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ALBAS: What is the plan?

Dan Albas a Member of Parliament.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Dan Albas
September 08, 2018 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


Early last week the federal Minister of Natural Resources went on the record to state that his Liberal government had “done extensive consultation” and had  “went beyond what the NEB (National Energy Board) has done. We took six months extra to consult with Indigenous communities and affected communities on the route.” - all in order to get the Trans-Mountain pipeline project approved.

In other words, the Trudeau Liberals were so confident that they spent $4.5 Billion of tax payer money to buy the existing pipeline from USA based Kinder Morgan, to be followed by the much more expensive expansion project (estimated cost to be between $7-9 Billion)

Late last week we heard the Federal Court of Appeal disagree with the Liberal Government by ruling that consultation had not been adequate.

This ruling, at least for now, has brought the Trans-Mountain project to a standstill and layoff notices for many crews working on different aspects of the project are expected shortly.

As a result of this Trudeau Government failure, the Alberta NDP government announced it would be withdrawing from the Liberal national carbon tax plan until such time that the Trans-Mountain pipeline project is completed.

These negative developments, along with ongoing NAFTA negotiations challenges that resulted in Mexico reaching its own agreement with the USA and Canada sitting on the sidelines, resulted in many media referring to this as “Trudeau’s horrible, no good, very bad week”.

So this week, during an emergency meeting of the Natural Resources Committee in Ottawa, a simple request was made to have the Finance Minister and Minister of Natural Resources appear before the committee and explain what the Liberal plan was to build the Trans Mountain pipeline, in light of the court ruling.

That request was blocked by the Liberal members of the committee.

To recap, the Liberal have spent $4.5 Billion buying a pipeline that requires a further $7 to 9 billion for an expansion and they refuse to disclose how they will actually complete it.

Many experts are suggesting that the Liberals have created a regulatory environment that not even they can successfully navigate.

From my perspective, whether you support the pipeline or not, a democratically elected government should be able to see projects deemed to be in the national interest completed.

Instead we have a situation where it appears that activists, some of whom are foreign funded, may usurp the will of a democratically elected government.

While some may view the prospect of foreign interference in our elections with skepticism, this is now a mainstream issue with the Liberal Government suggesting current federal election laws do not fully take these activities into account and suggesting some legislative fixes are warranted.

I suspect the reason why Mr. Trudeau refuses to disclose how he will break this self-created regulatory quagmire is due to the fact that an election is approaching and it is politically more convenient to “rag the puck” when it comes to a controversial subject such as building pipelines.

I hope that I am mistaken on that point and that the Prime Minister will reveal a concrete plan that supports a project he has defined as being in our national interest.

My question this week:

Given that the Trudeau Liberals define the Trans Mountain project as in Canada’s national interest, do you believe they will complete it?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

— Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. This riding includes the communities of Kelowna (specific boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt and Logan Lake.


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