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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:59 pm
 


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Justin Trudeau will lose no matter what he decides about Teck Frontier oilsands mine

By CHANTAL HÉBERT STAR COLUMNIST
Fri., Feb. 7, 2020

Out of the Trans Mountain frying pan and into the Teck Frontier fire. That pretty much sums up where Justin Trudeau’s government is at on a week it should otherwise have spent quietly celebrating the light at the end of the controversial pipeline’s legal tunnel.

On Tuesday, the Federal Court of Appeal removed one of the last hurdles to the completion of Trans Mountain expansion by unanimously rejecting the claim by four Indigenous plaintiffs that the federal government had again fallen short of its duty to consult their communities.

The pieces of the Trans Mountain puzzle may finally be falling into place, but the politics of the larger environment/energy picture are not.

Trudeau’s bid to align Canada’s energy ambitions with a credible federal climate change policy was always going to be a political brain teaser. As he enters his second term in office, it has become a Rubik’s cube.

It is a fact of political life that many of the big decisions a government is called upon to make boil down to a choice between two relatively unpalatable options.

Article Continued Below

But rarely has the label “lose-lose” been more appropriate than as it pertains to Trudeau’s looming decision on whether to give the Teck Frontier oilsands mine the go-ahead.

In principle, the federal cabinet has until the end of February to confirm or reject the conclusion of a joint Ottawa-Alberta panel which found that, notwithstanding its negative impact on the environment, the project was in the public interest.

Upon completion, the $20-billion mine would produce 260,000 barrels of oil a day, with equally massive benefits in the shape of royalties, taxes and jobs to Alberta.

The issue divides Trudeau’s cabinet, and ministers on both sides of the argument have skin in the game.

If the government rejects the project, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s bridge-building mission will be, if not sabotaged, at least greatly compromised. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has made it clear he would treat a federal refusal as a declaration of war on his province’s economy.

But if the cabinet green-lights the mine, the credibility of the government on climate change stands to be damaged beyond repair. Going forward, it would be hard for the likes of Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, his predecessor Catherine McKenna or Quebec environmentalist Steven Guilbeault to maintain with a straight face that their government is serious about reaching its emission targets

Since the House reopened, Wilkinson has hinted at a quid pro quo that would see the Alberta government raise its climate change game to meet the 2050 zero emission target set by the Liberals in exchange for the mine’s approval.

Article Continued Below

Whether a tradeoff along those lines would impress critics of the project is far from certain.

The experience with Alberta’s buy-in and subsequent withdrawal from the federal climate change framework under its previous NDP government has demonstrated that such commitments are anything but binding.

Trudeau’s caucus is also pushing back against Teck Frontier. The many Liberal MPs who spent the last campaign scrambling to defend their government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline have no appetite for going back on the hustings as champions of a major new oilsands development.

If Teck Frontier fits in Canada’s current climate change strategy, many are bound to wonder what fossil fuel development would not. But if the cabinet refuses to approve the mine, it may be hard-pressed going forward to say yes to other major projects currently in the political pipeline.

As it happens, one of those is a liquified natural gas pipeline, between Alberta and Quebec’s Saguenay region, that is close to the heart of Premier François Legault.

In the current climate, what would the optics be like for Trudeau to say no to Alberta on Teck Frontier, then say yes to the only pipeline project Quebec happens to like?

The Teck Frontier recommendation has been in the government’s in-tray since the end of the summer. Had the cabinet dealt with it at the first post-election opportunity last fall, it might have avoided having its decision set the stage for a polarizing political drama.

But with every passing day, more elements of a perfect storm are being reunited. The time to convince voters that this is not one of the defining decisions of Trudeau’s tenure is well behind the Liberal government.

Chantal Hébert is a freelance columnist based in Ottawa covering politics. Follow her on Twitter: @ChantalHbert


https://www.thestar.com/amp/politics/po ... -mine.html


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:11 pm
 


My bet is that they’ll approve it. Or maybe they’ll approve a smaller version of it to try and save a little face. They have a great need to tone down tensions right now and it’ll be easier to make it ip to the environmentalists later.


Last edited by BeaverFever on Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:01 am
 


Well, Norway sure seems to have figured out how to have a viable oil industry and still have the enviro-tards cheer them otherwise.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:39 am
 


PublicAnimalNo9 wrote:
Well, Norway sure seems to have figured out how to have a viable oil industry and still have the enviro-tards cheer them otherwise.


Norway does a lot of things better than us.
But Norway’s oil industry is state-owned. Are you saying we should nationalize the oilsands? That’ll go over REAL well in Alberta.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:08 am
 


Chantal is quite correct. Why would the Liberals try to keep Albertans on side, when they will never vote Liberal, and risk alienating Ontario and Quebec who are their base?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:07 am
 


BeaverFever wrote:
PublicAnimalNo9 wrote:
Well, Norway sure seems to have figured out how to have a viable oil industry and still have the enviro-tards cheer them otherwise.


Norway does a lot of things better than us.
But Norway’s oil industry is state-owned. Are you saying we should nationalize the oilsands? That’ll go over REAL well in Alberta.
Nationalized doesn't automatically equal a viable oil industry. Just look at Venezuela. Besides, the Norwegian govt are a bunch of hypocritical fucks anyway. They OWN the oil industry in their country and yet they're essentially forcing EV's on the population, playing eco-colonialist in Africa.
It seems more than a little disingenuous to pretend you give a crap about the climate while you ship your oil all over the world.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:15 am
 


DrCaleb wrote:
Chantal is quite correct. Why would the Liberals try to keep Albertans on side, when they will never vote Liberal, and risk alienating Ontario and Quebec who are their base?

Yeah, fuck Alberta. Everyone knows that Canada ends at the Ontario/Manitoba border. So does any real voting power for that matter.

This is what I "love" about party politics. More concern with staying in power than actually doing something positive and constructive for the country. Playing to the voter base while alienating everyone else. Yep, we got ourselves a real strong "democracy" here. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:24 pm
 


From this point forward anyone who invokes Norway as "the way to go" should automatically lose the argument. Norway is a unique case and can't be compared in the slightest to the confederal system Canada has. It's bogus and gets tossed into the mix not as a useful suggestion or alternative path but to make the dispute more emotional and that much worse.

Want to use Norway as an example? Fine, here's the most accurate one. Norway doesn't send $13 billion a year in personal income taxes to the EU in order to finance the social programs in other jurisdictions and in return receive sweet fuck all for themselves because "they're just too rich". That's the only accurate way Norway should be compared to Alberta.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:09 am
 


Thanos wrote:
From this point forward anyone who invokes Norway as "the way to go" should automatically lose the argument. Norway is a unique case and can't be compared in the slightest to the confederal system Canada has. It's bogus and gets tossed into the mix not as a useful suggestion or alternative path but to make the dispute more emotional and that much worse.

Want to use Norway as an example? Fine, here's the most accurate one. Norway doesn't send $13 billion a year in personal income taxes to the EU in order to finance the social programs in other jurisdictions and in return receive sweet fuck all for themselves because "they're just too rich". That's the only accurate way Norway should be compared to Alberta.

Well since everyone missed the point entirely, I wasn't saying it was the way to go. I said they have a viable oil industry without the rest of the world butting into it, unlike Canada's oil industry.

Here, let's mention some other countries in the West that seem to be allowed viable oil industries; The UK, The US, Mexico, even friggin' Brazil! But in Canada, where we generate 3% of the world's total annual electricity, and do it 81% emissions-free while only contributing 1.6% of the world's total annual emissions, out govt is arguing about approving an oil project that has already jumped through all the hoops, dotted their "I"s, crossed their "T" and got all their ducks in a row. In an province where the industry has reduced emission/bbl produced by quite a bit over the last 20-30 years.

This kind of crap tells me the Liberals just aren't very bright. Considering how much the govt currently relies on Alberta for federal transfers, it seems the Liberals (and Dippers) are quite happy to shoot themselves in that particular foot.

I was reading in the news some time back that Canada is losing around $80 billion a year because it can't get its oil to market efficiently. What's the current deficit at?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:52 am
 


PublicAnimalNo9 wrote:
Considering how much the govt currently relies on Alberta for federal transfers,


WTF does that even mean ?

Gibberish


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