Politics of Canada Oil

In 2015, Justin Trudeau campaigned for Prime Minister (PM) of Canada on a platform of “real change” on environmental issues. In the first fourteen months in office, PM Trudeau’s government reached agreement with nine of the ten provinces on a national carbon tax and committed US $2.0 billion for clean water and wastewater for cities.

The PM’s critics will point out his actions are in stark contrast to his campaign platform. The PM has approved the contentious Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline that will carry Alberta oil to refineries in the United States. The PM has now announced the Canadian federal government will buy Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, which will ship Alberta oil to ports in British Columbia. The Canadian federal government will pay US $3.4 billion to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan. The pipeline purchase will ensure the pipeline will be built regardless of strong opposition from the provincial government in British Columbia and environmentalists across Canada.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will triple the oil that will be shipped from Alberta to the ports in British Columbia. Canada’s oil pipeline system has significant bottlenecks which significantly reduces the amount oil exports to Asia and the United States. Canada’s economy has not rebounded like the majority of developed countries. Increased oil exports are expected to dramatically increase Canada’s gross domestic product.

PM Trudeau’s “real change” on environmental issues is being applauded by the Alberta provincial government. However, PM Trudeau is not “the favored son” of environmentalists or the people of British Columbia.

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