In many parts of our country, a lot of Canadians still fawn over Justin Trudeau, still see him as a delightful alternative to that other guy, Harper.
In my part of the country we see him somewhat differently. To us he's just infuriatingly like Harper.
He says he's not out to "punish" British Columbians. Oh thank you my Lord for not putting us on the wheel.
However he has vowed to steamroller us and subjugate the people of British Columbia to the will of some other province and an incredibly sketchy Texas pipeline company. Gee, thanks master.
Only it seems Trudeau doesn't have the moral or legal high ground this time. A few days ago I posted about Jack Woodward, a guy who spent a quarter century litigating a constitutional case that ended with his First Nations client's aboriginal title to 1,900 sq. km. of British Columbia being upheld. While Woodward isn't involved in the pipeline fracas he's convinced that Trudeau and Notley will lose if they try to extinguish BC's constitutionally protected jurisdiction.
Now, a UBC law professor, is backing up Jack Woodward's assessment. Trudeau is on constitutional thin ice. Like any schoolyard bully, Trudeau is all fury and wind.
An environmental expert in B.C. says Ottawa may not have sole jurisdiction to push through approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, despite the prime minister's vow Sunday that the project will proceed.
Jocelyn Stacey, an environmental law professor at the University of British Columbia, said there are jurisdictional questions when it comes to the environment, and the possible effects an expanded pipeline might bring.
"The environment is shared jurisdiction between the federal government, the provincial government and local governments," Stacey said.
"Those efforts have been made in the past to simply dismiss and override the concerns of British Columbians, and certainly the concerns of Indigenous peoples," said Phillip.
"And those stories have always ended badly, and I think the same will apply."
Phillip praised Premier John Horgan for standing up for British Columbians while trying to protect the environment.But Trudeau is a bully with backup. Today he threatened both legislative and financial action, perhaps transfer penalties, university support, who knows? Which means that, once again (will it ever stop?) the Dauphin was lying when he vowed that he's not out to punish British Columbians.
I do think that Trudeau is closer to pushing British Columbians over the edge on confederation than he imagines. He's going to punish us for defending our land and our coast. Twist the thumbscrews on our government and on us. That will make us feel a lot more "Canadian," won't it? These things sometimes begin with a spark.
Meanwhile, David Climenhaga of the blog, Alberta Politics, puts paid to Trudeau and Notley's ravings and offers a subtle warning. He dismisses the nonsense about a constitutional crisis.
Well, all’s fair in love and politics – and the oil business, obviously – but the claim this is a constitutional crisis is simply … politics.
It will only become a constitutional crisis if someone tries to force the issue according to an accelerated schedule by, say, inappropriate and unnecessary use of the Emergencies Act or some other potentially unconstitutional means, as has been both advocated and speculated.
Note that the only people calling for this approach support the position taken by the Alberta and federal governments, an apparent elite consensus in those two jurisdictions that includes the conservative opposition parties in both.
Quebec’s recent opposition to shoving Kinder Morgan’s pipeline up B.C.’s nose, which has a roused such hysterical condemnation in conservative circles here in Alberta, is entirely consistent with the position on such issues taken by that province since Confederation – and the same as the position historically taken by Alberta. So no one should be astonished by this, or offended.
While we are not in a constitutional crisis now, any attempt to bypass the constitution to speed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline will likely result in one.
If that happens, I dare say, it will strengthen separatist sentiment in Quebec and possibly create it in British Columbia, and not without good reason. Long term, as has already been argued here, it may also provide a precedent for some future federal government to interfere in Alberta’s affairs in ways we do not much like.
In the short term, one would think, that would create more uncertainty for Kinder Morgan, not less.
Que sera, sera, but if there is a constitutional crisis, it needs to be made perfectly clear to all who actually provoked it.
I received an online survey yesterday. It began with the issue of whether realtors should ever be allowed to represent both sides. Boring.
Then it moved on to the Trans Mountain pipeline. They wanted your opinion on Trans Mountain, Trudeau, Notley and Horgan. They wanted your opinion on dilbit and various other ways that resource could be used.
There were a lot of questions. In them midst of them, seemingly out of nowhere, up popped a question about whether you might ever resort to civil disobedience against the pipeline? What a loaded question. Can you imagine if you said "yes"? How long would it take for some iteration of AggregateIQ to have that and your detailed profile on the desk of some security agency? I don't think they've invented the offence of attempted conspiracy, the really invasive, mind-control stuff, but the reality is with online data analysis coupled with this essential emission,