COLUMN: Trudeau handing out apologies to everyone except Albertans

The people he should be apologizing to are Albertans for his government's failure to do its due diligence in planning and consultation of one of this country’s most important economic initiatives in a generation. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to supporters during a campaign stop at Richard's Coffeehouse on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 27, 2018 in Brockville, Ont. (RONALD ZAJAC/The Recorder and Times) BT

Share Adjust Comment Print

Our ever-honourable prime minister was doing what he does best on Tuesday, issuing another apology.

Yes, we as Canadians are known world-wide for our use of “sorry, eh” but this is getting to be a little much from our elected leader. (Seriously, just Google “Trudeau apologizes.”)

This time he was issuing his heartfelt admission to the Assembly of First Nations for his government’s lack of consultation with First Nations communities during the Trans Mountain Pipeline planning process.

The people he should be apologizing to are Albertans for his government’s failure to do its due diligence in planning and consultation of one of this country’s most important economic initiatives in a generation.

He does not do that well. Instead, he would rather throw veiled accusations around about male construction workers in rural areas. Justin, have you spent much time out on construction sites in rural areas? I mean when you are not stumping for votes, with your sleeves rolled up to look the part of someone who may actually know the difference between a prybar and a crowbar.

The problem with Trudeau is you have to watch what side of his mouth he is speaking out of. Really, it all depends what part of the country he is speaking in. If he’s in B.C., Quebec or on the international stage trying to impress A-list celebrities, he’ll hammer hard on the need to transition away from oil. If he is making a rare speech in Alberta, it’s damage control, as it was in Calgary on Nov. 22 where he offered no real solutions, but acknowledged that Alberta was in a fiscal crisis. You know, not quite thoughts and prayers, but hey at least he understands Albertans are fighting for their livelihoods.

Meanwhile, the recent fiscal update offered no relief for the oil industry or letting up on his carbon tax crusade in the name of the environment while our closest competitors are walking away from the Paris Agreement and their promises.

He understands part of the economic crisis is due to the price of our oil on the world market. Does he accept any responsibility for that price? Specifically, his government dropping the ball on getting Alberta crude to tide water so we can sell it at a competitive price point? He surely does not.

That would mean him actually taking responsibility for the true impact of his government’s incompetence. He’d rather point the finger at past governments, ignoring that his government is the one that has been in power for the past three years.

I wonder, though, if this is not by design. He did, after all, promise throughout his campaign election that no pipeline would be built through the Great Bear Rainforest while he pledged a moratorium on oil tankers off British Columbia’s northern coast. He did little to ensure Energy East became a reality, and then stood by as the federal government fumbled away the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. In the process the Liberals pushed through Bill-C69 — currently before the Senate — which has been derided by many as a resource industry killer. It has sandbagging written all over it.

I’m not holding my breath on any rejigged, last-ditch effort by his government to get the Trans Mountain Pipeline through to the port in Langley, B.C.

He has failed this province time and again.

In this case, I give credit to Premier Rachel Notley for doing what she can to find alternatives to getting our oil to the coast — though in a much less safe fashion and with a higher carbon foot print than a pipeline — with the purchase of train cars. As well her attempt to boost oil prices by capping oil production, taking her cue from the United Conservative Party and the Alberta Party. But she is fighting a losing battle.

Yes, one day it would be great for the environment for Alberta to be weaned from the fossil fuel teat. In Trudeau’s idealistic world, the industry that has been one of the biggest economic drivers in this country for the last 25 years would be committed to the history books — along with the dinosaurs which became one of the largest oil deposits in the world.

The fact is, the world is not in a position to do so. The actions and inactions of his government have kneecapped this province’s economy and the livelihood of its population, while he pledges $50 million on Twitter for another celebrity cause.

But hey, at least we have legalized cannabis, right? I mean, when it is in stock.

Mr. Trudeau, you owe us an apology.

 

jaldrich@postmedia.com

 

Comments