Canada How Trudeau hasn’t left himself any wiggle room on pipeline politics

21:01  08 february  2018
21:01  08 february  2018 Source:   macleans.ca

'That pipeline is going to get built': Trudeau reaffirms support for Trans Mountain project

  'That pipeline is going to get built': Trudeau reaffirms support for Trans Mountain project Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday morning that the Trans Mountain pipeline is in the national interest and that the federal government will make sure the expanded pipeline to West Coast gets built. Trudeau made the comments in radio interviews on CBC’s Edmonton AM and 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen show ahead of his visit to Edmonton Thursday. The stop comes just two days after British Columbia’s provincial government made moves to stall the $7.4-billion project and restrict bitumen shipments.

In the row between B.C. and Alberta, the PM has carved out an unusually firm personal stance and political strategy on a tough issue.

In the row between B.C. and Alberta, the PM has carved out an unusually firm personal stance and political strategy on a tough issue When skilled …

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

a man sitting on a table: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, speaks with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley during his visit to the Calgary Stampede, in Calgary on Friday, July 15, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)© Used with permission of / © Rogers Media Inc. 2018. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, speaks with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley during his visit to the Calgary Stampede, in Calgary on Friday, July 15, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

When skilled politicians find themselves in uncomfortably tight places, it’s usually a safe guess that their next move will be to look for wiggle room. What’s the compromise solution, the diplomatic dodge, the safe middle ground?

'That pipeline is going to get built:' Trudeau

  'That pipeline is going to get built:' Trudeau EDMONTON - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion will happen despite British Columbia's latest attempt to hinder the project. Speaking on Edmonton talk radio station CHED, Trudeau says the pipeline, which would take Alberta crude to the West Coast for shipment to Asian markets, is in the national interest and will go ahead. B.C.'s environment minister has said his minority government plans to ban increased shipments of diluted bitumen off its coast until it can determine that shippers are prepared and able to properly clean up a spill.The move has infuriated Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who has accused B.C.

When skilled politicians find themselves in uncomfortably tight places, it’s usually a safe guess that their next move will be to look for wiggle room . What’s the compromise solution, the diplomatic dodge, the safe middle ground?

In the row between B.C. and Alberta, the PM has carved out an unusually firm personal stance and political strategy on a tough issue.

But the squeeze on Justin Trudeau, as the governments of British Columbia and Alberta clash over pipeline politics, might be an exception to the rule that pliability is a political virtue. The Prime Minister has little choice on this one but to opt for firmness over flexibility.

For starters, this particular controversy comes laden with personal meaning for Trudeau. Back in the fall of 2012, visiting Calgary as the first stop after launching his bid for the Liberal leadership at home in Montréal, he vowed support for Alberta’s oil industry as a sort of declaration of independence from the legacy of his famous father.

In his 2014 autobiography, Common Ground, Trudeau later reflected on that decision to distance himself at the earliest opportunity from the National Energy Program, which is as reviled in Albertan oil-patch memory today as it was resented when then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau hatched it in 1980. He cast it as a willingness to “confront the ghosts of my party’s past.”

As pipeline battle heats up, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley calls on PM to show 'greater' leadership

  As pipeline battle heats up, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley calls on PM to show 'greater' leadership Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday he must do more to stop B.C. from blocking the Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday he must do more to stop B.C. from blocking the Kinder-Morgan Tra .Notley said Trudeau's statements on CBC Radio Edmonton AM earlier in the day — in which he described the dispute as an inter-provincial matter — were not strong enough.

How Trudeau hasn ’ t left himself any wiggle room on pipeline politics . With B.C.’s attack on Alberta oil, the war of mutual destruction begins. Maclean's Politics . Send me daily dose of politcal news, commentary, and special offers.

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READ MORE: Jagmeet Singh tries not to pick sides on the Alberta and B.C. pipeline fight

And Trudeau did more than promise never to repeat anything like the NEP, under which Ottawa aimed, among other controversial objectives, to take a bigger share of Alberta’s oil wealth through taxes and royalties. He wrote that resource development and the policies that guide them are “among the handful of big issues that define our success as a country.” Then he added a point that resonates loudly this week: “In a diverse country where national attachments complement strong and diverse local identities, getting the balance right is vital.”

The clashing “local identities” in play just now are B.C.’s environmental movement and Alberta’s energy sector. Trudeau made his bid to strike a balance between them in the late fall of 2016, when his government rejected Enbridge’s proposal for the Northern Gateway pipeline across northern B.C., but approved Kinder Morgan’s plan to twin its existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to the port at Burnaby, B.C., just up the shore from Vancouver.

'The gloves are off,' says Rachel Notely on pipeline while Justin Trudeau takes heat at B.C. town hall

  'The gloves are off,' says Rachel Notely on pipeline while Justin Trudeau takes heat at B.C. town hall 'The gloves are off,' says Rachel Notely on pipeline while Justin Trudeau takes heat at B.C. town hall Prime Minister Justin Trudeau maintained his support of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Friday during a heated town hall in British Columbia, reiterating his stance that the project is in Canada’s national interest.

Leaving aside the odds on all of this working as advertised, it’s striking how much of an emphasis McKenna put on speed and predictability in her remarks. MORE: Trudeau hasn ’ t left himself any wiggle room on pipeline politics .

How Trudeau hasn ’ t left himself any wiggle room on pipeline politics . How B.C. and Alberta can get out of their trade war before it gets worse.

The symmetry—one green light, one red—looked tidy enough. But there was never any chance B.C. environmentalists would acquiesce to Trans Mountain out of gratitude for being spared Northern Gateway. So it couldn’t have been entirely unexpected when B.C. Premier John Horgan’s NDP government recently announced its plan to block any increase in diluted bitumen shipments—the sort that would flow in Kinder Morgan’s expanded pipeline—while it studies whether the sticky black stuff could be properly cleaned up if it ever spilled in coastal waters.

Trudeau might have hedged, played for time, weighed his words. But, in the Nanaimo, B.C., stop on the national town-hall tour that he happened to be on as Horgan made his move, the Prime Minister couldn’t have been blunter. “It is in the national interest to move forward with the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and we will be moving forward with the Kinder Morgan pipeline,” Trudeau told a room packed with loud anti-pipeline voices.

Note that he didn’t merely assert, for example, that the federal process that led to approving Kinder Morgan’s plan was valid, or maybe stress that the conditions are stringent. He didn’t just boast about his government’s commitment to spend $1.5 billion on a new Oceans Protection Plan. No, Trudeau specifically said Kinder Morgan’s pipeline is going to happen, and his choice of pronoun—“we will be moving forward”—was meaningful. It’s not somebody else’s pipeline.

Canada's PM talks tough on NAFTA, repeats he could walk away

  Canada's PM talks tough on NAFTA, repeats he could walk away Canada's PM talks tough on NAFTA, repeats he could walk awayCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a tough line on NAFTA on Friday, repeating that he could walk away if he was not happy with talks to modernize a pact the United States contends needs major changes.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to approve the Trans Mountain project because of his well-established pro- pipeline stance. As Chris Hall explains, Trudeau hasn ' t left himself much wiggle room with several other controversial files.

In part, this all goes back to his 2012 pledge in Calgary. In part, to the 2016 split-the-difference decision on Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain. And, in part, to the strategically crucial relationship between his federal Liberals and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP. Trudeau has fulsomely credited Notley’s policy on pricing carbon as a necessary condition for approval of Kinder Morgan.

There’s no question that Notley’s approach to combatting climate change is indispensable to the Trudeau government’s signature push to impose a national price on carbon within this year. Still, Notley didn’t do Trudeau any favours by retaliating against Horgan’s bid to delay Kinder Morgan by ordering Alberta’s provincial alcohol regulator to halt about $70-million worth of B.C. wine imports.

Alberta’s high-profile move against Okanagan wine puts Horgan on the defensive, making the ongoing behind-the-scenes efforts by Trudeau and some of his top officials to defuse the situation that much more difficult. A senior federal official told Maclean’s that while they hope tensions ease, on the fundamental point that regulating interprovincial pipelines is squarely in federal jurisdiction, “we will not bend.”

Not bending isn’t a comfortable posture for a politician like Trudeau, who typically casts himself as classic bridge-building Liberal centrist, capable of leaning left or right as circumstances demand. Looked at in the narrow context of this week’s news, he’s has been put in a tough spot by two feuding premiers. Seen in the wider frame of the past six years, though, he has methodically established both a personal stance and a political strategy on the fault line between environmental awareness and energy economics. Now, he must stand his ground.

Chantal Hébert: Trudeau lacks means for a quick end to the Alberta-B.C. pipeline feud

  Chantal Hébert: Trudeau lacks means for a quick end to the Alberta-B.C. pipeline feud Chantal Hébert: Trudeau lacks means for a quick end to the Alberta-B.C. pipeline feud Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.In the escalating feud between Alberta and B.C. over the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is — for now — a referee without a whistle.Much as he might want to call an end to the hostilities between the NDP governments of the two provinces, he lacks the means to enforce a quick timeout between them.

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Jagmeet Singh not picking sides in pipeline battle .
Jagmeet Singh not picking sides in pipeline battle Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is refusing to take sides in the British Columbia-Alberta pipeline feud.Environmental policy resolutions are set to take up a large amount of real estate at the party's convention in Ottawa this weekend.But Singh wouldn't take the side of either of the NDP premiers currently at odds over the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.Instead, he opted for diplomacy."Premier Notley is doing exactly what she promised to do,"  Singh told CBC Radio's The House.

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