Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has a simple question, why is the federal government willing to threaten to withhold funding from his province for opposing a carbon tax but won’t do the same when British Columbia is blocking a pipeline.
“We don’t think that is an advantageous way to discuss with the provinces,” was the answer from Bill Morneau, Trudeau’s finance minister.
Morneau was on CTV’s Question Period this weekend and told host Evan Solomon that threats were not the way to go.
“This idea of threats is not helpful. We’re instead going to be focused on getting the project done, I want Canadians to know that we will do that, and do it in a way that addresses the issues, which we’ve done through things like the oceans protection plan,” Morneau said.
Pressed by Solomon on why he thinks threatening one province is okay and not the other, Morneau actually rolled his eyes. You can watch for yourself at the 5:30 mark. Try to avoid punching your computer or throwing your phone, the dripping disdain will make it hard.
“Suffice to say Evan that I don’t see those two things as analogous,” Morneau said. “I think we share the view of the Saskatchewan premier and the view of so many Canadians that this project is in our best interest.”
The Trudeau government has threatened to withhold $62 million from a low carbon fund for refusing to sign off on the carbon tax while British Columbia was handed a $4 billion infrastructure fund payment while in the middle of blocking a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project.
So just like Alberta gets different treatment than Quebec, British Columbia gets different treatment than Saskatchewan. It is easy to understand, the Liberals win seats, or have the potential to, in Quebec and British Columbia while they win little in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The provinces that reward them with seats get carrots, the ones that don’t get the stick.
Voters on the prairies skeptical of Trudeau because of his father’s actions now have a reason to distrust him for his own actions, or lack thereof.
The Trudeau government has refused to act on this issue in any meaningful way despite the constitution clearly saying that something like a pipeline that crosses provincial borders is within federal jurisdiction. Of course the constitution also says I should be able to take beer across a provincial border and the Supreme Court just ripped that up with Trudeau’s help.
If you want to hear a sane voice on this issue, watch Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe on CTV’s QP.