Trudeau, Hor­gan avoid public dis­agree­ment over pipe­lines in first meet­ing

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

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.

CP PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau meets with Premier of Bri­tish Columbia John Hor­gan in his of­fice on Par­lia­ment Hill in Ot­tawa on Tues­day.

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