Dumb in Davos – by Peter Foster (Financial Post – January 22, 2016)


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s sideswipes at Stephen Harper and Canadian resources at Davos on Wednesday were not merely unworthy, they were dumb. “My predecessor wanted you to know Canada for its resources,” said Trudeau during his less-than-sold-out speech. “I want you to know Canadians for their resourcefulness.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi rightly took Trudeau to task, suggesting that one of the places that political resourcefulness is most needed is in supporting resource development, specifically new pipelines.

Any government so keen on infrastructure stimulus should be supporting the biggest potential domestic examples, but instead the Liberals are not merely continuing to peddle delusions of green jobs, they are facing a dysfunctional regulatory system for which their own posturing is partly responsible.

Of the four giant proposals to take oil from a deeply discounted and depressed Alberta, Keystone XL was killed in the name of President Obama’s climate legacy; Northern Gateway is moribund because of a Liberal government ban on tanker traffic; a twinning of the TransMountain system continues to come – literally – under siege at National Energy Board (NEB) hearings in Burnaby this week; and opponents are massing to stop Energy East.

A further barrier to pipeline shovel-readiness is the hard-line attitudes of B.C., Ontario and Quebec.

On Thursday, mayors from the Montreal Metropolitan Community, led by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, decided, after “consultation” with a lot of radical environmentalists, that Energy East’s risks outweighed its economic benefits.

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