Does Trudeau have a Trans Mountain plan that goes beyond talk?

From CBC - April 9, 2018

Kinder Morgan issued an ultimatum on the weekend to the federal and B.C. governments over its proposed expansion of the Trans-Mountain pipeline.

It could not have been clearer. But the only government that appears to be taking it seriously is the one in Alberta.

To recap:Kinder Morgan said it is suspending all non-essential spending on the $7.4-billion project to expand the existing pipeline connecting the Alberta oilsands tothe port of Vancouver-Burnaby. CEO Steve Keanwent further and set a deadlineunless the company receives "clarity" by the end ofnext month on whether the work can be completed, Kinder Morgan might choose tojust walk away rather than put more of his shareholders' money at risk.

That last bit certainly caught the attention of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

Her province, she said, will consider buying into the project if that's what it takes to get it done. She warned of the economic damage being done by the delaynot just to her province but toBritish Columbia, where fellow NDP Premier John Horgan remains adamant that the project poses a threat to both coastline and climate.

Notley also offered a warning Monday about what would happen to Ottawa's constitutional authority should the project fail toproceed.

A constitutional crisis?

"There are those out there who are, at this point,calling this moment we are in a constitutional crisis for the country," Notleysaid. "And I do not know really if that's too far off.

"If the federal government allows its authority to be challenged in this way, if the national interest is given to the extremes on the left or the right, and if the voices of the moderate majority of Canadians are forgotten, the reverberations of that will tear at the fabric of Confederation for many many years to come."

The Constitution'sdivision of power does not appear to be uppermost in the prime minister's mind. His calculations are political.

The Liberals approved this project, allowing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to claim he succeeded where the previous Conservative government failed in getting Alberta's bitumen to tidewater.

The project was part of the prime minister's effortto convinceCanadians that it is indeed possible to be both pro-economy and pro-environment.

"That was our commitment," Trudeau said Monday. "And it goes together with a national price on carbon and a historic oceans protection plan that is going to keep our coasts safe. This is all a package together."

But it's a package without a bow.

Horgan says his government will continue to try to tie up the project.His calculations are just as political as Trudeau's. Blocking the project was a core campaign commitment of Horgan's just a year ago, and it's central to the pact signed with the three-member Green Party caucuswhose support the NDP needs to stay in power.

Sticking to the script


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