Justin Trudeau and Denis Coderre discuss Energy East

PM says he and Montreal Mayor discussed infrastructure, refugees, Confederation, and Montreal’s 375th birthday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, shakes hands with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre following their joint press conference in Montreal, Tuesday, January 26, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, greets Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre at their joint press conference in Montreal, Tuesday, January 26, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MMONTREAL — The federal government’s role is not to force cities such as Montreal to accept energy projects, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, a day after his opponents demanded he tell the city’s mayor to “smarten up” and accept the controversial Energy East pipeline.

Trudeau met with Denis Coderre for 45 minutes Tuesday to discuss a range of issues including the recent decision by the Montreal mayor and the organization that represents area municipalities to reject the 4,600-kilometre pipeline.

The prime minister said his government will create a review process whereby energy companies get a chance to prove to cities and towns across the country that a project is in their best interests.

“The responsibility of the federal government is to establish a clear process whereby people can evaluate the projects in a rigorous and open manner,” Trudeau said.

He added the new review rules will include additional requirements forcing energy companies to “take into account all greenhouse gas emissions, including those upstream.”

The Conservatives have accused Trudeau of lacking leadership on the energy file.

Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose says Trudeau should be championing pipelines and calling on Coderre and other mayors to accept Energy East to enable Alberta’s oilsands to be able to be shipped overseas.

Conservative MP Candice Bergen told Trudeau in the Commons on Monday to “call Mr. Coderre and tell him to smarten up.”

Trudeau showed no signs he told Coderre anything of the sort and added to reporters his government’s new review process for pipelines and energy projects is on its way — but gave no timeline.

TransCanada (TSX:TRP) plans to build a pipeline from Alberta’s oilsands, through Montreal, ending in New Brunswick, in order to open new markets.

The project would ship 1.1 million barrels of crude oil a day and allow Alberta’s energy — which is currently landlocked — to be exported to international markets other than the United States.

Coderre and several other Quebec mayors came out last week against the project, arguing the environmental risks associated with it far outweigh the economic benefits.

That triggered a war of words with certain western Canadian politicians, including Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Brian Jean, head of the Opposition Wildrose party in Alberta.

Coderre and the other mayors of Montreal’s surrounding cities and towns say clean-up costs of a potential spill could reach $10 billion, while the city would only get around $2 million a year in economic benefits from the pipeline.

Rejecting Energy East is also partly a political decision, as surveys indicate the majority of Quebecers are against the project.

Coderre hinted Tuesday that if TransCanada were more forthcoming with details of the project and address the city’s environmental concerns, his mind could be changed.

“If we have a role to play then people have work to do,” he said. “We will participate fully in the (review) process. It’s not because we are asking questions and we are asking people to do their homework that we are not being respectful.

“At the end of the day it’s all about being respected. It’s to be responsible and have a balanced approach between economic development and sustainable development and cities are playing that role to make sure we can get that.”

Coderre pointed out that the Montreal area threw its support behind the Enbridge project because “they did their homework.”

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Justin Trudeau and Denis Coderre discuss Energy East

  1. I can imagine the meeting behind closed doors.

    Trudeau: “Hey Denis…what are you trying to do to me?”

    Coderre: “This isn’t about you, Justine…..this is about me?”

    Trudeau: “I thought you were concerned about the environment?”

    Coderre: “don’t be an idiot. You and I both know there are gobs of cash to be made here”

    Trudeau: “How much do you want?”

    coderre: “All of it. But I’ll settle for 25%”

    Trudeau: “The West isn’t going to go for that”

    Coderre: “Look, you and I are both Liberals. When did we ever care what the West wants? They will pay, or they don’t play.”

    Trudeau: “Well, after what my dad did, they may resist this time.”

    Coderre: “Well, that is up to you to sort out, I just want to get my cut. I”ve been out of cabinet for a while now, and things have really dried up around here since the Sponsorship thingy folded. I need to get mine”

    Trudeau: “I’ll see what I can do, but if they don’t go for 25%, will you settle for 10% and a selfie with me?”

    Coderre: “It’s deal” Oh…and appoint me someplace nice with a bigger paycheque.

    trudeau: “I’ll ask Gerald and see if he’s ok with it.”

    coderre: “Ok, bye”

    Trudeau, “bye”

  2. “The federal government’s role is not to force cities such as Montreal to accept energy projects, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, a day after his opponents demanded he tell the city’s mayor to “smarten up” and accept the controversial Energy East pipeline.”

    Someone with more knowledge about the distribution of powers under the Canadian constitution needs to brief Justin. I suspect either of the nannies would qualify.

    • Yep….

      For Justin the choice is easy. Does he take the time and make the effort to read and understand the constitution, or does he simply pay off Quebec as the Liberals are wont to do?

      Rest of Canada….open your wallet. Justin doesn’t want to read anything today.

      • Ya your right James when Two Librano Quebecers get together it’s all about SCREWING the West…

  3. Boy, is Justin Trudeau ever driving the rightwing Nuts, Nutz!

    • Some perhaps. I’m finding myself increasingly tolerant of his imbecility, given how frequently it’s displayed.

    • Actaully, Carpet Bomber…he’s not driving me nuts at all. It is kind of fun to have the chance to make fun of the government, as opposed to supporting them. In fact, anything the Liberals do won’t really impact me, as I have enough “cushion” that no matter what economic idiocy the Liberals commit…..I’ll be fine.

      I’m just waiting for the folks who voted Liberal to wake up to the fact that their own decisions at the ballot box led to their unemployment.

      Remember, the Liberal plan now is NOT to make life easier for all of Canada. You could easily see their strategy prior to the election day. here is the Liberal plan in a nutshell.

      1. Pander to the Extremists in Canada. Visit every mosque you can find, and garner the votes of those who will NOT vote Conservative. The Libs weren’t stealing Conservative voters here, they were just trying to get Muslim’s to vote; and vote Liberal. That is why Team Trudeau has members of the Muslim Brotherhood in his inner circle. Tie up the fast growing Muslim vote, and once in power, import more of them.

      2. Promise anything required to First Nations folks. If you pay them..they will come. Again, this is a fast growing segment of society, and they are very dependent upon the non-native population for anything they get. Again, you have to get them to vote Liberal, as opposed to NDP. Mission accomplished. The Libs will take BILLIONS from the non-natives in Canada, and fork it over; thus ensuring they have the native vote for at least a generation.

      3. NDP Voters: Promise the moon and stars to any remaining NDP supporters, and make sure they know that you will “OUT NDP” the NDP…….and give even more freebies. NDP supporters are as predictable, as they are afraid. Again, mission accomplished.

      4. Change First past the post. Aim for preferential ballot. this will guarantee that the only governments that will even be possible for the next 45 years will be of the Liberal persuasion. This of course, will probably ensure that the country cleaves from Saskatechewan and extending to BC…but hey, Libs have never really cared about the West unless it was to take equalization payments from them.

      But hey…I sleep well at night. I never voted for him. the crap that happens won’t be my fault, and I can just move back to the USA if I want. Even have a house there.

      • Damn…

        Just realized, the President in the USA if I move back will be Trump or Clinton.

        Oh well….guess I better call the realtor for Europe. Scratch that..after Colgne, looks like I’ll be an Aussie.

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