Trudeau arrives in Paris following pipeline meeting with Notley, Horgan

Trudeau arrives in Paris following pipeline meeting with Notley, Horgan
John Horgan To Keep Blocking Trans Mountain After Meeting With Justin Trudeau, Rachel Notley
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is putting taxpayer money where his governments mouth is, promising to deploy both financial and legislative tools to ensure the disputed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion between Alberta and British Columbia is able to proceed.

At the same time, however, Trudeau — speaking after a rare Sunday meeting with the warring premiers from both provinces — concedes there is more his Liberal government is willing to do to protect the B.C. coastline from a possible oil spill.

Trudeaus plane touched down in Paris early Monday local time. He was supposed to fly to the French capital directly from Peru — where he attended the Summit of the Americas on Friday and Saturday — before he decided to sit down with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan on Parliament Hill.

Trudeau spoke at the end of a remarkable eight-hour stopover in the national capital, an unscheduled break from his overseas trip to accommodate the last-minute summit with B.C.s John Horgan, who has staked his governments survival on opposing the pipeline, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, whose provinces economic health depends on it.

“The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is of vital strategic interest to Canada, Trudeau said following the two-hour meeting. “It will be built.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived in France as he continues more than a week of globetrotting following a brief stop in Ottawa Sunday to discuss the Trans Mountain pipeline crisis with the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia.

It has been a week since Kinder Morgan announced it was halting all non-essential spending on the plan to build a second, bigger pipeline parallel to the existing one between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C. The company gave the Trudeau government until the end of May to reassure its investors the pipeline would be built, despite mounting opposition.

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Who was that guy in Paris saying Canada was back?

After the meeting, Notley and Trudeau exuded confidence the deadline would be met and the pipeline would proceed. Horgan, however, betrayed no evidence that their confidence had anything to do with him. If anything, the positions of the two NDP premiers appeared all the more entrenched when the meeting was over.

The visit comes only days after France joined Britain and the U.S. in launching airstrikes against the Syrian government for an alleged chemical-weapon attack this month that killed at least 40 people and left hundreds more injured.

Notley said legislation to allow Alberta to cut oil supplies to B.C., sure to send gas prices there soaring, would be introduced in the legislature this week. Horgan said a court challenge testing whether B.C. has the jurisdiction to regulate what can and cant flow through the expansion will proceed before the end of the month.

With that highly charged meeting now out of the way, Trudeau will turn his attention to what will be his first official visit to France, where hell meet with President Emmanuel Macron and address the National Assembly.

The chasm between them did not go unacknowledged by the prime minister.

Justin Tang/Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a press conference to discuss his meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan on the deadlock over Kinder Morgans Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, in Ottawa on April 15, 2018.

“We must recognize that they remain at an impasse, which only the government of Canada has the capacity and the authority to resolve, he said.

Horgan still talks a good game. Despite self-styled smart sorts writing the B.C. premier off many weeks ago, Horgan is still standing. He’s still in the courts. He continues to disagree with Trudeau and Notley over shipping diluted bitumen from Alberta to the coast through this pipeline expansion.

Trudeau promises financial backing for vital Trans Mountain pipeline

As such, Trudeau said he has instructed Finance Minister Bill Morneau to sit down with Kinder Morgan to find a financial solution that will soothe their investors. He also promised legislation that would reaffirm Ottawas authority to press ahead with a development deemed to be in Canadas national interest.

In the dying minutes of a very long press conference, the prime minister says he is not in his ideal world, whatever that would look like. Maybe it’s a world of dreams where a carbon tax does equal a pipeline. Or a world where B.C. Premier John Horgan would just shut up.

He said the negotiations with Kinder Morgan wouldnt play out in public, and he would not elaborate on exactly what the legislation will say.

Kinder Morgan’s boardroom boys down in Houston have deep pockets but they’re tired of the uncertainty of their pipeline going through. They’re far from amused with the shenanigans of the B.C. NDP government led by no-surrender Premier Horgan.

Kinder Morgan, for its part, would not say Sunday whether it felt mollified by the days events.

After the meeting with Trudeau and B.C. Premier Horgan, Notley tells the national press how the B.C. NDP government creates uncertainty in the pipeline “by coming up with creative ways in which to inject a certain amount of legal debate.”

Canada PM to act on pipeline crisis in days to come: province

“Our objectives are to obtain certainty with respect to the ability to construct through B.C. and for the protection of our shareholders in order to build the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, the company said in a statement.

So the feds in some way, shape or form are going to put taxpayer dough into this pipeline project. Alberta is willing to go the same route. In fact, Premier Notley talked about moolah before Trudeau ever did.

Video: No resolution for Trans Mountain pipeline project

“We do not intend to issue updates or further disclosures on the status of consultations until weve reached a sufficiently definitive agreement on or before May 31 that satisfies our objectives.

With coin headed to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion and the feds saying they’ll use their authority to get shovels in the ground, the pipeline presumably stays alive and gets built.

Trudeau said the pipeline was approved by his government in 2016 after a rejigged environmental assessment and Indigenous consultation process, and only in concert with the Liberals climate change and oceans protection plan. Approval came in consultation with the previous B.C. Liberal government, which gave its consent to the project after its own conditions were met.

Horgans election last year changed that. His minority government exists at the pleasure of the Green party, and on condition of his continued opposition to the project. Trudeau made it clear Sunday that Horgan and his government are the ones wholly responsible for the impasse.

Justin Tang/CANADIAN PRESS B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves after a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on the deadlock over Kinder Morgans Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on April 15, 2018.

But should Kinder Morgan trigger a Canadian version of Standing Rock, it wont just be First Nations protesters on Burnaby Mountain. More than 20,000 people have pledged to act as coast protectors willing to do whatever it takes to stop the pipeline. If Trudeau forces the issue, it will bring a very quick end to any rhetorical hot air about reconciliation. It will also usher in Trump-like wedge politics to a country that, outside of the Harper era, has traditionally set a more civil course.

“I dont think we would be in this situation if the British Columbia government hadnt continued to emphasize its opposition to the project, Trudeau said. “That is why we are at this point right now.

The federal government can and will do more on the pipelines potential environmental impact, he added. But he also accused Horgan of ramping up his rhetoric about environmental uncertainty and gaps in the federal oceans protection plan, without providing details.

As of Sunday, Canadians know the Trudeau government will enter into secret talks with Kinder Morgan aimed at making its Trans Mountain problems disappear. If one of those problems is financing for a project that may not be viable, Trudeau should drop the pretences and just tell us the size of the bill. It will not do to share how much he loves whales or old growth forests or flash his tattoo. As John Lennon asked of politicians in 1971, Just give me the truth.

“Unfortunately, over the course of almost a year, they have not specifically put forward proposals on how they would like to see us improve the oceans protection plan, said Trudeau. “Its something we very much are open to doing.

There is a reason for Notleys mania to get Trans Mountain in place now. Simply, there may not be a tomorrow. If, as expected, demand for oil peaks in the next decade because of rapidly falling prices for clean energy options, Alberta could be saddled with vast reserves of unsellable oil. There is a shrinking window of opportunity and Notley is trying to get through it before it closes. In a nutshell, there is more bitumen than there is time to sell it.

Trans Mountain pipeline battle continues, BC still plans on going ahead with legal case

“We have been working at the official level for some time laying out concerns, and I was encouraged that todays meeting will allow us to get back on track in that respect, he said.

But this complex tactical minuet changed completely when Kinder Morgan moved from the energy to the ultimatum business. First, the company that rose out of the poisoned ashes of Enron, got tough on protesters. Hundreds were arrested and charged with civil contempt of a court order obtained by Kinder Morgan to protect its work places. Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May and NDP MP Kennedy Stewart were among those charged.

Trudeaus Trans Mountain stand could be legacy-defining

A lack of scientific clarity on how diluted bitumen behaves in water, and a lack of political clarity over who is responsible to pay in the event of such a spill, are two of his chief concerns, Horgan added.

Indeed, knowledge is limited when it comes to how diluted bitumen — known colloquially as dilbit — interacts with water, and how best to contain and clean it up. Dilbit spilled into Michigans Kalamazoo River from an Enbridge pipeline in 2010 cost billions to clean up, with parts of the river closed for years afterwards.

Notley, meanwhile, said she felt “a lot better following the meeting — and that once Morneaus talks with Kinder Morgan were complete, the project would proceed.

“Im quite confident that should these discussions end successfully, that the pipeline will be built — and that is good, because the pipeline is in the national interest, she said.

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

Justin Tang/CANADIAN PRESS Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks speaks during a press conference to discuss her meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan on the deadlock over Kinder Morgans Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on April 15, 2018.

Trans Mountain will be built, Trudeau says after meeting with Horgan, Notley

Before Sundays duelling news conferences were even complete, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was front and centre, accusing Trudeau of sitting on his hands for too long and frittering away investor confidence in Canada as a whole.

“His damaging policies … have only led to more uncertainty and instability in Canadas resource sector, Scheer said, describing an energy sector that is now convinced that “Justin Trudeau does not want their business in Canada.

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

Albertas Opposition leader, Jason Kenney, also said Sundays meeting didnt bring the pipeline any closer to construction. He said government investment in the project would do nothing to solve B.C.s continuing opposition.

Kenney repeated his calls for the prime minister to penalize B.C. by withholding federal dollars for infrastructure and jobs training. He noted Trudeaus father would not have stood for what the Horgan government is doing — despite his reputation as an oilsands opponent.

“I believe that (former) prime minister Pierre Trudeau — who was no great friend of Albertas energy industry — would not have tolerated the … lawlessness and violation of the Constitution that we are seeing right now, the United Conservative Party leader told reporters Sunday.

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