Rachel Notley is right, Trudeau owes the West concrete action

Rachel Notley is absolutely correct when she says that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau owes Western Canadians action, concrete action, to get the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline built.

Alberta’s premier looked frustrated, at her wits end, on Sunday when she appeared before the cameras and called on Trudeau to do what he should have done all along, show leadership.

“We are also calling on the federal government to act in the defence of Alberta and working people in Western Canada in the way that they have in the past for other parts of this country,” Notley told reporters Sunday.

“During the auto crisis, Ottawa intervened to help workers in Ontario with concrete action. When aerospace needed a bailout, Ottawa stepped up for workers in Quebec with concrete action. And now the energy industry and Western Canada and Western Canadian workers, they need Ottawa to step up.”

So far, Trudeau has failed to step up for workers or industry in Western Canada. He put conditions on the Energy East pipeline that would take Alberta oil to Atlantic Canadian refineries that he won’t put on a Quebec liquid natural gas pipeline that will see an LNG port built in a Liberal held riding in Northern Quebec.

He has let the pipeline file rot so much that rail lines are now filled with oil tankers leaving no room for last year’s grain crop to buy its way to ports and the foreign markets looking to buy the crop.

Two major industries in Western Canada left to rot by Trudeau’s policies and/or inaction.

To understand the level of frustration on the part of Alberta’s premier, consider what she said during her news conference. Alberta’s government is willing to buy a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline.

It’s a move that even United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney agrees with in these extreme circumstances.

Notley told B.C Premier John Horgan that he may think he can mess with Texas, but he can’t mess with Alberta.

Look, I know all about Rachel Notley’s checkered past on this file. I know all about her appointing Tzeporah Berman, a Greenpeace activist now cheering this news, to the provincial Oil Sands Advisory Group.

But at this point in time, Notley, with the backing of Jason Kenney, is saying what needs to be said. That is more than can be said about Justin Trudeau and his federal Liberals.

Trudeau has to start treating that portion of Canada between Ottawa and Vancouver as something more than flyover country. When aluminum workers in Quebec need help, he does a tour. When Bombardier needs help he has hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars for a bailout.

It is time that Trudeau shows he is prime minister for the whole country and not just the parts that he likes.

3 Comments

  1. If Trudeau were to treat the West Coast fairly, he would never have approved a pipeline scheduled to carry a product more toxic than oil that could permanently destroy an entire ecosystem in a spill area and could never be cleaned up. By doing that, he and Notley support the economic success of one province at the expense of another. That has nothing to do with their overused expression, “in the national interest.”

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