Thursday, September 13, 2012

Enbridge Pipeline: Is Justin (The Pot) Trudeau calling Stephen (The Kettle) Harper black?

The Liberal Party leadership race is on, and one of the many issues the candidates will have to address is the policy they believe the Liberal Party of Canada should adopt towards the exporting of oil sands oil through pipelines and tankers.

Justin Trudeau is reported as saying he does not support the Enbridge pipeline:

On the issue now dominating B.C. politics, Mr. Trudeau said he did not support the proposed $6-billion Northern Gateway project to pipe Alberta oil-sands bitumen to the B.C. coast for shipment to Asia.

“We have to be honest about respecting the science of it. There’s a process right now that is being drawn out,” he said, referring to hearings on the plan.

“I just hope that the federal government will end up respecting the science behind it. As it stands, from what I have heard and seen and the science I am aware of, it’s a very bad idea for the native peoples, it’s a bad idea for the Great Bear Rainforest, it’s a bad idea for British Columbians who work on the ocean. I’m not a supporter of the Northern Gateway pipeline.”

However, there is a problem with his position on the pipeline.

In a speech – you can see the short extract on the pipeline in this youtube video – he goes further than the quotes from the Globe & Mail.

Trudeau slams PM Harper for being hypocritical when it comes to allowing foreigners to comment on the Enbridge and other pipelines. 

He correctly points out that Canadians feel that they have a right to voice their opinions of matters that take place in other countries, such as the stripping of the rain forests, and wonders why Canadians would demand that others not comment on Canadian projects such as the tar sands.

Justin Trudeau on Youtube
He is correct in pointing out in the speech that Harper is willing to have foreign companies (such as Chinese entities which own tar sands projects) publicly support such tar sands projects and the pipelines that will flow the oil to the tankers and back to China. So, if you support the tar sands and pipelines, your comments as a foreigner are OK, but if you oppose them as a foreigner, you are beyond the pale.

That’s a valid point.

However, Trudeau then falls into the same hypocritical stance in the video.

He opens his comments with the politically correct statement that the Liberal Party has not “taken a flat out stand on that pipeline” for a very good reason: there is a process that has to be gone through to determine factually whether the effects of the pipeline are positive or negative. He says “I am not comfortable jumping to any conclusions” until that process has been gone through.

But then he undercuts that very statement by jumping to a conclusion. He says clearly that he is against the pipeline.

Trudeau is sucking and blowing at the same time on this topic. 

Either he is in favour of a decision being made based on an analysis of the pipelines pros and cons through the process we have to do this, including input from all stakeholders, or he has already prejudged the issue and decided – in a kind of Trudeau-process- what the conclusion is. He does say in the video that based on what some stakeholders have said to date, and on his understanding of the science available to him on the pipeline, that he is opposed to the pipeline.

But saying you have already drawn the conclusion that the “pipeline is a terrible idea” defeats all his statements about the process having to be gone through.

In contrast, another potential runner for leadership is on record as being for the pipeline:
Martha Hall Findley

Former Ontario MP Martha Hall Findlay, a failed 2006 candidate who is considering another bid, has publicly endorsed the pipeline megaproject.

Now contrast Justin Trudeau views with the far more balanced views of LPC leader Bob Rae:

Alberta’s oilsands are a tremendous benefit to Canada, but they need strong regulation from the federal and provincial governments, says federal interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae.

“The benefits for the country are tremendous in terms of manufacturing, the number of jobs, the number of contractors across the country, in Ontario and Quebec, who supply the extent of the work that is going on here,” he told reporters.

But Rae adds it’s essential that the industry be regulated properly by both the federal and Alberta governments.

The Liberal leader says most observers say internationally, Canada lags behind in terms of regulation of the oil and gas industry.

However, Rae says both Alberta and Ottawa are now acknowledging that there’s a need to catch up and that governments need to do their jobs as well.

“A development of this size, of these dimensions, obviously requires a healthy oversight. And I think we want to make sure there is in place, stronger reviews with respect to air quality, stronger reviews on water quality.”

Mr. Rae said the federal Conservatives’ desire for expansion has usurped the need for a real debate on the real risks of oil and gas infrastructure.

“What disturbs me about Mr. (Steven) Harper and his ministers is the speed with which they’ve attacked those people who’ve expressed concerns about where pipelines are going, the routes involved and the implications of those routes.”

Mr. Rae says sustainability — not just of the development, but of communities such as Fort McMurray — and balance are key.
 Perhaps Justin Trudeau needs to reconsider his rush to judgment on the issue  and wait for a proper process to be gone through.


  1. Sucking and blowing is what Liberals do best. He uses the word science several times as if it is a buzzword that'll give his position more credability. Pure amateur stuff.

    It is quite possible that eventually the/a BC gov't could support a pipeline. Opposing the pipeline at this juncture is probably bad politics.

    1. "It is quite possible that eventually the/a BC gov't could support a pipeline."

      Do you live in BC? Cause that sure doesnt seem that way here in BC

    2. No I don't live in BC. I understand that support in BC now is low but this takes years. If the pipeline appears to be headed South to the US or perhaps through the Yukon you might see the thought of billions of dollars going to other jurisdictions start to sway opinions.

      Recall the casino debate.

  2. The Keystone GarterSeptember 13, 2012 4:25 pm

    The shockwave reactor; what is the carbon footprint? It would require (now in 2012) university wind tunnel and simulator, buildings. I say spread em across Canada and PPP the carbon industry to buy up patents.


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