The pipeline war no politician will win – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – February 2, 2018)

Politics, nothing more, has incited the latest furor around the Trans Mountain pipeline. The fallout from the actions taken by the B.C. government this week could reverberate in this country for years to come. The implications for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan can’t possibly be overstated.

Let’s start at the top, with the Prime Minister. Mr. Trudeau promised to deliver this pipeline to the good people of Alberta. His government has constitutional authority over construction of the project, power that is being directly challenged by the B.C. government.

Mr. Trudeau is well aware of the time pressures this project is fighting. Project proponent Kinder Morgan is facing mounting costs as a result of delays. If the company is now looking at further court challenges dragging this process out for another year or two longer, it may decide to just walk away, which would be deeply unfortunate.

On Thursday, the Prime Minister reiterated his pledge: “Look, we’re in a federation,” he told CBC’s Edmonton AM radio show. “One of the things to remember is we have a federal government to look out for the national interest above various disagreements within the provinces… We’re going to get that pipeline built.”

But mere words in the face of serious provocations are simply not enough. Mr. Trudeau needs to up his game, and fast.

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