A Reuters report, by Steve Scherer, published in the Globe and Mail, suggests that the Trudeau-Freeland Liberals, probably advised by Calgary Mayor ⇐ Naheed Nenshi and Edmonton Mayor ⇒ Don Ivison, are preparing an economic “aid” package for Alberta to be unveiled when (perhaps only if?) they refuse to allow the Teck Resources‘ Frontier mine project to go forward. The notion, I guess, is that a few light rail upgrades and a couple of new safe injection sites in Calgary and Edmonton will compensate for the loss of projected (by Teck) $70 Billion in revenues to Edmonton and Ottawa and 2,500 permanent new jobs over the (projected, again) 40-year lifespan of the mine.
The article says that the Trudeau-Freeland regime “is preparing an aid package for Alberta, heart of the country’s struggling oil industry, that would help dull the pain if it blocks an oil sands project that could create thousands of jobs, sources familiar with the matter said this week … [because] … Ottawa must decide by end-February if Teck Resources Ltd can build the C$20.6 billion ($15.7 billion) Frontier mine in northern Alberta despite climate and wildlife concerns …[and] … The decision is a major test of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2019 election pledge to put Canada on the path to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Complicating the decision, unhappiness with the government’s energy and pipeline policy cost on to say that it appears that cabinet is split. It suggests that Chrystia Freeland and Seamus O’Regan, both of whom have been briefed, forcefully, I imagine, by Premiers Jason Kenney and Scott Moe, favour approving the project but many ministers and MPs (especially those from urban Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal?) are opposed.
Some of the stronger (quasi separatist) voices in Western Canada are saying things like “Ottawa unilaterally killing the biggest bright spot on Alberta’s dark horizon, must surely be a line too far even for the West’s federalists.” Even more moderate, pro-Canada, voices say things like “There are still optimists in Alberta and let us hope their optimism wins the day … [but] … those suggesting this Teck mine can be traded away are just rubbing salt in a very deep wound. It’s an insult.” Conservative MPs Michelle Rempel-Garner and Shannon Stubbs are quoted (same link) as saying:
- ““The Trudeau Liberals are “playing with fire.” No Teck mine and Albertans will be furious, a glimmer of hope turned to darkness … [and] … Screw around playing the political games and deep-six the Teck Frontier oilsands mine and most Albertans will see the Trudeau Liberals punting the project “as a final rejection of Alberta by Canada … [and, further] … Albertans don’t want a friggin’ aid package. They just want a fair shake, an even playing field and for the feds to get out of the way. A federal aid package? Ugh. That would be insult after injury, injury, injury.”“; and
- ““There’s a lot of very vocal Liberal MPs who do not want this project to pass. We fight it but it’s just a deluge of people who don’t want our right to work to be put forward … [and] … there’s a degree of not understanding how little these guys care for us because it’s so crazy to think they don’t.”“
These are not Western separatist voices. They are good, strong, loyal, Canadian voices. Ms Rempel-Garner and Ms Stubbs are 100% Canadian, just as solidly Canadian as are Justin Trudeau, Mélanie Joli, Catherine McKenna, Bardish Chaggar and Steven Guilbeault. But they are angry voices, reflecting the growing frustration and anger that millions of Western Canadians are feeling about the Trudeau-Freeland regime. Words like “insult” are loaded and I think they express how many Western Canadians must feel as this unfolds.
Prime Minister Trudeau and the climate-change ideologues who are pulling his strings are playing with fire. The Teck project has successfully undergone a ten-year-long review and has been found to be viable and suitable; it met every single environmental and consultative requirement. Turning it off, to pacify the anti-energy and anti-Western sentiments espoused by the Laurentian Elites would be a serious blow to Canada’s always fragile national unity. The Liberals were already punished in the West, in the 2019 election, for being unethical, for being biased and narrowly serving only the perceived interests of those who live in the vote-rich Lauretian basin that stretches from about Windsor to Québec City. It’s possibly good partisan political tactics for the Trudeau-Freeland regime, but it is a bad strategy for Canada.
The two proposals:
- to quash the Frontier mine, and
- to provide some sort of “aid” package to Alberta;
are both monumentally stupid and, together, they pose a real danger to our increasingly precarious national unity. Justin Trudeau is a weak person who is also a bad prime minister. His deputy, Chrystia Freeland, is marginally stronger and smarter but is still a third rate leader.
Canada needs strong, principled, resolute leaders who will stand up for all Canadians, from Tofino to Tuktoyaktuk to Torbay and back to Toronto …
… and the need is urgent.