Tim Harper writes that Justin Trudeau will soon be under pressure to approve a pipeline -- whether he wants to or not:
When the economic cost of this tragedy is tallied, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is going to be under renewed pressure to approve a pipeline and get oil to market from a province staggering under the weight of historic economic troubles.Oil production in Alberta is down a million barrels a day — this in a province already coping with jobless rates unseen in 20 years, which bled 21,000 jobs last month before the fires, and now must cope with oil patch shutdowns and international investor nervousness.Beyond Alberta, the fires are going to have a huge impact on the Canadian economy.
How he can do that and meet his commitments to reduce greenhouse gases seems impossible. Add to that the Liberals commitment -- announced yesterday by Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett -- to sign the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and it's clear that Trudeau has to try and unscramble a political Rubik's Cube.
Mr. Harper is right: "The expectations and moral suasion from Alberta will be even greater. The pipeline-environmental-aboriginal axis on which Trudeau spins is about to get a lot more dizzying."