A day after the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to quash the Trans Mountain pipeline approval, Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl put the blame squarely on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Strahl’s statement issued Friday echoes Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer’s statement, whereby he calls the recent development “Justin Trudeau’s personal failure” and “the most expensive scandal in the history of Canadian politics.”
“This is a sad day for Canadian energy and pipeline workers who were counting on the work from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to support their families,” Strahl said in his statement. “It is a sad day for Canadian competitiveness and investor confidence, as this is just the latest in the long list of job-creating, tax-revenue generating energy projects that has been cancelled or abandoned by the private sector since Justin Trudeau took office in 2015.”
And while the court decision did not kill the pipeline per se, it merely ordered parts of the National Energy Board (NEB) review to be restarted, Strahl blamed Trudeau’s “mismanagement” for the government’s move to spend $4.5 billion to purchase a “pipeline project that can’t even be built.”
He also pointed to the loss of community benefit agreements signed by Indigenous communities if the pipeline is never built. Many municipalities, too, including Chilliwack signed agreements. City council voted six to one in 2016 – with Coun. Jason Lum opposed – to accept $1.2 million from Kinder Morgan to build a pedestrian bridge over the Vedder River.
“Justin Trudeau liked to lecture the House of Commons and tell Canadians how superior the process he had put in place to get pipelines built was,” Strahl said. “He bragged about how the endless delays and the millions of dollars in additional costs he added for project proponents on top of the already onerous National Energy Board process would not only create the so-called ‘social licence’ to get projects built but would also get buy-in from Indigenous communities.”
Strahl said further that the court decision was a blow to the climate action plan, which was supposed to get pipelines built in exchange for a national carbon tax.
After the court’s decision this week, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced she would take the province out of the federal climate plan.
Strahl also criticized Trudeau for putting “all of his eggs in the Trans Mountain basket,” referring to the cancellation of the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipelines.
“Now we are left with a situation where Canadian energy is landlocked and we are forced to continue to sell Canadian oil at a massive discount to the United States.
“Justin Trudeau said repeatedly that the Trans Mountain pipeline will be built. He’s failed to deliver on that promise and unfortunately it is Canadian taxpayers and Canadian workers who are paying the price for his failure.”