Editorial: Trudeau faces further Western discontent in 2019

Editorial: Trudeau faces further Western discontent in 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while never popular in Western Canada, has an even steeper uphill climb heading into 2019.

Say what you will about whether the idea of Alberta separatism should be taken seriously, but there’s no doubt that western discontent is a reality.

The second reality is that the prime minister seems out of touch with how to handle it.

Sure, Trudeau has talked a good game about how a strong economy and a strong environment aren’t mutually exclusive ideas, but given the state of things in Alberta of late we’re still missing half of that equation.

All Canadians are committed to a greener future, even the energy companies that are held up by progressive politicians as being on board with policies, such as a carbon tax.

But where are we at with the strong economy part? If you look west, it’s not a pretty picture.

There are still many people from the oilpatch who are out of work. There are still vacant office spaces in downtown Calgary, and a lack of market access drove down the price of Alberta oil to the point that even Jason Kenney was on board with the government regulating production.

And that’s where the anger is coming from.

That’s why you’re seeing thousands take to the streets in protest in the heart of the oilpatch.

The stalled Trans Mountain pipeline may not be the fault of the Trudeau government, they even opted to buy the thing. But it’s part of a bigger picture.

That picture includes, as has been mentioned before, Northern Gateway, Energy East, Bill C-69 (which has been opposed by energy companies, and former Liberal leadership hopeful Martha Hall Findlay and will hopefully see positive amendments at a Senate committee), and a tanker ban that would affect Alberta oil exports to the west while doing nothing about Quebec and New Brunswick oil imports out east.

The PM and his ministers may claim to feel the pain of those hurting. They’ve yet to prove they know how to heal it though.

And heading into 2019, it will be harder for him to ignore.

 

Source URL
https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/editorial-trudeau-faces-further-western-discontent-in-2019/wcm/3f4e7e45-97da-4366-ba18-fcb09e07c4c6
Author Name
Los Lobo