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Dan-in-Ottawa

PM's failure of leadership

By the time you read this, newly sworn in U.S. President Joe Biden, may well have signed an executive order rescinding the construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Keystone XL pipeline is proposed to connect Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb., more than
1,947 kilometres, to transport Canadian crude oil to U.S refineries.

The potential loss of the pipeline would have a significant impact for Canada, in particular Alberta, in terms of job losses and billions lost from corporate income taxes, carbon taxes as well as royalty payments.

The loss of the pipeline will also mean that U.S.-based refineries will have to increase importing crude oil from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, countries that have much weaker environmental and labour standards than Canada.

A potential increase of shipments of oil by rail between Canada and the United States is also a likely outcome with the loss of the Keystone XL pipeline.

This outcome is not only more costly, but it is less efficient and less safe.

For these reasons, the pipeline has been long supported by the Conservative Party both when in government and now in opposition.

It has also been long supported by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In fact, during his time in opposition, Trudeau was clear that “one of the big things the Prime Minister needs to get right is getting our resources to market.”

Mr. Trudeau also stated that if a U.S. president vetos Keystone XL “the Prime Minister has not fulfilled that responsibility.”
Trudeau was clear that if the Keystone XL pipeline is blocked by the United States that the “Prime Minister take personal responsibility for this diplomatic failure.”

By Mr. Trudeau’s own words this potential Keystone XL pipeline failure is one that he, as the Prime Minister, must now take full responsibility for.

Those who follow this Prime Minister closely will know that he will not likely take any responsibility for this "diplomatic failure."

The reality is the Keystone XL pipeline has been a target of U.S Democratic presidents for some time now, including under former president Barrack Obama and now President Biden.

This was just as true in 2013 as it is today.

From my perspective, blaming this solely on a Canadian Prime Minister would be just as unfair in 2021 as it was in 2014.

I mention this as an Opposition MP because I feel it is important that our criticisms as opposition should be fair and accurate to the government in power.

This was a courtesy that was not extended by the current Prime Minister when he served in the opposition and I recall having these same thoughts when I sat on the government side of the house during that time.

My question this week:

  • Do you support the Keystone XL pipeline being built?

I can be reached at [email protected] or toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

MP Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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