STEPHEN HARPER ... WOULD HAVE FACED MANY OF THE SAME ROAD­BLOCKS.

WHY RUDY GI­U­LIANI IS THE ANDY KAUF­MAN OF OUR TIME THERE’S NOTH­ING OF­FEN­SIVE ABOUT BABY, IT’S COLD OUT­SIDE HOW PAR­ENTS CAN NAV­I­GATE THE GIFT GIV­ING SEA­SON WITH­OUT CAV­ING ON THEIR CON­VIC­TIONS

StarMetro Toronto - - BIG OPINIONS - Vi­nay Menon Emma Tei­tel Uzma Jalalud­din

ED­I­TO­RIAL IN­QUIRIES a Con­ser­va­tive vic­tory to re­sult in peace or even de­ci­sive ac­tion on the pipe­line front is al­most cer­tainly in for a dis­ap­point­ment.

For all the talk among Con­ser­va­tives about Trudeau mess­ing up the file, Stephen Harper — had he been re­elected as prime min­is­ter in 2015 — would have faced many of the same road­blocks.

The North­ern Gate­way pipe­line green lit by his gov­ern­ment over its last term in of­fice was any­thing but a done deal. The con­tro­ver­sial project was mired in lit­i­ga­tion. Shortly af­ter Harper left of­fice, a court over­turned his ap­proval of the pipe­line.

In­stead of scrap­ping the project as Trudeau did, a Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment would prob­a­bly have ap­pealed the de­ci­sion and, in the end, the Supreme Court would have had the last word. But there is no guar­an­tee that the top court would not have dou­bled down on the orig­i­nal rul­ing and or­dered the gov­ern­ment to more prop­erly ac­quit it­self of its duty to con­sult the Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by the pipe­line.

The duty to con­sult is part of Canada’s con­sti­tu­tional frame­work. There is no opt­ing out of it. The not­with­stand­ing clause only ap­plies to some sec­tions of the Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms. It is not a get-out-of-jail card at the dis­posal of gov­ern­ments. look­ing for a way to ig­nore any in­con­ve­nient court rul­ing.

THES­TAR.COM/OPIN­IONS

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