Trudeau defends pipeline project leading to crisis in Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on an official visit to France in the coming days, defended on Sunday the plan to expand an oil pipeline to the Pacific, causing an oil-related political crisis in his country.

"Canadians and people around the world know that we can no longer choose between what is good for the environment and what is good for the economy. same time, and above all, we must finance the transition to reduce the use of petroleum products, "Trudeau pleaded in an interview published Sunday on the website of the French newspaper Les Echos, on the eve of his visit in France Monday and Tuesday

M. Trudeau is scheduled to arrive in France Sunday after attending the Summit of the Americas in Peru which ended Saturday. But before his departure for France, he was forced to return to Ottawa Sunday and change at the last minute his international agenda to try to resolve this crisis.

His government authorized in 2016 the American company Kinder Morgan to pass from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day the capacity of its Trans Mountain Pipeline, which moves the oil sands from Alberta to the suburbs of Vancouver.

But the province of British Columbia – from where this oil should be loaded on ships to Asia, which fears that an accident will pollute its majestic coasts – is staunchly opposed to this and has decided to take the case to court, supported by a coalition of ecologists and indigenous communities.

Alberta, the third largest reserve of black gold planet, threat in return this neighboring province of economic reprisals "very aggressive".

The Kinder Morgan company threatens to abandon the project. The US group's project is currently the only one that in the short term will allow the Alberta oil industry to sell its growing output while Canada's pipeline system is saturated.

M. Trudeau to receive premiers of both provinces in Ottawa on Sunday

"To achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement (on climate, Ed), Alberta (…) has put an absolute limit on greenhouse gas emissions, because we were able to show that the new pipeline would be supported … ", continued Mr. Trudeau.

"It is certain that people on the left, environmentalists are concerned, but also right-wing people who do not like the idea of ​​carbon taxation, but the vast majority of Canadians understand that to be responsible for future generations, "he said.

Nearly 200 countries and organizations had agreed in Paris at the end of 2015, after intense negotiations, pledging to reduce carbon emissions, up to 2030.

Canada: Oil pipeline causes unprecedented crisis for Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds himself forced to change at the last minute a busy international agenda to try to resolve a political crisis related to oil, which his country is a major producer.

He will have to return to Ottawa Sunday between the Summit of the Americas that ends Saturday in Peru and a tour of France and the United Kingdom that begins Monday.

The expansion of a pipeline to the Pacific, authorized by the Canadian government, is at the origin of this crisis. The US proponent of the project threatens to abandon it because of fierce opposition from the province of British Columbia.

It is a blow for the Prime Minister who is particularly fond of this Trans Mountain pipeline whose objective is to triple the oil sands production capacity from the Province of Alberta to the Port of Vancouver from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels a day.

The $ 7.4 billion project Canadian dollars (4.8 billion euros) of the US group Kinder Morgan is currently the only short-term allow the oil industry in Alberta, the third reserve of black gold planet, to sell its growing production while the Canadian pipeline system is saturated.

But British Columbia, from where this oil should be loaded on ships to Asia, is staunchly opposed and intends to take the case to court again. , supported by a coalition of ecologists and indigenous communities.

 March against the Trans Mountain pipeline of Kinder Morgan, a US company in Burnaby, British Columbia, on March 10, 2018 (AFP / Archives - Jason Redmond )

March against the Trans Mountain pipeline of Kinder Morgan, a US company in Burnaby, British Columbia, on March 10, 2018 (AFP / Archives – Jason Redmond)

return this neighboring province of economic reprisals "very aggressive"

M. Trudeau to receive premiers of both provinces in Ottawa Sunday "to discuss next steps to advance the pipeline project," tweeted Cameron Ahmad, his spokesperson.

Fearing further delays in this authorized project in 2016, Kinder Morgan suspended the expansion on Sunday, calling for "clarity" for future events, and in particular "the possibility of doing work in British Columbia."

The American Group gave himself until May 31 to get along with "the different parties" in this file and "allow the project to move forward."

– More gas? –

The refusal of British Columbia, which fears that an accident will pollute its majestic coasts, has triggered the ire of the Government of Alberta, which depends on the exploitation of oil and is lacking oil pipelines to expand production

The Canadian oil industry is struggling to build new pipelines, particularly to the eastern provinces (Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces). In their absence, Canada, seventh largest producer of black gold in the world with a capacity of 3.9 million barrels a day, is forced to import from abroad 670,000 barrels per day to serve these regions, noted this week the National Energy Board.

After boycotting BC wine this winter and ceasing to buy electricity, Alberta threatens to introduce a bill Monday to cut off gasoline supplies.

The Federal Government being the only authority to authorize an oil pipeline between two provinces, Justin Trudeau called on British Columbia to "stop its obstruction" of this "project of national interest."

Ottawa and Alberta are also considering taking a stake in pipeline to reassure Kinder Morgan investors.

After rejecting a year and a half ago another pipeline supposed to connect Alberta to the coast of British Columbia, Mr. Trudeau defends this time the Expansion of Trans Mountain and insists that the economy and the protection of the environment can go hand in hand.

This position poses risks for him in view of the parliamentary elections of October 2019: he was elected on the promise e to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, one-quarter of which come from oil sands operations in Alberta

But British Columbia is one of three provinces, with Ontario and Quebec, having elected the most members of the party of Justin Trudeau in 2015, while Alberta has only three of the 183 Liberals in the House.

The situation is more perilous for the Prime Minister from British Columbia, John Horgan, who came to power last year while campaigning against the pipeline. The survival of his minority government depends on the support of three Green elected officials, who are very hostile to the project.