Disclosure: Alex Singh Dhaliwal is a fourth-year Political Science and History student at the University of Calgary, where he serves as the President for its Campus Conservatives. He’s a former campaigner for the United Conservative Party of Alberta.
At a Thursday rally in Edmonton, Prime Minister Trudeau was seen pumping up the crowd of staunch supporters for Liberal MP, Amarjeet Sohi.
Upon introducing his colleague, he goes on to say, “This is an important election. We know that the work that we need to do together is to keep Canada going on the right track.”
While his claim to national unity has become cumbersome as of late, the outright hypocrisy of his tired messaging has soured the attitudes of many.
The ‘urgent letter’ from six centre-right premiers on national unity (and pipelines) demonstrates how fragile Confederation has become.
From the Line3 replacement to TMX, and Keystone XL (except for the Rangeland pipeline), the foreign-funded landlocking of our resources in culmination with Bill C-69 and C-48 detract investors from pouring additional capital into our domestic industry.
And yet, support for resource development has facilitated the same wishy-washy commitments to since day one of the Trudeau administration.
Our Prime Minister has attributed the blame to his Conservative counterparts, citing they’ve mislead Canadians on their record on pipelines (false, they constructed four pipelines during their time in office). Or, most famously, it’s all Harper’s fault for faulty Indigenous consultations.
His misconstruction of the former indicates he would instead tell a sweet lie in appealing to our ‘better nature’ than admit to his double standard on the energy sector.
As far as Indigenous consultations are concerned, Minister Sohi has been selective in his efforts to consult with those in favour of resource development. In service of partisan values, the common good was sacrificed and the blame deflected elsewhere.
Regardless of what the PM and his Cabinet choose to believe, his facade on responsible development is all but apparent.
A recent Angus Reid poll, states, 56 per cent of Canadians support the TMX project, while only 24 per cent were vehemently opposed.
So, what gives?
Amidst ongoing tensions with Western Canada, championing an anti-pipeline candidate only days prior to the Edmonton rally exacerbates his hypocrisy on resource development, responsible or otherwise.
His dwindling support in the lower mainland region of British Columbia, as well as Atlantic Canada, is a testament to such consequences.
Regardless of the votes at stake, you don’t mislead Canadians. Period. In the event one does, it will cost them dearly.
If the recent polls are any indication of how Canadians will vote, the usurping of support from Liberal strongholds reduces their chances at forming a majority government.
Notably, New Brunswick is predicted to go by way of the Conservatives come October, citing high unemployment amongst its oil refineries as a prominent factor. Putting things into perspective, the Quebec veto of Energy East starved their refineries of ethical Canadian crude.
Interestingly enough, the Energy East veto was signed off by Ottawa, receiving a subsequent $1.2-billion increase in equalization payments to Quebec.
Contrary to public opinion, (apparently) Premier Legault is “not proud” accepting equalization payments, fuelled primarily by Western resource revenue.
While he’s committed to moving liquefied natural gas by pipelines, the same can’t be said for oil.
That still holds no “social responsibility.”
Though Canada enjoys its lowest unemployment rate in 43 years, full-time employment remains down, overall, hitting hardest in Alberta where 226,500 energy sector jobs have been slashed since 2014.
As a result, a ‘complex backdrop’ was created as skepticism for personal finances grow, amidst economic growth and job creation elsewhere in Canada.
Since 2017, confidence in personal financial stability has declined, from 84 per cent to 77 per cent. Less feel certain that their children will join the middle class, in part to rising anxieties with pipelines.
“For years, Alberta has supported the Canadian economy. People from across the country have found jobs here,” says Trudeau.
Perverting Alberta’s coveted entrepreneurial spirit proved as fruitful as an empty pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Empty like his backing for pipelines and the promise of defending Alberta’s interests, which, amidst concerns of a fracturing national unity, prove concerning.
When Trudeau met with oil and gas workers, earlier today, he provided no new information on the recently approved TMX project.
Ultimately, he runs the prospect of losing what few seats he has left in Alberta, which appears likely, according to 338Canada polls.
However, to his credit, he did recognize the province has had it rough. Though, my ‘praise’ for him ends as soon as it begins.
“Here in Alberta, it hasn’t always been easy.”
Yes, Mr. Trudeau. It hasn’t. The province’s unemployment rate remains high at 6.6%, reaching as much as 7.6% in Calgary (2nd highest nationwide).
Minister Sohi’s Conservative counterpart, Tim Uppal, states “Nothing new was said by Justin Trudeau during his visit to Alberta. He didn’t say anything to address our concerns about C-48 or C-69.”
He goes on to say “These Liberal laws will be disastrous for natural resources development in Alberta. Given the Prime Minister said he would phase out the oil sands industry, now he is actively taking steps to do just that. Only Andrew Scheer and the Conservative Party have a real plan for responsible resource development and to protect the environment.”
And under threat, our energy sector has been for quite some time. Under the Liberal Party, the promise of ‘sunny ways’ has been an unequivocal disaster for Albertans, still reeling from the 2014 Recession.
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