I suppose the fact that Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips actually traveled to Kitimat to protest against Northern Gateway and compared Enbridge’s safety record to the movie Fubar, would put the struggling NDP in just too difficult of a situation, politically speaking of course.
So Trudeau threw his support behind Trans Mountain, hoping to make himself and Premier Notley look like the good guys in the eyes of beleaguered Albertans. Prime Minister Trudeau was so bold as to say Premier Notley’s carbon tax was a big reason for his approval (which essentially means she was lucky Harper was not re-elected because at least now she can claim her policy wasn’t a complete failure).
However, the approval of Trans Mountain by one level of government is totally meaningless. In fact, the denial of Northern Gateway severely reduces the chance Alberta oil will ever see west-coast tidewater in any meaningful way.
Already, the legions of radical eco-activists have lined up and are promising to fight, to the point of being willing to go to jail to stop the pipeline as Elizabeth May has said. Premier Notley’s appointee to the oilsands advisory panel, Tzeporah Berman, immediately expressed severe dissatisfaction with the project. And Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson yet again pinned himself directly against the interests of Canadians by announcing his intentions to do whatever he can to stop the pipeline.
In the coming weeks and months, there will be many articles in many publications criticizing protesters who will unquestionably hinder Kinder Morgan’s pipeline building efforts. There is nothing wrong with that. But we all must remember: Everyone knows what is coming…and the responsibility lies squarely in the hands of Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Notley to see this project to completion. They must not let delays, which have crippled this country’s economy and sent capital fleeing, occur. If the pipelines are not built, Premier Notley and Justin Trudeau failed oil workers, Albertans and Canadians.
It is not good enough for them to simply approve. Blockades must be broken, eco-terrorism must be brought to justice, and court challenges must be dealt with swiftly. Do Alberta’s Premier and Canada’s Prime Minister have the courage to stand up for Canadians and Albertans, or will they use the approval as a political talking point – letting opponents carry the process back into the dreaded ‘consultation phase’ and ultimately have the pipeline not built? If the latter happens, then they are no different than the radical eco-activists they claim to oppose.