In yet another turn of events for the Prime Minister the Senate returned his beloved Bill C-69, or as industry experts call it, the “no-more-pipelines” bill, with a plethora of amendments signaling that the bill was not just ill-advised but poorly conceived. Numerous Premiers, including those for Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, and the Northwest Territories, have spoken out against the bill saying that the Prime Minister must accept the almost 200 amendments proposed by the Senate, the Senate that Trudeau has stacked with handpicked “non-partisan” appointees.
Trudeau’s response? Ignore the recommendations of the Senate and Premiers and ram through Bill C-69 with just 30 minutes debate in the House. So why is it so difficult for him to admit that he got it wrong the first time? Why can’t he accept that the chamber of sober second thought suggested important changes to ensure the legislation is sound? Here’s where the issue is. The Prime Minister is not one to admit that he’s made a mistake.
In fact, when questioned on why he won’t be accepting the amendments, he said that those who challenged him – Premiers representing over half the population of Canada – are a danger to “national unity”. The same Prime Minister who in 2012 said he would support Quebec’s separation from Canada and who continuously invokes identity politics to divide the Canadian electorate. The same Trudeau who throws money into Quebec and Toronto for things like sausage factories, bonuses for Bombardier executives, and multi-million dollar handouts for the billionaire owners of Loblaws, while Alberta suffers a downturn unseen since Trudeau Senior and the NEP.
Bill C-69 is not just a bad bill. It will devastate what is left of Alberta’s energy industry. It imposes open-ended timelines for project approval. It increases political interference in the review process. It introduces vague project criteria that will empower foreign anti-resource activists to significantly delay approved projects in the courts. Basically, it ensures that no new pipeline project in Canada will ever get built. This is not how we should be doing business in Canada. It’s certainly not helping to keep business in Canada. And it’s definitely not reassuring existing Canadian businesses that their futures are secure by staying here.