Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Deal Won't Solve Feds' Pipeline Problems

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Deal Won't Solve Feds' Pipeline Problems

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Deal won't solve feds' pipeline problems


An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published May 30:

Picture, if you can, a trick rider in a big-top circus -- standing defiantly as two horses below him gallop in unison around the centre ring, the rider balancing with one foot planted on the saddle of each of his equine charges.

It's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, but if at any point the horses' cadence or relative in-motion positioning changes, the rider will be forced to make a choice by jumping to safety on one horse or the other.

In political terms, Justin Trudeau has reached that moment in his prime-ministerial performance. And the saddle into which he's settled for the rest of his sure-to-be-bumpy ride sits astride an oily nag named Kinder Morgan.

For many months, the prime minister has tried to maintain the precarious illusion that he's both an environmental advocate and a champion of the country's petroleum-resource industries. But with Tuesday's announcement that the federal government will purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline project from Kinder Morgan at a price of $4.5 billion in order to ensure the project's controversial expansion gets completed, Mr. Trudeau has chosen his landing place.

He has, for all intents and purposes, staked his government's future to the outcome of the pipeline saga. And the simple fact of the matter is that it was never going to end any other way.

For as hard as he has worked to position himself as an eco-friendly prime minister -- with his hard-line strategy on carbon pricing, his oft-stated commitment to the Paris Agreement's climate goals and his apparent dedication to building relationships with Indigenous communities -- Mr. Trudeau has made it very clear during the past few months of pipeline-related strife that his first loyalty was going to be to moving Canada's resources to international markets and the completion of the Trans Mountain expansion his government has declared to be "of vital interest to Canada and to Canadians. …

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