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article imageAthabasca CEO — Trudeau ‘has to show leadership’ over pipeline

By Karen Graham     Apr 7, 2018 in World
It is becoming increasingly difficult for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to steer a course up the middle when touting his economic and environmental policies. But with the Kinder-Morgan pipeline a hot issue, the PM is being accused of being a fence-sitter.
Actually, Athabasca Oil Corp. CEO Rob Broen used some harsh words when talking about Trudeau and the Liberal government at the company's annual general meeting in Calgary, reports CTV News Canada.
Broen blasted the government for not providing regulatory certainty and not doing its job of getting the pipeline built. "He needs to back up Kinder Morgan, the pipeline he's approved, and he needs to see it through to construction and make sure we can put shovels in the ground and get it built for the benefit of all Canadians."
Meanwhile, while all this was going on, Trudeau was visiting a new Suncor Fort Hills oilsands mine near Fort McMurray, The Prime Minister used the same speech he had made in British Columbia earlier in the week - "Canada needs to protect both the environment and the economy."
"We have to make sure that the balance is right, that we're still globally competitive -- and competitiveness is something this government will always focus on -- but we also shouldn't be part of a race to the bottom of trying to cut standards and pollute more just for the short term," Trudeau said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Lars Hagberg, AFP/File
Trudeau walking a precarious middle of the road line
The Kinder-Morgan Pipeline expansion is at the center of a hot debate going on, particularly in Alberta and British Columbia. Alberta has Premier Rachel Notley, a staunch supporter of the pipeline, and B.C. has literally thousands of anti-pipeline activists doing everything they can to keep Kinder-Morgan out of their province.
British Columbia is promoting clean energy, a clean environment, and a greener infrastructure, and it's something that Trudeau promotes, because, after all, he wants Canada to be a leader in the goals set by the Paris Climate Accord. But Trudeau does have a problem.
Premier Rachel Notley and her cabinet.  — She is the 17th and current Premier of Alberta  since 20...
Premier Rachel Notley and her cabinet. — She is the 17th and current Premier of Alberta, since 2015 — and leader of the Alberta New Democratic Party.
How does he advocate for a pipeline - yet also advocate for the environment? Trudeau spoke with the media on Friday while at Fort Hills. According to Macleans Canada, the PM tried to paint a more pleasing picture of the pipeline issue.
“My job as a prime minister and our job as a government is to bring everyone together and say we’re all getting what we want — in that we are moving forward to protect the environment and grow the economy at the same time, and that doesn’t have to be divisive,” he said.
The Trudeau government's decision in November 2016, to approve one Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline and reject another The Northern Gateway pipeline left plenty of people angry. But the landmark decision also gave many people the idea that Trudeau has planted his flag right in the middle of the road, so as to not offend pro-pipeliners or pro-environment activists.
The bottom line? If Trudeau can't get the pipeline built to the west coast or get a national carbon tax on the books, his troubles and those of his party will only grow.
More about Canada energy industry, Justin trudeau, Keystone pipeline, Athabasca, pipeline export constraints
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