Our Canada is in danger. And increasingly so. While various politicians assure us all is well with the true north, it isn’t. I hear it on the phone lines on my radio program weekly from folks in five provinces. It’s not just a quick visceral burn either. The frustration and anger are deeply seated.
In the final hours of August the anger from the West was palpable. Particularly from Alberta. The Federal Court of Appeal had slammed the brakes on the just beginning construction of the extension of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Construction stopped. Just like that. Some cheered. Most seethed. Alberta’s left-wing Premier instantly yanked the province from the federal-provincial climate plan. Saskatchewan’s former Premier Brad Wall spoke of not having experienced Western alienation to match what he was encountering. Not even during the days of the hated National Energy Program, brainchild of the current Prime Minister’s father.
His son, the current PM, wandered verbally aimlessly post court decision. The Trans Mountain pipeline extension would go forward “in the right way.” Never just a straight comment. Always a qualifier. “In the right way.” What the hell does that mean? What hasn’t been done in the right way preparing for shovels in the ground TMX expansion?
In the right way? Average folks know that to get the Trans Mountain extension to where it was, about to go into high construction gear, endless i’s had been dotted and t’s crossed. Sixteen court cases had been resolved in favour of the pipeline and then came number seventeen.
The anti-pipeline folks were gleeful. They talked about orcas and green energy. There was repeat media listing of First Nations opposed to TMX. Not a word about dozens of First Nations supporting the pipeline.
But back to the son of the National Energy Plan’s architect. What does “in the right way” mean Mr. Trudeau Jr.? In the right way should mean as PM Justin Trudeau would do what he bragged he was empowered to do. Namely drive TMX through to completion.
So what would completion of the Trans Mountain pipeline extension and completion mean to Canada, Canadians and our economy? Consider that Frank McKenna, Deputy Chairman of TD bank told us on air that over a recent ten year period Canada lost some $117 billion by being virtually forced to sell our oil to the United States at the deeply discounted price Americans are willing to pay.
Stopping pipelines stops Alberta in its tracks. No other province is so maltreated. To compound insult and injury, because of Quebec intransigence Alberta’s oil cannot be delivered by pipeline to existing and operating refineries in Eastern Canada in sufficient quantity. So, instead, this nation with its massive stockpile of oil energy imports some 750,000 barrels of foreign oil. Daily.
It is foreign oil which keeps Canadian refineries in operation.
The right way would be for this Prime Minister to push through all objections and see to the completion of not only TMX, but also and simultaneously the Energy East pipeline through Quebec to those eastern refineries.
In April of this year when British Columbia and Alberta were nibbling at the edges of a possible trade war as BC repeatedly got in the way of Trans Mountain, Alberta passed legislation allowing the province to reduce the daily supply of its oil heading west. It was during an interview then with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe that Mr. Moe assured if British Columbia came a calling for Saskatchewan oil while faced with an Alberta supply reduction, the answer from Regina would be “no!”
Mr. Moe was so disturbed by British Columbia’s actions vis-a-vis TMX that he stated live on Canada’s airwaves “If a province such as British Columbia is able to stop one of these projects it begs the question – do we still have a nation?”