As the prime minister graces the cover of Rolling Stone, the real news this week is how two major natural resources projects have been scuttled by government and the courts
The fawning front cover of the latest Rolling Stone, which features Justin Trudeau and wonders wistfully, “Why can’t he be our President?” also touts a headline promising to explain how the Trump administration is destroying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Many Canadians will rejoice at the contrast — and, it’s true, few would exchange Trudeau’s golden aura for Trump’s tangerine tincture. But the idea that Trudeau is getting everything right — particularly when it comes to balancing environmental protection and growing the economy — is fallacious. The government is touting the International Monetary Fund’s forecast that Canada will lead the G7 in growth this year. But there is a lag before government action affects the economy.
The warning this week from the Chamber of Commerce that Canada’s climate-change plan and other measures are raising the cost of doing business in this country to breaking point is a canary in the coal mine, gasping from exposure to the toxic gases of too many taxes and too much regulation.
This has not been a good week for the reputation of this country’s natural resource sector. On Tuesday, the $36-billion Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas project was cancelled, ostensibly because of poor global prices but really because of the reduced attractiveness of the Canadian market for investment.
This was compounded Wednesday by a Supreme Court of Canada decision to block seismic testing in Nunavut because of opposition by local Inuit, who said they had not been consulted adequately before the National Energy Board gave oil companies permission to search for oil and gas in northern waters.