One thing is becoming clear after the last couple of weeks of pipeline news stories: the pro-pipeline movement is finally getting some serious traction.
On Tuesday, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney added considerable heft to the argument in favour of building Canadian pipelines in a speech to the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. He called in to my show to repeat his forceful public appeal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to support this vital “nation-building” exercise. He told me no other economic initiative would do more to enhance Canadian sovereignty, grow GDP and create nation-wide jobs than investment in pipelines to both the east and west coasts. He firmly believes the Prime Minister is the only one who is in the position to bring all the disparate groups together in our collective self-interest. It’s a powerful message.
At the same time, the Federal Court of Appeal has rejected the calls of First Nations groups to suspend the Trans Mountain ruling on the basis of insufficient consultation. The court said there was ample opportunity to give feedback. If First Nations chose not to participate, it’s on them.
Finally, a Bloomberg news story quotes internal sources saying that Trudeau plans to approve at least one new oil pipeline project in his first term, and the Trans Mountain expansion is likely it.
Add to this the surprisingly strong voices of support from progressive corners, including NDP leader Rachel Notley, her cabinet, Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, and it is beginning to feel like the tide is turning on the debate.
Conservatives aren’t going to want to hear it, but it is beginning to look like the NDP’s carbon-tax-for-pipelines tradeoff might end up working after all.
The full interview with former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is below.