Justin Trudeau tells Calgary business crowd Ottawa has mishandled energy file - Macleans.ca

Justin Trudeau tells Calgary business crowd Ottawa has mishandled energy file


CALGARY – Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have forgotten their roots and risk the wrath of dissatisfied voters in the next election.

Trudeau was in Calgary on Wednesday to speak to oil executives and attend an evening rally with party supporters.

He never mentioned the words Mike Duffy or the Senate during his speech at the Calgary Petroleum Club, but he did suggest to reporters afterward that the possible repercussions of the Senate scandal are obvious.

“This government has really grown out of touch with Canadians and very arrogant,” Trudeau said.

“As we know, arrogant and out of touch is the death knell for any government seen to be taking for granted its support and position.”

He said the Conservatives, who adopted a number of policies from the old Reform Party of Canada, have forgotten what they were fighting for when they were elected.

“People came to power and came to Ottawa, saying we need a level of accountability and transparence and grassroots engagement, (but) this government has now become that which it fought against.”

Trudeau noted that the prime minister is likely to be involved in little more than “damage control” at this weekend’s Conservative party national policy convention in Calgary.

A motion to suspend three disgraced Conservative senators is poised to drag on into next week, despite a last-ditch effort to make the move more palatable within the governing party’s own ranks.

That means the Senate expense scandal cloud will hang over the entire convention.

The government leadership in the Senate is proposing a last-minute amendment to the proposed suspensions, without pay, of senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, that would allow the trio to keep their medical benefits.

However, Sen. Hugh Segal — leader of a move by some Conservatives against the suspensions — says the proposal doesn’t change the fact that the three are being sentenced without a fair hearing or charges, much less convictions.

The Conservative Senate leadership had hoped to limit debate on the suspension motions and force a vote before the Tory convention.

Trudeau said Canadians would rather see government deal with more important issues, such as health care or the economy.

“I’m troubled that the government in both the House and the Senate seems to have ground to a halt and it’s not actually dealing with anything other than damage control on a scandal.”

There need to be some changes made to the Senate, Trudeau suggested, but he stopped short of calling for a major overhaul.

“There’s no question that the status quo in the Senate is no longer acceptable when Mr. Harper chooses senators like Ms. Wallin, Mr. Brazeau and Mr. Duffy and then a few years later has to attack them as completely unqualified,” he said.

“We see there is an innate contradiction in the kind of house of sober second thought that we’re supposed to have.”


Justin Trudeau tells Calgary business crowd Ottawa has mishandled energy file

  1. JT should start telling the world the truth about AGHGs, namely that they’re way less important to our climate than previously believed.

    The IPCC is still trying to terrify people with their alarming predictions about global temperatures in response to CO2:

    Yet as CO2 concentrations increase unabated over more than a decade:

    Those global atmospheric temperatures have instead stagnated:

    • Doesn’t matter what the deniers are saying. What’s important to the oil patch’s world market is international opinion and the perception of other governments – few of whom seem to be buying what the patch is selling until it demonstrably takes climate change and environmental protection more seriously. It’s in the extraction industry’s self-interest to do so.

      I think that’s Trudeau’s point.

      • Yes, you don’t see Norway coming under attack from environmentalists. They export a lot of oil but they are not environmental freeloaders…

        • are you an expert on norwegian environmentalists to be making these claims? you see canada coming under attack because you live here. do norway have to deal with native indians who plant bombs and bring guns to there protests? also is norway close to the biggest superpower in the world? everything’s bigger in america if you havent noticed and thats why you are hearing environmental bs….

      • It’s in everyone’s interest to unmask the CAGW scammers for what they are: a bunch of rent-seekers enriching themselves on everyone else’s efforts.

        Don’t be drinking their kool-aid.

        • It doesn’t matter whether I drink anybody’s Kool-Aid, including yours. My point (and Trudeau’s, I believe) is that western Canadian oil sands producers will find few(er) markets until it allays the widespread international perception that buying its product is environmentally irresponsible. They continue to ignore or dispute that perception to their own detriment.

          IMO, that’s not a partisan opinion, it’s the simple reality of the current market. I think some spokespeople for the industry have said as much themselves.

          • The fix is not to cripple the industry, but to convince people of the reality, namely that AGHGs are almost irrelevant to climate.

          • I think that train has left the station. As I said, they can fight perception or accommodate it. Until/unless international opinion massively rejects the evidence for climate change, oil sands producers are just limiting their their own marketing opportunities, no matter whether you think they’re victims of misperception or not..

          • The key is to fix the errors of perception.

            But that’s coming in the next ten years, or maybe only five, depending on how fast global temperatures start to fall in response to the ongoing solar funk.

          • Gawd knows their professional spinners and government abetters have already wasted years trying to “fix” what you characterize as “errors of perception”.

            In any event, one person’s error of perception is another’s perpiscacity. And right now, the weight of science seems to favour this particular “error of perception”.

          • The weight of the evidence most definitely is that CO2 is of limited, perhaps even trivial importance in the climate.

            The weight of propaganda still favours the CAGW paradigm, but the actual science never actually did.

          • OK, fine. You continue to miss my point.

            Your perception remains irrelevant to the market prospects for tar sands oil, because it’s not a view widely shared internationally.

            And it doesn’t address the prevailing opinion that the extraction process is disastrous to the local environment.

            If producers don’t address those concerns, their market options remain limited.

          • What you refer to as ‘widely shared’ has a limited lifespan.

            In Science, lies have short legs and do not run far.

            Science is catching up to the CAGW politicking, more slowly than it ought to, but Science will prevail.

          • Neither true nor particularly relevant to my argument.

            In any event (and completely beside the point), scientific “lies” have often persisted – for millennia in some cases. The geocentric theory of the cosmos had a pretty good run, as did the insistence on a flat earth. Galen’s model of the four humours governing physiology stuck around for a couple thousand years or so. Phlogiston had credibility in pretty authoritative circles for a century, more or less.

            So while you’re bemoaning the alleged mythology of human-induced climate change, the tar sands producers are struggling to find both a conduit and a market for their product.

          • Naw, I’m not bemoaning the mythology, just exposing it.

          • Good luck with that! You’ll be swimming against a very strong current…

          • The current is having to force its way uphill, up a hill formed by the results of actual Science failing to substantiate the alarmism.

  2. Harper has alienated anyone and everyone who might have had an interest in it.

    I’ve been asking for a long, long time why the industry puts up with him doing them more harm than good.

    • Another view is unlike Liberal sponsorship and Liberals buying Airbus scandals, Harper tries to take out the garbage.

      • your comment makes no sense, but what would you expect from someone who does not understand that the man he is defending thinks he is a fool.

        Take out the garbage? How do you like paying for the garbage? Yes, your man Harper’s PMO cut a cheque from their supporters’ donations to cover Duffy’s legal expenses on top of his housing allowance?

        So let’s try again, Dave. Any idea why the oil industry would continue to support a man who has only turned public opinion and foreign governments AGAINST them, instead of opening doors?

      • Sorry, this isn’t “taking out the garbage”. This is flagrant littering.

      • Psst… Airbus? Mulroney. PC.

        And some of us are pretty sure Harper IS the garbage.

  3. The son of NEP slamming about oil? Good laugh of the day, as no one trusts a liberal much less a Trudeau. Not enough people have died from knowing NEP Liberal disaster that screwed Albertans good.

    • Read it again. He didn’t “slam” oil. He’s pointing out that an environmental strategy is in the oil producers’ own self-interest if they want to get their product to market.

      Too complicated for you?

    • The NEP was a mistake, but it was only a scapegoat. Fact is Alberta painted itself in a corner relying entirely on oil exports. When the price of oil dropped below $20/barrel in the mid-1980s their economy crashed. The NEP had nothing to do with it.

      But of course you completely miss the point. Trudeau is representing Alberta’s interests on the global stage promoting the tarsands because it’s his job as a federal leader to work with the provinces as partners without discrimination.

      BTW, if the price of oil drops below $80/barrel most oil sands production will become unprofitable. Even if Trudeau is PM when that happens Albertans will have no one to blame but themselves for being so shortsighted — again. (Maybe next time they’ll actually learn something if they have no excuses…)

      • Growing up in Alberta, I remember the bumper sticker: “Lord let there be another boom, I promise I won’t p*ss it away this time”.

    • Amazing that you can type, but you can’t read or are your Harper blinders on so tight you can’t think? Trudeau didn’t slam oil, he slammed Harper’s poor performance on the ONE file he has pursued.

  4. Trudeau nails it. Harper has been playing politics with the environment and now it has blown up in his face.

    Fact is if environmentalists shut down Keystone it will do little to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and the US. If Harper didn’t waste 7 years making Canada the worst environmental offender in the developed world he wouldn’t have painted such a huge target on our backs.

    We need real environmental solutions that curb emissions across the board: carbon pricing, proper scientific monitoring of the environment, unmuzzling scientists, meeting international targets, helping contribute to better international treaties. Trudeau shows real leadership without pitting one region of the country against another.

    Democratic Voting Canada: Tarsands are disgusting, but not the real threat

  5. Worst environmental offender in the developed world …. Ron, someone’s drinking the cool aid. US, China (pretty hard to keep playing the poor me card here), Russia, India (ok that ones definitely not fully developed and most likely never will be). All pollute at levels that make Canada more than insignificant. Not to mention Brazil (agreeably, not a first world country , however a massive polluter and others like Venezuela that the US and for that matter the world do not have any problems buying oil from). Ever been to the middle east? Pollution controls non existent & cheap power through hydrocarbons. Trudeau does not come off as genuine or thoughtful in that he jumps from one topic/ comment to the next without a theme or program. Stick with one thing at a time, and see it through. Harper has his faults surely and this file is mismanaged no doubt, but do you really think the Liberals would do better or even worse the NDP. I doubt it. Let correct the global problems, Canada policy is not driving us to the cliff the big polluters are ! and Norway’s claimed “better solutions” are not saving us.