October 6, 2017 8:26 pm
Updated: October 7, 2017 4:35 pm

COMMENTARY: Montreal mayor dances on the graves of Alberta jobs

Reaction is varied across Canada to news that the Energy East pipeline project has been cancelled by Trans Canada. While Quebecers are celebrating, there is disappointment in many other parts of the country. Global's Raquel Fletcher reports.

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Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is elated at the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline, taking partial credit.

The mayor who has been the strongest opponent in Quebec of the pipeline that would have carried Alberta bitumen from Alberta to the Atlantic coast, said he was proud of work done by those who tried to stop it.

Coverage of Energy East on Globalnews.ca:

Denis Coderre has poured 8 billion litres of waste into the St. Lawrence River. He is not the environment’s best friend, but has now positioned himself as some sort of protector of all that’s good and green because he inspired many mayors and other politicians to stand up to TransCanada to prevent them from laying down pipe in Quebec.

LISTEN: Alberta United Conservative Party leadership candidate Jason Kenny calls the demise of Energy East “tragic”

Ontario had signed off having the pipe run through its province. The Atlantic provinces did the same. But without Quebec there can be no west-east pipeline.

Coderre helped to prevent Canadians from being energy self-sufficient. There would have been no more need to have oil shipped in by tankers from the Middle East, or South America. 

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre reacts after throwing a ceremonial pitch during a pre-game ceremony as the Toronto Blue Jays face the Cincinnati Reds in MLB exhibition play Friday, April 3, 2015 in Montreal.

Paul Chiasson/CP

It’s interesting that this happened in the same week that a trial began in Lac-Mégantic, to prosecute those guilty of criminal negligence in the deaths of 47 people.

They were killed by a train carrying highly flammable shale oil from the United States.

The derailment of that train turned it into a bomb that blew up downtown Lac-Mégantic.

In the same week that this trial began, Energy East, a project that could have virtually guaranteed no more Lac-Mégantics, was killed.

Denis Coderre’s economy in Montreal, and the Quebec economy in general, gains nothing from the demise of Energy East. No food is going into the bellies of children raised by parents who might otherwise have good-paying energy jobs in Quebec.

The only beneficiary in Quebec of this decision is Denis Coderre’s high-carb ego. He took on a big, bad energy company based in Alberta. He drilled Albertans a new one.

And when the company announced that it was the end of the trail, Denis Coderre celebrated the demise of Alberta jobs.

READ MORE: TransCanada kills plan for Energy East pipeline

Some might ask whether Justin Trudeau talked back to his good Liberal friend Denis Coderre for behavior unbecoming of a public figure, not to mention disruptive to national unity.

It might seem like a good question if you don’t know anything about Liberal politics in Quebec.

But if you do, you also know it’s a question you would never ask there. Being against the energy industry and against Alberta is cool in Quebec, and Liberals want to be the cool kids.

Upgrading plant at the Suncor Energy Oil Sands project near Fort McMurray, Alberta on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Larry MacDougal/CP

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Speaking of kids — the reason kids in Quebec are in a daycare system where parents pay as little as $7.55 a day is because of multiple billions of dollars that flow to Quebec in equalization payments, courtesy of Alberta.

Alberta sweat buys Quebec a lot of daycare, health care and low tuition fees. The list of gifts that Santa Alberta delivers down the Quebec chimney amounts to $8 billion per year.

That’s part of the equalization formula, which now has Quebec sitting with a lower unemployment rate than Alberta does.

How does one of Quebec’s most prominent politicians show gratitude for the massive gifting every year from Albertans? By dancing on their graves. 

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