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article imageOp-Ed: How will Trudeau justify buying a pipeline and climate change?

By Karen Graham     Jun 3, 2018 in Politics
While anti-pipeline protesters are regrouping after the government announced Canada is purchasing the Trans Mountain pipeline, and with two weeks to go before the G7 meeting, many wonder how Trudeau will defend his stance on climate change.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Tuesday that Ottawa will spend $4.5 billion to buy the Trans Mountain project from Kinder Morgan, as well as its B.C. terminal. But protesters are already prepared to fight the plan until it's scrapped, they say.
About 75 anti-pipeline activists gathered outside the Kinder Morgan facility in Burnaby, B.C. Saturday, hoping to express their displeasure over the federal government's announcement and the damage to the environment the pipeline will create.
“Rather than go to the court to determine jurisdictions, they're making financial decisions that affect taxpayers and they'll have to be accountable for that," Premier John Horgan said at the time, according to CTV News.
Protester holding sign stating No Pipeline  No Consent  during a Kinder Morgan Pipeline Rally on Sep...
Protester holding sign stating No Pipeline, No Consent, during a Kinder Morgan Pipeline Rally on September 9th, 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
William Chen (CC BY-SA 4.0)
And some taxpayers are angry over the government's decision to buy the pipeline, calling it a betrayal. Tzeporah Berman, a director of, one of the groups that organized an anti-pipeline protest in Vancouver, said: “My expectation is that the outrage is going to grow and we're not just going it see it here in British Columbia but we're going to see it nationally and internationally."
Today, this writer learned that LeadNow is planning a nation-wide, non-violent protest at 100 MP offices on Monday, June 4, including Prime Minister Trudeau and Ministers Carr, McKenna and Morneau, to demand the federal government cancel its plans to buy the Kinder Morgan pipeline with taxpayers' money.
Protestors are asked to wear red and gather across Canada to rally at MP’s offices in all major cities and towns to demand cancellation of the buyout.
Trudeau, the G7 meeting, and climate change
Berman, who is an adjunct professor of environmental studies at York University in Toronto is disappointed in Trudeau, saying: “I think a lot of us who knocked on doors for the Trudeau government really believed them when they said they were going to bring evidence-based analysis and science and democratic process back to pipeline reviews.”
Group photo of G7 leaders at the 43rd G7 summi in 2017:  Donald Tusk  Justin Trudeau  Angela Merkel ...
Group photo of G7 leaders at the 43rd G7 summi in 2017: Donald Tusk, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, Paolo Gentiloni, Emmanuel Macron, Shinzō Abe, Theresa May, Jean-Claude Juncker (from left to right).
Italian G7 Presidency 2017
And with all this going on, the Trudeau government announced Canada is joining IRENA, the world’s largest intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to sustainable energy sources. I'm sure a lot of Canadians are wondering about that announcement today.
With the G7 meeting coming up on June 8 and 9 in La Malbaie, Quebec, Prime Minister Trudeau will be dodging some tough internal issues as this will be the first time President Trump visits Canada, and we all know what happened at last year's G7 meeting when he announced the U.S. would be pulling out of the Paris Agreement.
The thing is - How will Trudeau justify the purchase of a pipeline most people don't want — yet still be a staunch supporter of clean energy and a healthy environment?
International interests are already questioning Canada's efforts to ramp up global climate change ambitions, especially as the Trudeau government faces criticism from environmentalists, such as former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, over its support for oilpatch expansion.
Will Canada's backing of the Trans Mountain pipeline extension have any effect on the G7 meeting? This is particularly worrisome because the largest single source of emissions in Canada is the oil and gas sector, according to government figures, and that sector was mostly responsible for the increase of Canada’s overall carbon emissions between 1990 and 2015.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Canada, G7 meeting, trans mountain pipeline, Environmentalists, Climate change
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