Mulcair. “This is indeed a federation, environment is a classic shared jurisdiction between the federal and the provincial government. What Mr. Trudeau is trying to do now is unilaterally impose financial and other sanctions on British Columbia which I am convinced he never would have tried to do with Quebec.”

Mulcair’s comments come just days before B.C. premier John Horgan, Alberta premier Rachel Notley and Trudeau are set to meet in Ottawa on Sunday. Notley and Trudeau are in favour of the pipeline, while Horgan campaigned in the 2017 B.C. provincial election on the point that the project could be detrimental to British Columbia’s coast and was not in the best interest of the province.

The federal government has jurisdiction over infrastructure that crosses provincial borders, including highways and pipelines. The current Trans Mountain pipeline runs from just north of Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., and the pipeline expansion would triple its capacity to move raw bitumen.

READ MORE: Here’s what could happen if Kinder Morgan’s project is scrapped

Trudeau said he would never approve a project like the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline twinning unless it was done by fully independent environmental review body. Mulcair, who served as a cabinet minister in Quebec before jumping to federal politics as an NDP MP from Montreal, says the process used for this project was not fully independent and, because of that, the federal government does not have the social license to go forward with the project.

“He did not keep his word to British Columbians,” said Mulcair. “The Liberal government right now in Ottawa is not respecting the promise to renew the assessment system.”

“Everyone in British Columbia are allowed to ask themselves why is he trying to shove Kinder Morgan their throats without respecting their jurisdiction.”

Major pipeline projects have been a problematic issue for Trudeau’s government. The Liberals backed down from the Energy East project, to which the Quebec government was firmly opposed. The one major difference is that, unlike the Trans Mountain project, Energy East was brand new infrastructure. 

Mulcair says another concern is that the Liberal government promised to work more closely with the provinces, unlike Harper’s government that took an adversarial approach.

“Mr. Trudeau promised a cooperative approach to federalism,” said Mulcair. “What we are seeing here is anything but a cooperative approach. It is threatening and frankly it does not respect provincial jurisdiction.”

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23 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

The current Trans Mountain pipeline runs from just north of Edmonton

It actually runs from the eastern side of Edmonton in Strathcona County and curves through south Edmonton then crosses the river into the westend.

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14 minutes ago, Fido said:

It actually runs from the eastern side of Edmonton in Strathcona County and curves through south Edmonton then crosses the river into the westend.

I suggest you tell those who originated the story of this very important error......  Image result for emocicon of a nit picker :D

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3 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

I suggest you tell those who originated the story of this very important error......  Image result for emocicon of a nit picker :D

It would not help

They are journalists

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Not all First Nations oppose pipeline, B.C. chief says

‘Vigorous environmental movement’ said to be using Indigenous people

  • Calgary Herald
  • 14 Apr 2018
getimage.aspx?regionKey=jWmH2D7SB4klD6m9tXZSTw%3d%3dRIC ERNST/FILES Cheam Chief Ernie Crey says his community “negotiated hard” to reach its mutual benefit agreement with Kinder Morgan Inc.

VANCOUVER Cancellation of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would cost B.C. First Nations hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits, job training, and employment and business opportunities, according to Cheam Chief Ernie Crey.

Crey has emerged as a leading voice for the First Nations that stand to benefit from the project, calling out environmentalists for “red-washing ” their fight against the $7.4 billion expansion of the pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby.

“We have a vigorous environmental movement in B.C. and they have learned that they can use Aboriginal communities to advance their agenda,” he said.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs has joined public protests against the expansion, but that does not mean all First Nations oppose it, Crey said.

“We are a member of the union, but no one speaks for the Cheam on the pipeline but our council,” said Crey.

The Cheam are one of 43 First Nations that have mutual benefit agreements with Trans Mountain — reportedly worth more than $300 million — that offer skills training for employment, business and procurement opportunities and improvements to local infrastructure.

Primary contractors and First Nations can also jointly bid on pipeline work. Cheam members are engaged in security work along the pipeline with Securigard, he said.

“Our young councillors negotiated with Kinder Morgan for two years to get that agreement for the Cheam,” Crey said in an interview. “This is no payoff, we negotiated hard for what we got.”

Premier John Horgan could do real financial harm to First Nations in B.C. by frustrating the pipeline project, he said.

“If this project doesn’t go through it will hurt our people,” Crey said on Facebook. “It appears that Premier Horgan is prepared to actively undermine the prosperity of First Nations in B.C.”

Crey is a co-chair of the Indigenous advisory and monitoring committee, a 13-member group funded by $64 million in federal money to monitor construction of the pipeline.

As part of their application to the National Energy Board, which approved the project, Trans Mountain engaged with more than 130 First Nations and other Indigenous groups over several years.

The construction phase “will reach the equivalent of 15,000 jobs per year, followed by the equivalent of a further 37,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs per year of operations,” Trans Mountain states. “We recognize the project will spark ample opportunities for Aboriginal Peoples to secure employment.”

Business leaders met Thursday in Vancouver to issue a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to resolve the “crisis of confidence in Canada” driven by pipeline opposition, said Paul de Jong, president of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada.

“First Nations groups have shown their support for Trans Mountain pipeline and that underscores that people see this pipeline as a benefit if it is well-managed,” de Jong said. “The polarized narrative that all First Nations groups are opposed to pipelines and LNG is simply false.”

A group of First Nations led by Chief Dan George of the Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation in Burns Lake has formed the First Nations LNG Alliance to encourage and participate in responsible development of a liquefied natural gas industry in B.C.

Among their objectives is to provide “balanced” communications about LNG and provide a venue for “pro-development nations” to discuss environmental issues and priorities.

Seven First Nations — led by the Squamish and the Tsleil-Waututh on Burrard Inlet — have legal challenges to the pipeline approval making their way though the Federal Appeal Court and the Supreme Court of B.C.

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April 14, 2018 7:43 pm

Updated: April 14, 2018 7:55 pm

ANALYSIS: Trudeau believes he can build that pipeline — and make everyone love it

david-akin1.jpg?quality=60&strip=all&w=4 By David Akin Chief Political Correspondent  Global News

WATCH: Trudeau maintains that building Trans Mountain pipeline in national interests


On the eve of the so-called pipeline summit on Parliament Hill, its host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stood at podium in Peru and calmly deflected every attempt to tease out of him what he plans do at this summit.

It’s a bit of a last-minute affair.

On Tuesday, two days before Trudeau left Ottawa, his aides were insisting he was not going to change his travel plans to meet with the premiers, that he had just traveled to both Vancouver and Fort McMurray, didn’t we all know, and, in any event, the PM had been on the phone more than once with both premiers. No, the PM was resolute in continuing to travel here to Lima for the Summit of the Americas, then onto Paris, France and finally to London, England for the Commonwealth Summit next week.

ANALYSIS: Not much room for compromise on Kinder Morgan, but miracles can happen

But then, literally as were taxiing down the runway in Ottawa Thursday afternoon, Trudeau’s aides came to the back of the plane and told reporters travelling with him that he would come back to Ottawa Sunday, en route to Paris, for this morning meeting.

I wanted to know what changed his mind.

“I think it became very clear that the level of polarization around this debate required significant measures. I wanted to be able to sit down with the premier of British Columbia, the premier of Alberta together and discuss issues of the national interest and demonstrate the federal government’s commitment to getting this project built. I think there is a need for action,” Trudeau said.

“We had an excellent cabinet meeting this week, in which there was a clear and important reflection on the path forward. I think it was appropriate and important that we have an opportunity to discuss it with the premiers.”

And so, here we are.

After an eight-hour overnight flight from Lima to Canada’s frozen national capital, Trudeau will gather BC Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in his office on the third floor of Parliament’s Centre Block. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and no one’s quite sure — least of all the reporters who quizzed him about it Saturday — what success will look like when the meeting breaks around lunchtime.

“I think it’s important to highlight that this is not about punishing British Columbians. This is not about hurting Canadians,” Trudeau offered at one point.

That’s reasonably helpful. It would seem to suggest that Trudeau has ruled out calls some have made that federal funding be withheld from B.C. until Horgan gives in.

“And although there are folks on all sides of this debate who look to polarize and raise the temperature on this debate, the federal government has a responsibility to bring Canadians together and to do things that are in our national interest.”

Yes, yes, but just how does he do that?

“We’ll do it in such a way that doesn’t seek to further polarize or raise the temperature in this debate. We’re looking to bring people together and we will continue to do things that are responsible to get this pipeline.”

READ MORE: Feds looking to reduce risk for Kinder Morgan investors, Jim Carr says

At this point, perhaps it’s helpful to review just how monumental a task this will be for a prime minister who wants to get a pipeline built and wants to bring Canadians together in that act of building a pipeline. One of those might be done. Doing both is going to be tough. Canadians are deeply divided on this pipeline thing, and building it is going to require a whole mess of broken eggs.

There are two polls that many following this debate refer to with interest on this point.

First, there are the findings of the Angus Reid Institute, polling 2,501 people from coast to coast in an online survey done between February 15-19, that as a country, we are perfectly split on the issue of tripling the capacity of an existing pipeline that takes Alberta crude to Pacific tidewater at Burnaby, BC. Half the country takes BC’s side in this dispute, believing the pipeline should be delayed for environmental reasons. Half are with the Notley crew who think construction should not be delayed because it’s the economy, stupid!

But get this: The strongest opposition to this pipeline is not in BC, Angus Reid found, but in Quebec. Don’t worry about your BC MPs getting re-elected, prime minister, worry about your Quebec caucus!

Angus Reid then broke out the numbers based on how people voted in the 2015 general election. More trouble for Trudeau here: 54 per cent of those who voted for Trudeau think BC is wrong and 46 per cent of those Liberals think BC is right. A solid 81 per cent of Conservative voters think BC is wrong while 58 per cent of those who voted NDP think BC is right.

Nonetheless, there’s the prime minister, running the risk of alienating at least some of his own supporters, possibly so much so that he’ll make them vote NDP in 2019 — great news not just for the NDP but also for the Conservatives, who have to have some vote splits break their way in some ridings to have much hope of toppling Trudeau.

Abacus Data took a slightly different approach, asking 900 Canadians a series of questions in an online survey done between February 26 and March 6, intended to gauge just how pig-headed and stubborn proponents and opponents of the pipeline might be.

The bottom line finding from Abacus? Of those surveyed, 45 per cent were firm in their feelings — 23 per cent were hard in favour and 22 per cent hardcore opposed. But there was a group in there who said they were “leaners” in favour and 13 per cent leaning against. Presumably, it’s this group that Trudeau must “bring together” to make more “leaners” firm in their conviction to support.

But even if he does that, there’s going to be a big group — likely bigger in BC than anywhere else — which just won’t be satisfied. At some point, it seems inevitable that he’s just going to have to reconcile himself to the fact there is not going to be one big, national group hug at the end of of all this. Is he prepared  to make a hard choice that a lot of people really, really, really won’t like?

“I am steadfast in my desire to serve Canadians and bring Canadians together,” Trudeau said earnestly when I asked him that question here. “There will always be debates in a country that is not just diverse, but is a country that celebrates its diversity. My responsibility as prime minister is to ensure that I’m listening to all those voices and creating the path forward that is in the best interest of all Canadians.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan premier calls on federal government to stand behind Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Yes, that’s true. But sometimes you’re going to have drag some parts of the country kicking and screaming along that path.

Not if he can help it, Trudeau said.

“There are a lot of folks out there who are trying to raise the intensity of this conversation and create crisis and conflict. My job is to serve Canadians and move forward in a way that both protects the environment and grows the economy together. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

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MIKE SMYTH: Pipeline stakes high for PM and premiers

Expect PM to offer better spill protection to B.C., taxpayers’ money to Kinder Morgan

  • The Province
  • 15 Apr 2018
getimage.aspx?regionKey=NMMAMYXwSv9WNX%2fjwkdXPQ%3d%3d— PHOTOS: THE CANADIAN PRESS Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will meet with B.C.’s John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today to discuss the showdown over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. All three leaders have a lot riding on the outcome.

It’s impossible to say for certain whether todays’ summit meeting on the future of the Kinder Morgan pipeline will achieve anything.

One thing is for sure though: Justin Trudeau has cranked up the drama for his showdown in Ottawa with B.C. Premier John Horgan and Alberta counterpart Rachel Notley.

By cutting short his latest foreign trip — and summoning Horgan and Notley to Parliament Hill for pipeline peace talks — Trudeau has created a heightened sense of urgency.

Just like his late father — former prime minister Pierre Trudeau — Justin Trudeau has demonstrated a flair for the dramatic.

With the stage set, will Trudeau take another leaf from his father’s book and lay down the law for his two squabbling premiers?

Back in 1970, Canada was in the grips of the October Crisis, when radical Quebec separatists kidnapped a provincial cabinet minister and a British diplomat. In response, Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act.

Asked by a reporter how far he was willing to go in suspending civil liberties, Trudeau famously replied: “Just watch me.”

Will we now have a “just watch me” moment from the younger Trudeau — how far is he willing to go to expand a pipeline opposed by British Columbia?

Trudeau’s government has already approved the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion project that would pump more heavy bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to a terminal in Burnaby for shipment by ocean tanker to Asia.

Alberta desperately wants the pipeline to get its oil to Asian markets and the higher prices on offer there.

But British Columbia opposes the pipeline expansion on environmental grounds, arguing a major marine oil spill could devastate the coastline and the economy.

That’s why some insiders expect Trudeau to attempt to reassure Horgan by possibly offering to increase spill prevention and response capacity on the B.C. coast.

The Trudeau government has already outlined a $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan that would include more tugboats, radar stations and Coast Guard resources.

The problem is, Horgan is not expected to budge from his opposition to the pipeline, no matter how much additional money Trudeau offers to spend on environmental protection.

Trudeau has other cards in his hand. He could make it clear to Horgan that the pipeline is going to get built and Ottawa is willing to put money into the project to make sure it does.

The latest crisis was sparked when Kinder Morgan announced it was suspending non-essential construction of the pipeline because of B.C.’s opposition. The company set a May 31 deadline to resolve the impasse.

Trudeau might tell Horgan the federal government will indemnify the company against financial losses on the project due to delays caused by B.C.

If Trudeau wants to play really rough, he could threaten to cut off transfer payments to British Columbia, or invoke the federal Emergencies Act to force the pipeline through over Horgan’s objections.

If Trudeau does something that bold, he would have his “just watch me” moment. But he could also trigger an even angrier backlash in British Columbia.

The federal Liberals must be worried about losing key seats in Metro Vancouver in the next election if Trudeau pushes too hard on the pipeline.

But Trudeau also has to think about Canada’s global reputation as a place to invest and do business. If he wimps out in the pipeline fight, other big projects could die before they even get started.

Meanwhile, there’s no way Notley will back down in her battle to get the pipeline built. She has little choice in the matter.

Alberta faces an election next year and Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party is leading the polls over Notley’s governing NDP.

Notley is probably going to lose the election no matter what happens. But if she weakens in the pipeline fight, she can wave goodbye to any chance of remaining in power.

That’s why Notley will raise the stakes even higher on Monday when her government introduces a bill that could cut off oil, gas and fuel shipments to British Columbia, potentially driving up the price of gasoline in B.C.

Where does all this leave Horgan? Backed into a corner as Trudeau and Notley apply the pressure. But don’t expect the B.C. premier to back down, either.

Horgan has said B.C. will continue to pursue legal actions against the pipeline, including asking the courts to rule whether B.C. has the power to block Alberta’s bitumen shipments.

Trudeau may counter that by presenting Horgan with legal opinions showing the pipeline is clearly within exclusive federal jurisdiction and Horgan simply has no power to stop it. But Horgan still won’t budge.

The likeliest outcome would be Trudeau putting up taxpayers’ money to keep Kinder Morgan in the game, while strengthening environmental protections against a spill.

That might be enough to persuade Kinder Morgan to resume building, while giving Horgan something to show for his wounds in a losing battle.

As for that “just watch me” moment, that could come later, if large numbers of protesters risk arrest to block pipeline construction. Trudeau will then face the biggest test of his resolve.

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The BC THUG triumphs over the Ottawa WIMP!


Horgan still blocking Trans Mountain after meeting with PM, Notley



OTTAWA — B.C. Premier John Horgan says his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley did nothing to end his ongoing efforts to block plans to expand an existing diluted bitumen line between the two provinces.

Horgan, Notley and Trudeau met today on Parliament Hill in hopes of finding a solution to the impasse between the two provinces, which is threatening to kill the expansion project.

Horgan says Trudeau laid out “legislative and financial measures” to push the project forward, but he did not elaborate.

Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr also took part in the meeting.

Horgan’s opposition to Trans Mountain — rooted in part in the fact his tenuous NDP government depends on the support of the Green party, which staunchly opposes the project — is the main reason Kinder Morgan put the brakes on non-essential spending on the project a week ago.

Trudeau insists the Kinder Morgan pipeline is within federal jurisdiction and that Horgan’s government has no authority to block it — a claim Horgan wants the courts to evaluate, and one with which he says he plans to press ahead.

Trudeau’s cabinet approved the pipeline in 2016, following an interim environmental review process that included assessing things such as the emissions that will be created from producing additional fossil fuels that will flow through it. The cabinet decided the project, which will build a new pipeline that runs parallel to an existing one but can carry twice as much, was in the national interest.

Trudeau has argued repeatedly his government has put in place the environmental protections and policies needed to reduce the risks of an oil spill, and that building the pipeline to get Canadian resources to market is necessary for the Canadian economy.

Notley says Alberta will buy an equity stake in the pipeline, or even buy the whole thing if necessary.

Kinder Morgan, meanwhile, has given Trudeau until the end of May to find a solution that would provide their investors a measure of confidence that the project would be allowed to proceed.

The meeting, convened at the last minute Thursday as Trudeau was departing for the Summit of the Americas in Peru, marked the first time the three leaders have all been in the same room together to hash out the dispute.



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In the press conference after the meeting, Trudeau was very serious...he was using his “grown up voice” ...the one where it sounds like he’s talking to second graders.

  • Haha 1

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Trudeau gives his definition of 'national interest': Chris Hall

Prime Minister Trudeau gave his definition of the national interest on Sunday, and it begins with a hotly-disputed pipeline expansion that he’s determined to see built.

After the meeting Sunday, Trudeau irretrievably committed himself to build Trans Mountain expansion

Chris Hall · CBC News · Posted: Apr 16, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 4 hours ago

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave his definition of the national interest on Sunday, and it begins with a hotly-disputed pipeline expansion that he's determined to see built.

Kinder Morgan's proposed $7.4-billion project to triple the flow of Alberta bitumen through its Trans Mountain line is rapidly becoming a symbol of a new  generation of constitutional discord and western alienation in this country. It also threatens to become a serious obstacle to the prime minister's efforts to repair relations with at least some of this country's Indigenous people.

Yet there Trudeau was on Sunday, after a brief and apparently harmonious meeting with the feuding NDP premiers of British Columbia and Alberta, repeating his commitment to see the pipeline expansion through and, in the process, irretrievably committing himself and his government to that cause.

The prime minister said negotiations will get under way soon that could see hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money committed to the outcome.

He's promising legislation that will give Ottawa total control over the project, which runs from Alberta's oilsands to port in the Vancouver area, overriding anything British Columbia might introduce to, say, protect the province's coastline or to limit the amount of bitumen that can flow through that pipeline inside its border.

Justin Trudeau says B.C. government to blame for pipeline situation
The prime minister says the government will engage in financial discussions with Kinder Morgan, blamed B.C. for stalling expansion. 1:08

"This is something Canadians expect us to do and quite frankly international investors who look at creating jobs in Canada want to see us able to do," Trudeau told reporters, arguing this country can't afford to continue selling its energy projects at a steep discount to its primary customers in the U.S.

But his determination doesn't end there.

Trudeau's even willing to risk alienating Indigenous communities in B.C.'s Lower Mainland who insist his government failed in its duty to consult them, and to get their free and informed consent as set out in the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People.

The obvious question is why?

Trudeau betting supporters outweigh opposers

Why is Justin Trudeau investing so much in a single pipeline that his officials met on Friday in Toronto with Kinder Morgan executives, who issued the threat to abandon the project while the prime minister was travelling to a vigil in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, for the hockey players and others killed in that tragic bus accident, and who can still walk away from it on May 31 if they aren't satisfied?

"We are one country with a federal government that is there to ensure the national interest is upheld," Trudeau told reporters after Sunday's meeting.

At least part of the reason is that the government believes opponents of the project, while vocal, are outnumbered by those who support it.  Another is that investors of all kinds are worried by the uncertain business climate this dispute is creating.

"It is the right thing for Canada. For the economy. For hard-working Canadians who work in the industry," says Tim McMillan, the CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. "Their voices are being heard and that hasn't happened in a long time."

Trudeau also knows the government of NDP Premier Rachel Notley is prepared to act even more quickly. The province will table a bill on Monday that Notley says "would let Alberta deploy resources in a way that get the best return for Alberta."

Translation: the province would give itself the right to charge world prices on any oil it ships to British Columbia.

Still, that isn't much in the way of cover for the political risk Trudeau is taking.

Situation is 'completely unfathomable'

Chief Bob Chamberlin is vice president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. He can't reconcile the Trudeau who promises reconciliation and partnership with First Nations, with the leader he now describes as more concerned with the welfare of a U.S.–based oil company.

"It is completely unfathomable to me that a company that is not within Canada has dictated an ultimatum and a timeline for Canada to knowingly and willingly to run over the rights of First Nations people."

He says there will be more protests against the pipeline. More court challenges to the ones First Nations have already filed. Less trust in the Liberal government.

As for B.C. Premier John Horgan, who campaigned against Trans Mountain — and whose minority government depends on the even more anti-pipeline Green Party to stay in power — spoke Sunday as if he'd wrung some commitments out of Trudeau to put even more resources into its $1.5-billion Ocean Protection Plan.

"At the end of the day we agreed that there may well be an opportunity for us to have officials address some of the gaps we perceive in the plan," he said. "However, we remain committed to ensuring that we are protecting our jurisdiction in that regard … I and he will not be in power forever. And that's why the jurisdictional question is so critically important."

Horgan says his government still intends to proceed with its own court reference to determine what powers it has under the constitution to regulate the project.

He's prepared to go to court again depending on the what's in the legislation Alberta and Ottawa propose.

Horgan's getting some advice on that list from the Quebec government, which has a long track record of opposing any encroachment by Ottawa in areas of provincial jurisdiction.

Add it all together and Sunday's short, less than two-hour meeting in Ottawa did nothing to avoid what is promising to be a long and costly political battle over Justin Trudeau's version of the national interest.


About the Author


Chris Hall

National Affairs Editor

Chris Hall is the CBC's National Affairs Editor and host of The House on CBC Radio, based in the Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. He began his reporting career with the Ottawa Citizen, before moving to CBC Radio in 1992, where he worked as a national radio reporter in Toronto, Halifax and St. John's. He returned to Ottawa and the Hill in 1998.

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'Who asked you?' Why Quebec waded into the Trans Mountain spat

Why did Quebec wade, uninvited, into a debate happening on the other side of the country? One hypothesis: Couillard is experiencing sympathy pains for his B.C. counter-party, John Horgan.

It's likely few out West appreciated Quebec's thoughts on the pipeline, but Couillard couldn't help himself

Jonathan Montpetit · CBC News · Posted: Apr 15, 2018 8:00 PM ET | Last Updated: April 15
Ottawa's intention to override British Columbia's concerns about the Trans Mountain pipeline was 'not a good sign for federalism,' Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said last week. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Quebec's leaders spent last week sending ominous signs they don't like how this whole Trans Mountain pipeline thing is shaking out. 

Premier Philippe Couillard was standing next to Justin Trudeau in Montreal when the prime minister declared on Tuesday that Ottawa was "determined to see that pipeline built" despite the opposition of the British Columbia government.

Couillard stayed quiet at the time, but grew more garrulous a few days later. "I'd be very careful," he said in comments directed at the feds.

Trudeau's intention to override B.C.'s concerns about the environmental impact of the pipeline was "not a good sign for federalism," the premier added.

Couillard was standing next to Justin Trudeau in Montreal when the prime minister said he was 'determined to see that pipeline built.' (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

On Saturday, Quebec's minister for Canadian relations, Jean-Marc Fournier, circulated an open letter, arguing Ottawa was sending the wrong message to the oil industry by backing Trans Mountain so fervently.

The federal government was encouraging "developers to ignore provincial environmental rules which were adopted in the interest of citizens who are concerned or impacted by the implementation of these projects," Fournier wrote.

"Ignoring provincial legislation in no way fosters social acceptability."

Sympathy pains

For the pipeline's backers, Quebec's contribution to the controversy was hardly welcome. It has helped turbo charge an already sensitive issue; few can claim now its just a local spat between two provinces.So why wade, uninvited, into a debate happening on the other side of the country? 

One hypothesis: Couillard is experiencing sympathy pains for his B.C. counterpart, John Horgan.

Couillard could have found himself in a similar position had another oil giant, TransCanada, not dropped its plans to build the Energy East pipeline, which would have carried crude oil from Alberta to New Brunswick.

The pipeline was deeply unpopular in Quebec among federalists and sovereigntists alike. But pipelines crossing provincial boundaries fall under federal jurisdiction. Ottawa would have final say.

To counter its lack of jurisdictional clout, Quebec insisted the pipeline couldn't be built without meeting its own environmental standards.

TransCanada initially balked, but under threat of an injunction, relented and agreed to submit its project to the provincial environmental review board (known in Quebec as the BAPE). 

What would Couillard have done had the BAPE recommendations run counter to the federal government's desires? 

He was spared that headache when plans for the pipeline collapsed last fall. Unlike with the Trans Mountain project, Ottawa wasn't interested in shepherding Energy East through to conclusion. 

A wage on cooperative federalism 

But Couillard's reproaches this week are about more than dodging a bullet. His government has invested significant time, and some money, in trying to develop a new dynamic for Quebec within the federation. 

Last year, it released an ambitious proposal to revisit elements of the constitution, hoping to lay the groundwork for someday — maybe, possibly — having Quebec finally sign on. 

Trudeau trashed the idea before having read the 200-page document, perhaps envisioning another Meech or Charlottetown.

Both municipalities and Indigenous groups in B.C. have expressed concerns about the environmental impact of the Trans Mountain pipeline. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

But it's really just a long argument for cooperative federalism, which boils down to Ottawa seeking provincial input on important issues, even if it doesn't strictly have to according to the Constitution. 

From Couillard's perspective, such a commitment would prevent scenarios such as the one unfolding in British Columbia, where the feds are pulling rank. 

In Quebec, such a move would risk fanning the cooling embers of the sovereigntist movement.

Couillard's wager is that cooperative federalism would prevent such flashpoints of constitutional strife. And in doing so, open the prospect of neutralizing the sovereigntist threat for another generation.

For the moment, though, Ottawa appears intent on heading in a different direction.

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Showdown at the OK corral.

Notley's Bill 12 'shows bold leadership,' say Alberta oil and gas producers

Alberta's oil and gas producers call Bill 12 a regrettable but necessary step in the battle with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Industry officials say it's unfortunate, but proposed law is necessary to protect Alberta's interests

Lucie Edwardson · CBC News · Posted: Apr 17, 2018 6:54 AM MT | Last Updated: 23 minutes ago
Tim McMillan, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, says the group is on board with the provincial government's efforts to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built. (Amber Bracken/Canadian Press)

Alberta's oil and gas producers are calling Bill 12 a regrettable but necessary step in the battle over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Bill 12, titled Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act, gives the Alberta government the ability to retaliate against B.C. over any delays to the expansion by driving up gas prices or restricting shipments of other energy products.

While industry officials support the move, they hope the legislation revealed by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd on Monday doesn't need to be put to work.

Mark Sholz of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors welcomes the proposed legislation.

"I think it's very prudent and shows bold leadership on the part of the premier, and it's certainly something we're supporting as a direction or a strategy."

Sholz said it's too bad it has come to this point, but everything possible needs to be done to ensure the pipeline expansion is built.

"We need to ensure this pipeline gets built, and I think additional pressure to the government of British Columbia is important and it's a very meaningful signal, an impactful signal from the Alberta government," he said. 

"It's unfortunate that consumers are the ones that are going to have to pay for the irresponsible decisions and the foot dragging of the B.C. government."

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, right, and Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd speak to reporters about Bill 12, which would give McCuaig-Boyd the power to limit energy shipments to B.C. (CBC)

Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said Alberta's hand was forced and producers are on board with Bill 12. But he noted that if the legislation is enacted, it wouldn't just hurt B.C.

"Any disruption would have further effects on our industry, and I think it comes down to short=term challenges for long-term gain. Our preference is that we don't have barriers getting our product to market, short or long term," he said.

"Any time there is a barrier getting the product to market, it hurts the economics in Western Canada and has an effect on jobs."

Gary Leach, president of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (EPAC), echoed McMillan's sentiments, and said he hopes the government handles any enactment of Bill 12 with "some skills" to avoid too much negative impact on Alberta's energy producers.

"But, I think at this point this impasse with British Columbia has to be brought to an end as quickly as possible. So our view is that it's regrettable it's come to this, but we would support the government at least acquiring the legal tools to defend Alberta's interests if necessary."

All three men said they want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stay true to his word that legislation is forthcoming to make the project happen.  

"The federal government has the authority on this pipeline and all international projects," Leach said. "Yesterday [Sunday], they put out an action plan that we should be expecting in the days to come implementing legislation that clarifies and allows them to assert their authority to ensure this project can get built."




B.C. threatens to sue Alberta as all sides in Trans Mountain dispute dig in

British Columbia's attorney general is threatening to sue if a new law introduced in Alberta causes gasoline prices in B.C. to skyrocket.

Alberta legislation that could hike gas prices may be unconstitutional, B.C. attorney general says

CBC News · Posted: Apr 16, 2018 4:50 PM PT | Last Updated: April 16
Attorney General David Eby says it's unconstitutional for one province to use energy policy to punish another province. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

British Columbia's attorney general is threatening to sue if a new law introduced in Alberta causes gasoline prices in B.C. to skyrocket.

David Eby says it's unconstitutional for one province to use energy policy to punish another province, and B.C. is prepared to take legal action against Alberta.

"If there is anything in this legislation that even suggests the possibility of discrimination against British Columbians we will take every step necessary to protect the interests of British Columbians," Eby said.

The Alberta government introduced legislation that would allow for the restriction of oil, gasoline and natural gas leaving that province, which could cause fuel prices in B.C. to jump.

The legislation does not mention B.C., but Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says it could be used to put pressure on the province if the B.C. government doesn't change its stance on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Pump prices could spike

If Alberta was to restrict fuel exports to B.C., the impact would soon be felt, said Mark Jaccard, a professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser university.

"It's true that most of the gasoline that we're getting in our cars in southwestern British Columbia is coming from Alberta one way or another," he said.

But  Jaccard doesn't expect a full on embargo.

"Some of this is posturing right now for home audiences," he said. "I think in the long run it's not in Alberta's interest to lose an important customer.

Any interruption in the fuel supply from Alberta could send already high gas prices in B.C. above $2 per litre, said Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst with

"Over a period of time the price would rise by leaps and bounds of 10 cents a litre, depending of course on the severity of the cutback," he said.

The B.C. government will now take time to review the legislation before deciding on a course of action, Eby said.

Eby's comments come as those for and against the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion dig in, including Indigenous Peoples, business leaders, protesters and politicians.

Pipeline owner, Kinder Morgan, has suspended all non-essential spending on the $7.4 billion project, as the federal government tries to reassure the company's investors by May 31 that the project will move forward, despite opposition from the B.C. government.

B.C. Premier John Horgan, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Sunday in Ottawa, with Trudeau saying the federal government is preparing to hold private, financial talks with Kinder Morgan to ensure the pipeline's completion

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