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Trudeau dodges answering if Canada is on its last pipeline in debate

Justin Trudeau was asked if his government’s $4.5 billion purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline would be the last pipeline he would approve.
Graeme Gordon Montreal, QC

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was asked by CBC’s Rosemary Barton, in a longwinded question, if his government’s $4.5 billion purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline would be the last pipeline he would approve.

“Last fall the United Nations international panel on climate change stressed the need to act quickly to limit further global warming,” started Barton. “A report from Environment Canada says this country is warming twice as fast as the global average. You say you are committed to combatting climate change but your government proceeded with the purchase and approval of a new pipeline to the west coast. Given the timeline, and given what is at stake, should Canada not be moving more quickly away from further development of the oil and gas sector, and to that end, should the expansion be the last pipeline.”

Trudeau gave a similary longwinded answer.

“We absolutely have to move faster. We absolutely have to do more. And that’s why we put forward an ambitious plan to continue—that is reasonable, that is doable, and is going to make sure that we get to, not just surpass our 2030 targets, but go beyond it,” said Trudeau.

“We’re banning single-use plastics, we’re putting a price on pollution right across the country, and we’re fighting those Conservative premiers who do not want to do their part to fight climate change. We recognize that transition to clean energy will not happen overnight. And while we do, we should have less oil by rail, and we need to get to new markets so we can invest all the resources, all the money coming in from this pipeline into that green energy transition into fighting climate change. I know that’s a big piece of the way we move forward, how we invest in the new economy in that transition, and that’s what we’ve done. The choice tonight, do we pick a government that doesn’t believe in climate change or in fighting it, or do we continue on the track we are…” Trudeau said before getting cut off because his time was up.

“Okay, got to end it. I noticed you didn’t answer that last part of that question,” Barton interjected.

Environmentalists have criticized Trudeau for supporting the oil industry, while gas and oil proponents have claimed that the government overspent on buying the pipeline and that the government should not be in the business of buy pipelines.

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Graeme Gordon
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