There aren't many lengths Trudeau won't go to when it comes to pimping bitumen. He'll lie and lie and lie, he'll freely break his promises, he'll even pressure public servants into spinning tall tales - anything to maximize the extraction, transport and export of a toxic, high carbon ersatz petroleum sludge.
But wait. This government is serious about fighting Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. It's so serious it is considering putting out the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill and replacing it with, well, maybe a lovely LED simulated flame. They're all the rage, you know.
The flame is fueled by natural gas ferried across the country from western Canada, a region of the country where environmental groups and indigenous activists are currently protesting against pipeline expansions and carbon emissions from tar sands.
In September 2017, the government attempted to decrease the emissions of the flame by striking a “net zero” deal with Bullfrog Power, which provides gas to the flame. The energy company offsets the emissions from the flame by pumping biogas – a cleaner alternative – into its existing pipeline infrastructure in order reducing emission in a separate location. Bullfrog Power declined to comment on the extent of emissions offset by the deal which currently costs the government US$15,000 a year
The proposed change would not be the first time the monument – a circular fountain with plaques commemorating the dates each province and territory became part of Canada – has undergone a significant makeover.
Last year, the government spent $650,000 to add an additionally territory, Nunavut, to the monument. The flame has been extinguished on a number of occasions, often the result of poor weather. In 2008, the former prime minister Jean Chrétien ordered the flame extinguished and covered in order to avoid damage during the G8 protests in Ottawa.
But if the plan to scrap the flame proceeds, the move would largely be symbolic: Canada emitted 722 megatonnes of carbon dioxide in 2015, making it one of the highest per capita carbon emitting nations in the world, largely a result of its resource-intensive economy, size and climate.