On Tuesday, Jane Fonda was in the oilsands to agitate against new pipelines supported by Alberta’s left-leaning NDP government and approved by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; more aboriginal lawsuits were flying in Vancouver over Trudeau’s approval of the Petronas LNG project; and in Toronto, environmental activists were scoffing at his efforts to reform the National Energy Board.
Clearly, the honeymoon is over between opponents of oil and gas projects and Canadian governments that hoped to win their approval by cranking up environmental regulations and carbon costs, even at the expense of the economy.
So much for Canada’s ambitious climate leadership program, sold to Canadians on the promise that it would satisfy critics and re-habilitate Canada’s reputation as a responsible energy producer.
Which begs the question: If there is no gain for the pain, why bother? Why not stop pretending that no big pat on the back is coming from Canada’s environmental leadership, just a loss of competitiveness and wealth while the rest of the world — particularly the U.S. under Donald Trump, who’ll be no puppet of activists — keeps looking out for itself?
That pain should have been in plain sight as Fonda toured the region around Fort McMurray, a city ravaged by last year’s fire and where economic growth has been stunted by cuts in oilsands investments, carbon taxes, and a cap on oilsands emissions.
“Apparently @Janefonda & Greenpeace didn’t get the memo,” PC leadership candidate Jason Kenney tweeted. “The NDP carbon tax was supposed to end their opposition to our oil & pipelines.”
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