Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday June 14, 2019
Time for Moe, Kenney to cool their jets on national unity talk
Is this where politics is taking our nation?
This is not to suggest Bill C-49 and C-69 isn’t a problem for western oil.
Nor is it to suggest for a moment that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government haven’t been oblivious to western concerns or that there isn’t legitimate frustration over idiotic notions like Quebec Premier Francois Legault suggesting western oil is no longer socially acceptable. Why there would be different rules for oil tankers on the East Coast than on the West Coast needs to challenged.
And if Trudeau is condemned this October to the inglorious fate of a one-term prime minister, it will be difficult to argue it was undeserved. A government fuelled by the frivolous image politics of its leader is now running on fumes. Its engine is clogged with SNC-Lavalin debris.
But none of this justifies the bizarre and divisive hysteria we are now hearing. Premiers and others are inflating into a national unity crisis pieces of federal legislation addressing changes to the National Energy Board and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and changes to how major infrastructure projects are reviewed and approved.
Remember when a national unity crisis was actually about a national unity crisis, like when a quarter of the country was voting to separate?
Let’s be clear: This not the 1980 or 1995 Quebec referendum. It’s not even the National Energy Program of the elder Trudeau of the late 1970s, although, for partisan political reasons, one suspects certain politicians would love to see Bill C-69 raised to that level.
This is 2019 and we’re still just talking about a bill affecting pipelines. How much effect it will have is a subject of legitimate debate, but consider two pertinent questions: What happens to the notion that Bill C-69 stops all pipeline development, if the Trudeau government goes ahead with approval of Trans-Mountain pipeline as early as next week? While we surely need and should have more pipelines, shouldn’t we do our utmost to ensure there aren’t future spills like the Husky spill of three years ago? (Leader-Post)