Trudeau, Horgan avoid public disagreement over pipelines in first meeting
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and brand new B.C. Premier John Horgan bent over backwards to appear congenial after their first meeting Tuesday, avoiding any mention of their differing positions on expanding Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline.
The two leaders even showed up to their first face-to-face meeting in nearly identical blue suits, right down to their striped socks and matching shoes, prompting Trudeau to joke about their clear “compatibility.’’
“We’re both progressive politicians who got elected on mandates to grow the economy in ways that help the middle class, to protect the environment, to advance the cause of reconciliation with indigenous peoples, and we have an awful lot we agree on deeply,’’ Trudeau gushed.
He then announced plans to travel to B.C. next week to assess the fire damage and meet with people displaced by the fires.
For his part Horgan thanked Trudeau for being quick with a response to B.C.’s forest fire emergency and noted Trudeau’s “deep roots’’ in B.C. He called him an “ally’’ who will help the feeling of isolation on the “other side of the Rocky Mountains.’’
Their meeting came just a few hours before Pacific Northwest LNG announced it was scrapping its $36-billion liquefied natural gas pipeline project in B.C. The Trudeau government gave conditional approval for the project last fall.
Horgan has come out against the project in the past but didn’t specifically campaign against it this spring. He said in late June if the project was adjusted to take into consideration concerns of local First Nations he might support it.
It is another pipeline project however that could be the straw that breaks the back of their matchy camel-coloured Oxford shoes.
Neither wanted to talk much about Kinder Morgan on Tuesday.
Trudeau’s government last fall granted approval for the company to go ahead with the TransMountain pipeline expansion which will nearly triple the capacity to bring almost 900,000 barrels of oil a day from Edmonton, Alta. into a marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C. The oil will be shipped to Asia, quadrupling the number of oil tankers in the Burrard Inlet each year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Premier of British Columbia John Horgan in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday.