Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump have some things in common. They both garnered a lot of votes on the strength of outright lies. For Trudeau, nowhere is that more apparent than in coastal British Columbia.
On Nov. 29 of last year, as Justin Trudeau began to reveal his decision about an oil sands pipeline to Vancouver’s harbour, he announced he was a “grandson of British Columbia” with special ties to “our spectacular West Coast.” He then granted approval of the project while admitting many British Columbians would be “bitterly disappointed.”
Most bitter, probably, were those British Columbians who voted Liberal in the last election thinking they were halting just this sort of project pushed by Harper Conservatives in the face of environmental cautions.
The go-ahead for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was one of many Liberal government decisions made in the past year that likely left such voters feeling betrayed. They include approved permits for the Woodfibre LNG plant in Squamish, the Site C dam in northern B.C. and the Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas plant near Prince Rupert, as well as helping to defeat an NDP bill meant to protect wild salmon.
Analysts have noted that Trudeau and his government may pay a high political price for backing the Trans Mountain project, given the populous ridings it affects and the extra tanker traffic and safety risks it involves.
Add fall-out from the list of other decisions above, and critics are wondering if Trudeau is either taking environmentally minded B.C. voters for granted – or just writing off some of the province in order to please other parts of the country.
In defending his approval of sending more oil to B.C. and tankers into its waters, Trudeau was firm his government “won’t be swayed by political arguments” from locals or otherwise. A few days later, to an Edmonton room full of oil executives, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr suggested he’d send in the military to deal with those protesting the pipeline.
There's no other way to put it. British Columbians handed the Trudeau Liberals a basket full of seats on the strength of false promises and outright lies by the prime minister himself and several of his top cabinet ministers. They may well reap what they have sown. Here's to a Liberal-free British Columbia in 2019.