Canada Is Ready to Pay Big Oil to Stick with Controversial Pipeline, by Yessenia Funes
Who among us hasn’t flirted with the idea of moving to Canada? Whomst among us, watching the last year of American politics unfold, hasn’t been tempted to defect to the friendly north? I certainly was. Back in 2016, about a month before E-Day, my brother and I took a spontaneous trip up through Ottawa and Montreal over a long weekend, just to check it out. Just to see what all the fuss was about. You know. In case.
It was the kind of trip you look back on and think, wow, I miss that—not the trip, but who you were when you took it. Back then I was a guy who was certain that Donald Trump would never be his president, but that’s not even what I miss the most. What I really miss is being someone who could always, no matter how bad things got here, look dreamily into whatever direction I believed to be north and think, “why don’t I move to Canada?” I can’t anymore, because Canada sucks.
Canada has been aggressively expanding its tar sands industry (you know about those, right?) since well before the Keystone XL battle—some writers have even begun calling it a petro-state—but its most recent tar sands project, a renovation of the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline, has brought the country’s addiction to oil into pretty sharp focus. From Earther:
They’re gunning so hard for this archaic crude oil project that Finance Minister Bill Morneau promised Wednesday in a press conference the federal government would cover the dollars developer Kinder Morgan has lost during the current construction suspension due to a local province that just won’t let the pipeline in.
Basically, British Columbia, the “local province,” sided with First Nations communities and environmental activists to halt an expansion of the pipeline that would be used to carry a highly toxic form of crude oil, called bitumen, from the tar sands fields (i.e., formerly pristine boreal forests) in Alberta. This delay has cost pipeline giant Kinder Morgan a lot of money, which the federal government wants to repay with taxpayer dollars. Dope, right?
The good news is that Kinder Morgan, fed up with the delays, has announced it will cancel the pipeline expansion if the two sides don’t reach a solution by May 31st. If the provincial government can hold out for another couple of weeks, environmental activists will have scored a huge win. The federal government, meanwhile, will pay the tab for Kinder Morgan “even if the company decides to leave the project behind.” So maybe not all of Canada, in fact, sucks. Maybe it’s just this guy.
The irony of it all is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has championed himself as both a leader in the fight against climate change and a staunch supporter of indigenous rights. Yet he’s ignoring the pleas of First Nations in favor of further fossil fuel development.