I remember standing there as reporters bombarded then Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk with question after question about special measures for laid off oil patch workers. Yet despite the free fall in the price of oil in late 2015 and early 2016, and the free fall in employment, the Liberals were not willing to extend any special measures for unemployment insurance to Alberta.
It was a bit of a telling sign of things to come.
Despite winning four seats in the last election, a breakthrough for the Liberals in Alberta, the government party continues to treat the province differently than say their favoured province of Quebec.
Since I broke the news that Energie Saguenay, a worthwhile project to build an LNG port in the Saguenay region of Quebec, will not have to face the upstream and downstream emissions test that Energy East was subject to, I have been bombarded with comments about the special treatment Quebec receives compared to Alberta.
This isn’t good for national unity.
For nearly a decade under Stephen Harper this sort of talk disappeared as Harper stayed out of provincial jurisdiction and treated each province, for the most part, as equals. That mode of working has been turned on its head by Trudeau.
From granting Bombardier, a profitable company, hundreds of millions of tax dollars to the dumping of 8 billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River, the people of Canada it seems have long memories.
But if some ducks land in a tailing pond……fines and condemnation.
Compare that to the cement plant in Quebec’s Gaspe region that was approved without an environmental approval because it had first been proposed in 1998. As Macleans reported, the cement plant would emit as much or more in terms of greenhouse gases than the Energy East pipeline would have.
It will also rival, if not exceed, the emissions associated with the Energy East pipeline project, which Quebec has opposed on environmental grounds. According to figures in a report prepared for the Ontario Energy Board, the planned pipeline that would transport bitumen eastward from Alberta will generate somewhere between 0.7 and 4.3 million tonnes of extra carbon a year, depending on increases in production. At the very least, the cement plant will generate the equivalent of roughly half those emissions from a single location—without an environmental assessment.
Remember that Energy East was set aside because it was subject to the upstream and downstream emissions that Energie Saguenay is not subject to.
We can point to other examples, like the 276% tariff imposed by the Trudeau Liberals on drywall imported into Western Canada just as Fort McMurray was rebuilding.
If Western Alienation is on the rise, the actions of Justin Trudeau and his government are clearly to blame.
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