Justin Trudeau fails to act, fails to be prime minister

Justin Trudeau's government announced it would buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Constitution of Canada is a powerful thing, it grants powers to the federal and provincial governments, it sets out jurisdiction. Too bad Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t want to use that power.

Following his meeting with the premiers of British Columbia and Alberta, Trudeau didn’t say he would invoke the power and privileges granted to the federal government, he punted, he offered a quasi socialist “solution” and he offered to pass legislation that is not needed to “get the pipeline built.”

As Trudeau came out to speak to the media at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, the PM was in best drama teacher mode. I’ve long said that Trudeau speaks to kids like they are adults, such as when he goes to a WE Day event. But when he comes before a group of adults and reads a speech he sounds like a teacher leading the romper room in story time.

That is what we got today.

After lecturing those listening on the wonders of Canada and how B.C. and Alberta are not opponents, Trudeau spoke of reducing the “risk” for the pipeline owners. Whether that means buying all or some of the pipeline, guaranteeing shareholder returns or some other mechanism.

“We have engaged in financial discussions with the pipeline owner, with Kinder Morgan. This is a series of discussions that are happening in Calgary, Toronto, Houston and New York. They won’t happen in public but as soon as we have something to announce I promise you we will let you know,” Trudeau said.

That is rather vague.

While I can understand not wanting to negotiate with a major pipeline owner like Kinder Morgan in public, the Canadian public does deserve some more information about potentially billions of tax dollars being put at stake by the antics of B.C. Premier John Horgan.

He wasn’t very clear on what the legislation he promised would exactly do.

“It will be associated with ensuring that it is clear and certain that this pipeline will be built,” Trudeau said.

And yet there is no need for further legislation. Canada’s constitution clearly states that the federal government has jurisdiction over anything that crosses provincial lines, that includes pipelines. Section 91 -10 A says inter-provincial undertakings are the responsibility of the federal government.

Lines of Steam or other Ships, Railways, Canals, Telegraphs, and other Works and Undertakings connecting the Province with any other or others of the Provinces, or extending beyond the Limits of the Province.

That section of the constitution has not been successfully challenged in a case like the one before us and the courts will not side with British Columbia. That section of the constitution is all Trudeau needs and any legislation he brings forward is subject to said constitution and therefore redundant.

Out prime minister had a chance to lead today, to show that he is not in over his head.

He failed.

In fact, the prime minister failed miserably. His only job should have been to explain to Premier Horgan that he was going to lose, that his obstructionism would be punished rather than rewarded and that he better tuck tale and get in line.

Trudeau did none of that, he rewarded bad behaviour.

Like when dealing with children, we can expect Trudeau’s response to lead to more bad behaviour from B.C. or other provinces in the future.

Watch his whole, horrible news conference below.


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  1. Brian Why didn’t Trudeau use the same constitutional argument to get Trans Canada Energy East approved instead of knuckling under to Coulliard and Coderre in Quebec. Note the Liberal Premier in New Brunswick also was a huge proponent of Energy East.

    It is high time that the Gerald Butts led Liberal Party stop with their Stephen Harper deranged syndrone: That Harper never got any pipelines through, never did anything for the military procurement. Most Canadians with ab ounce of common sense no there is no truth to those statements.

    • I read the story and comments and am not surprised. Justin does exactly what I expect of him. All act and no substance.

  2. Prime Minister is a wounded man. The scars of being belittled by, supposedly our former Prime Minister, Mr. Harper, which wasn’t his intention, that famed expression, “He is way over his head.” Ever since, Justin, sees every undertakings through the lens of a preconceived, according to him,as what could his solutions he is about to offer Albert, secure a winning position in the upcoming election. As always, Brian, I appreciate your honest Journalism. You have secured your name in history, by telling the truth that has become subjectivity instead.

  3. Brian, Justin can hide and lie all he wants but what he did to India will never be forgotten plus those involved and thrown under the bus just so to protect Justin is now comming to bite him in the ass. Read why:

    Jaspal Atwal row: Meeting of Indian, Canadian foreign ministers called off, reports @anirudhb (link: http://read.ht/Bkaq) read.ht/Bkaq

  4. Do you see the nice relaxed body language, the smiles?? Do not be naive. This situation was ORCHESTRATED by these 3 anti oil globalists. Too many younger adults under 40 do not remember the NEP, the National Energy Program and what Pierre Trudeau did to Alberta 40 years ago. This is just another slimey, back door way to NATIONALIZE Alberta’s oil and gas exports!!! This is the NEP 2.0!!! This IS COMMUNISM!!!

  5. Love your “romper room” comment. It sickens me when he uses that condescending tone. He speaks so slowly, likely because he’s unfamiliar with the “big words” his speech writers use.
    BTW, was Gerald Butts in that meeting??

  6. Being from and having lived in the Province of B.C. for 55 Years I have some environmental concerns of pumping this dirty crude through our Pristine Region.
    There is no guarantee to prevent Spills (Due to Earthquakes or otherwise)and no guarantee for it to be cleaned up and disposed off in Alberta at their Cost.
    Had Alberta with the Help of Ottawa build a Refinery on Site and transported the refined Product from Alberta to their Customers in Canada and or Overseas,I might rethink my stance.
    Not sure why B.C. should take the Risk and Alberta gets to eat the Cake?
    Like B.C. wishing to build a Nuclear Power Plant in Alberta to avoid any risks and then transport the Power to B.C. or sell it to the U.S.A.

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