Roy Green: Remember that time a premier asked if we still have a nation?
“If a province such as British Columbia is able to stop one of these projects, it begs the question: Do we still have a nation?”
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe spoke those words on my program in April. At the time, economic conflict was growing between British Columbia and Alberta over B.C’s continued efforts to delay construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension.
Alberta had symbolically stopped importing B.C. wine and had passed legislation allowing the province to reduce oil flow to its westerly neighbour.
The Saskatchewan premier pointedly warned B.C.’s NDP government that should Alberta shut off the oil taps to B.C., “the next logical place for British Columbia to come for that product is Saskatchewan, and we would pass legislation so that it wouldn’t be accessible.”
Again, that was back in April.
The choppy waters of spring have given way to the riptide of late summer, and now the Federal Court of Appeal dropped the boot heel on construction permits for the pipeline extension project.
The result? Justifiable anger in Alberta as Premier Rachel Notley announced the province’s withdrawal from the federal climate plan, while Premier Moe declared Trans Mountain to be of “national interest to Canadians” and the court’s decision to result in a “severe” impact on the Saskatchewan economy.
B.C. Premier John Horgan, meanwhile, spoke of Canada moving forward and developing new technologies.
Should B.C. expect to find itself on the receiving end of a harsh lesson on the results of constant dissing of the proven in favour of the not yet fully ready?
Alberta may well tighten the oil spigot in both westerly and easterly directions — and no doubt with wide public approval in Wild Rose country.
By deciding as it has, the federal appellate court has harmed the national resource sector and closed the door on significant investment in this nation.
WATCH: Trudeau reiterates commitment to Kinder Morgan pipeline project
Justin Trudeau assured that he had shared with Notley that Trans Mountain would continue in the right way — a hollow assurance at best. Canadians well remember this prime minister saying at one of his national town halls last year, “We can’t shut down the oil sands tomorrow. We need to phase them out.”
This weekend, I hope to be speaking with Premier Moe once again on the Trans Mountain pipeline matter. I have been assured that Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer will be joining us on Saturday’s program.
Does the court’s decision concerning Trans Mountain have the potential to throw sand into the gears of national unity?
I would argue it already has.
Does the current prime minister and his government have any real interest in adopting the 911 approach to starting up TMX again, 13 months away from the next federal election?
A cynic might suggest such a decision by the Liberals will be based on whether doing so may cost more votes than might gain in just over thirteen months.
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.
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