Lack of lead­er­ship from both sides

Calgary Herald - - OPINION -

Re: ’Strong voices’, di­vided com­mu­nity; Trudeau touts gas pipe­line in B.C. fol­low­ing con­tro­ver­sial end to block­ade, Jan. 10

The lat­est protest against a gas pipe­line to Kiti­mat, B.C., is a shin­ing ex­am­ple of the fruits of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s re­fusal to gov­ern, in­stead fo­cus­ing on smil­ing photo ops and avoid­ing alien­at­ing any­one who could be­come a lost Lib­eral vote. The prob­lem is that the Lib­eral fo­cus is get­ting re-elected, not gov­ern­ing eq­ui­tably in the na­tional in­ter­est.

All re­cent gov­ern­ments are guilty of this in their own way, but Trudeau and his gov­ern­ment have re­fined this to a fine art in just three years. The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has the con­sti­tu­tional au­thor­ity to re­solve this is­sue, and sim­i­lar is­sues in the na­tional in­ter­est, but refuse to ex­er­cise that au­thor­ity. Hav­ing shared the spot­light for LNG Canada’s go-ahead, the big­gest project in Cana­dian his­tory, the pre­vi­ous weak sup­port and pro­cras­ti­na­tion on en­ergy projects is now com­ing back to bite them.

There’s a con­spic­u­ous lack of any com­ment or lead­er­ship from Assem­bly of First Na­tions’ Na­tional Chief Perry Bel­le­garde in try­ing to re­solve what is es­sen­tially a First Na­tions squab­ble.

It’s also in­ter­est­ing that B.C. Premier John Hor­gan is now reap­ing the re­wards of, and hav­ing to dance around, his gov­ern­ment’s pro­mo­tion of un­help­ful po­si­tions on en­ergy projects. His epiphany on the Coastal GasLink project may cause the Green Party’s An­drew Weaver, whose shaky sup­port is the only rea­son that Hor­gan has re­tained power un­til now, to re­con­sider his po­si­tion. David Tay­lor, Cal­gary


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