John Horgan To Keep Blocking Trans Mountain After Meeting With Justin Trudeau, Rachel Notley

John Horgan To Keep Blocking Trans Mountain After Meeting With Justin Trudeau, Rachel Notley
Albertas opposition party leaders blast Trudeau, Notley for lack of progress with Horgan on pipeline issue
OTTAWA — B.C. Premier John Horgan says his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley did nothing to end his ongoing efforts to block plans to expand an existing diluted bitumen line between the two provinces.

Horgan, Notley and Trudeau met today on Parliament Hill in hopes of finding a solution to the impasse between the two provinces, which is threatening to kill the expansion project.

Albertas opposition party leaders blast Trudeau, Notley for lack of progress with Horgan on pipeline issue
Albertas opposition party leaders blast Trudeau, Notley for lack of progress with Horgan on pipeline issue

Horgan says Trudeau laid out “legislative and financial measures” to push the project forward, but he did not elaborate. He did note, however, that Trudeau made no threats and made it clear he had no intention of punishing B.C. residents.

Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr also took part in todays meeting.

Justin Tang/Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks before a meeting on the deadlock over Kinder Morgans Trans Mountain pipeline expansion with B.C. Premier John Horgan, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday.

Yedlin: Pipeline summit proves a positive step
Yedlin: Pipeline summit proves a positive step

Horgans opposition to Trans Mountain — rooted in part in the fact his tenuous NDP government depends on the support of the Green party, which staunchly opposes the project — is the main reason Kinder Morgan put the brakes on non-essential spending on the project a week ago.

Trudeau insists the Kinder Morgan pipeline is within federal jurisdiction and that Horgans government has no authority to block it — a claim Horgan wants the courts to evaluate, and one with which he says he plans to press ahead.

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Horgans news conference was barely over before Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was at the podium, laying the blame for the impasse squarely at the prime ministers feet.

“His damaging policies … have only led to more uncertainty and instability in Canadas resource sector,” Scheer said.

Canadas Trudeau ready to offer aid to ensure pipeline is built

The energy sector, Scheer said, is now convinced that “Justin Trudeau does not want their business in Canada.”

What Were Watching: Pipeline standoff, Daniel Jean and the Facebook leak
What Were Watching: Pipeline standoff, Daniel Jean and the Facebook leak

Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves Ottawa en route to Lima, Peru, on April 12, 2018.

Trudeaus cabinet approved the pipeline in 2016, following an interim environmental review process that included assessing things such as the emissions that will be created from producing additional fossil fuels that will flow through it. The cabinet decided the project, which will build a new pipeline that runs parallel to an existing one but can carry twice as much, was in the national interest.

Trudeau has argued repeatedly his government has put in place the environmental protections and policies needed to reduce the risks of an oil spill, and that building the pipeline to get Canadian resources to market is necessary for the Canadian economy.

Notley says Alberta will buy an equity stake in the pipeline, or even buy the whole thing if necessary.

Kinder Morgan, meanwhile, has given Trudeau until the end of May to find a solution that would provide their investors a measure of confidence that the project would be allowed to proceed.

Canada talking to pipeline company about aid to solve crisis

The meeting, convened at the last minute Thursday as Trudeau was departing for the Summit of the Americas in Peru, marked the first time the three leaders have all been in the same room together to hash out the dispute.

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Lets face it: It was always a bit of a long shot — okay, make that a record-breaking, earth-to-the-moon-and-back-again long shot — that Sundays hastily convened trilateral mini-summit would end with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau striding triumphantly down the steps from his Centre Block office, flanked by New Democrat premiers Rachel Notley and John Horgan, each beaming an identical smile of satisfaction as they delivered a joint statement on how theyd managed to negotiate an end to the ongoing standoff over proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that somehow managed to make everyone happy.

Given the distinct unlikeness of that outcome, what actually did emerge from the closed-door session could probably be considered a win for Team Trudeau, if only because no one stomped out halfway through, blaming Ottawa for the entire mess.

We dont know exactly what the trio agreed on, but during the series of post-meeting press conferences, each seemed to think it had been worth getting together to talk over the options in person.

But while Trudeau did go further in outlining his governments next steps, he was light on the details, which will likely give his political adversaries more than enough fodder to continue to blame him, and his government, for the current contretemps.

We know that there will be pushback on Kinder Morgan: Jim Carr

Also high on the list of questions the opposition is likely hoping to ask when the House returns Monday: Just what, if anything, does Canada plan to do in response to the latest volley of airstrikes in Syria, courtesy of a coordinated foray by the United States, France and the UK?

Alas for the question period tactics team, however, theyre likely not going to get the chance to put those queries to the prime minister until next week.

While he may have been able to rearrange his itinerary to make it back to Ottawa for Sundays mini-summit with Notley and Horgan, Trudeau isnt about to let the ongoing the tensions pre-empt his plans to spend the next few days making the rounds on the international circuit. On Monday morning he’s set to visit UNESCO headquarters in Paris, followed by a visit with former Canadian governor general Michaëlle Jean, who now serves as secretary general of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.

Horgan still blocking Trans Mountain after meeting with PM, Notley

Later in the day, hell meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern before dropping by Canadas new embassy.

On Tuesday, Trudeau will deliver a mid-afternoon speech to the National Assembly, as well as meet with French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe before taking off for London, where hes set to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit later this week.

PMs national security advisor (finally) faces committee over India trip claims

Opposition members are going to get their much-lobbied-for opportunity to question the prime ministers national security advisor this week over his possible involvement in a PMO-driven campaign to reroute the media narrative during Trudeaus disastrous trip to India earlier this spring.

Daniel Jean — a career civil servant who has clocked in more than three decades under both Liberal and Conservative governments — is set to spend an hour in the parliamentary spotlight on Monday.

For more than a month, the Conservatives have been calling for Jean to come before the House public safety committee to give MPs the very same off-the-record briefing he reportedly provided to the travelling press during the trip.

(Its worth noting that, while the Liberals consistently rejected that request — including using their majority to squelch motions to extend an invitation to Jean in both the House and at committee — Jean himself eventually wrote to the committee chair with his offer of an unclassified briefing.)

The backstory: In a series of not-for-attribution conversations with journalists covering Trudeaus trials and tribulations in India, Jean — or, to be scrupulously accurate, a (still officially) unnamed senior security advisor — allegedly blamed unspecified factions within the Indian government for orchestrating the addition of Jaspal Atwal to the guest list for a reception in Trudeaus honour at the Canadian High Commission in Delhi. Inviting the Indo-Canadian businessman and convicted attempted assassin was purported to be part of an ongoing effort to embarrass the government over its ostensible ties to the Sikh separatist movement.

Little surprise, the Indian government has denied those charges. Even less surprising, Trudeau and his team have demurred from commenting on the specifics of Jeans alleged claims, preferring instead to praise his professionalism and integrity.

The Liberals havent challenged the assertion that it was Jean who convened those confidential chats with reporters, but they also havent confirmed it.

Meanwhile, Jean has maintained a steadfast silence, which is why it will likely be a standing-room-only crowd when he finally goes public with his side of the story tomorrow.

As far as what hell actually say, well no one seems to know exactly how much light hell shed on what may or may not have been said behind closed doors. The very fact that hes testifying — voluntarily, even — on such a potentially sensitive issue falls so far outside the norm for senior security officials that even the pre-appearance speculation seems more highly speculative than usual.

It may not hit the heights of unscripted drama that played out during Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerbergs appearance before a U.S. congressional committee last week, but the House privacy committee is about to launch its own investigation into the social media platform. Specifically, it’s looking to find out how terrabytes of personal details harvested from unwitting Facebook users — including over half a million Canadians — wound up in the electronic clutches of UK-based data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Canadas Trudeau defends controversial pipeline project

First on the witness list is Canadas chief federal privacy watchdog Daniel Therrien, who is slated to share his thoughts and concerns with committee members on Tuesday morning. Later in the session, MPs will hear from self-described data breach hunter Chris Vickery, who will testify via videolink from Santa Clara, California.

Over the next few weeks, the committee is expected to call in senior executives from across the social media universe as members explore the implications of platform monopolies, as well as what national and international regulatory and legislative remedies might be considered to assure the privacy of citizens data and the integrity of democratic and electoral processes across the globe.

On the Senate side, the governments plan to roll out legalized pot sales across Canada this summer continues to dominate the committee agenda, with four separate senatorial panels set to continue their respective reviews of the legislation.

Among the witnesses scheduled to appear this week: Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and her parliamentary secretary, former Toronto Police chief Bill Blair, go before ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS to focus on how the new regime may affect Indigenous communities.

On the Commons agenda:  Topping the governments to-do list will be the first phase of Finance Minister Bill Morneaus plan to implement his latest budget, which was introduced just before the House shut down for the Easter recess.

Canadas Trudeau squeezed in pipeline crisis

Like virtually all such legislative proposals, its an omnibus bill — and yes, the opposition parties wasted no time pointing that out. During the last election campaign, both the prime minister and his party vowed to eschew such parliamentary highhandedness, which they claimed made it effectively impossible for MPs to perform proper due diligence on complex, highly technical legislation.

For their part, the Liberals insist theyve kept that pledge by only including measures that were announced as part of the budget, so expect to hear that debate continue throughout the week, which is as long as the government seems to be prepared to let it drag on before deploying its majority to wrap it up and send the bill off to committee for further study.

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