Energy

Trudeau Losing Support For Climate Change Agenda As Court Axes Pipeline

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

The Trudeau government is the proud owner of the Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project, but a federal court ruled Thursday that it can’t build a pipeline. The Liberal government nationalized Kinder Moran’s Canadian operation in the hopes of completing a pipeline that is supposed to stretch from Edmonton to Vancouver but has been hobbled with chronic protests from environmentalists and Native groups.

And now, a federal court says the environmental assessment process was flawed

As CBC News reports, the premier of Alberta is saying she won’t back Trudeau’s climate change program until work on the pipeline resumes. That program includes an added carbon tax on a province that has already initiated one voluntarily.

“As important as climate action is to our province’s future, I have also always said that taking the next step in signing on to the federal climate plan can’t happen without the Trans Mountain pipeline,” Notley told reporters Thursday.

“So today, I am announcing that with the Trans Mountain halted, and the work on it halted until the federal government gets its act together; Alberta is pulling out of the federal climate plan,” she said. “And let’s be clear, without Alberta that plan isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

Although the federal government can override any court decision with a notwithstanding clause that is part of the Canadian constitution, no federal government has yet used it to contradict Canada’s activist judiciary. Instead, Trudeau had a vague promise of continuing the pipeline “the right way” as he tweeted:

“Today I spoke with Premier @RachelNotley — and reassured her that the federal government stands by the TMX expansion project and will ensure it moves forward in the right way.”

Although Notley heads a left-of-center New Democratic government in Alberta, the conservative vote has recently been galvanized with the advent of the United Conservative Party that is leading in every poll taken in the province and widely expected to form the next provincial government.

That has pushed the current government increasingly the to the Right as it fights to keep the pipeline project alive.

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