Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Globe and Mail reporter Campbell Clark suggests Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is being attacked on all sides, thanks to his efforts to try to please everyone, to develop Canadian energy and fight climate change at the same time.
Trudeau has the country’s only viable policy for climate change and pipelines
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thought he’d struck a middle-ground political balance on pipelines and climate policy, but it looks like the centre is getting harder to hold.
The problem for Canadians is that the centre is the only viable path.
B.C. Premier John Horgan is threatening to block the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The three main leadership candidates for Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party are promising to dump the party’s pledge to adopt a carbon tax. Jason Kenney, Leader of Alberta’s United Conservatives, pledges to kill that province’s carbon tax if he is elected – and polls suggest he probably will be.
All of that is a mounting challenge to Mr. Trudeau’s formula. He had staked out the political middle by promising Canadians they could have both things at once: He’d get resources to market, approving at least one new oil pipeline, but also act on climate change, including putting a price on carbon.
Now, he’s getting attacked from both sides – accused of failing to stop B.C.’s threats to block Trans Mountain, and from the other end of the spectrum of buckling under to the oil industry and sacrificing the environment.
What a surprise – try to please everybody, end up pleasing nobody.