Political scientists say instead of going into a formal coalition with another party, the Liberals will instead most probably govern on a vote-by-vote basis. The Conservative opposition – whose power base is in energy-rich Alberta – is unlikely to vote against pro-energy industry policies and so Trudeau may be able to count on Conservative votes in that one specific area.
But if the Liberals want to push through tougher environmental and emissions regulations, they will likely need support from the Green Party or New Democratic Party (NDP), both of which are targeting much stringent environmental standards.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party leader Elizabeth May have said they are opposed to building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
The NDP would keep the Liberals’ federal carbon tax policy and reduce exemptions for large industrial emitters. They want to reduce emissions to 38% below 2005 levels by 2030, and declare a climate emergency that would require Canada to hit targets in line with keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C or 2.7 degrees F.
The Greens are targeting a 60% cut in emissions below 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. Their platform includes a ban on hydraulic fracking, no new pipelines or coal, oil and gas drilling, and the use of renewables to provide 100% of Canada’s electricity by 2030.
Energy industry players in Canada’s corporate oil capital, Calgary, say a minority Liberal government propped up by the NDP or Greens would be a disaster for the oil and gas sector, and deter international investments in Alberta’s oil sands.