A former Canadian ambassador to the U.S. says this week’s cancellation of the Energy East pipeline is a huge win for President Donald Trump’s administration.
Frank McKenna told CTV’s “Question Period” Saturday that the cancelled pipeline will keep oil-rich Alberta dependent upon shipping petroleum to U.S. markets.
“We see this as a huge win for Donald Trump and the United States of America. They get continued access to Canadian gas and oil for decades to come at deeply discounted prices,” he said. As a former premier of the Atlantic province of New Brunswick, where the pipeline was slated to pass, McKenna said the cancellation means at least 3,000 jobs potential jobs to build the project have now vanished.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is blaming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the loss because new climate change criteria had recently been added to an already overly-bureaucratic review process.
The official opposition Conservatives are also insisting that Trudeau’s national carbon tax convinced TransCanada Corp. not to build the $15.7 billion pipeline. It would have transported Alberta oil along a 3,000 mile trek to the Maritime provinces.
The premier of New Brunswick joined with his Western provincial counterparts in bemoaning the pipeline collapse, suggesting it would hurt the provine’s economic opportunities. McKenna didn’t mince his words, saying the Eastern Canadian provinces share a collective rage and are “royally steamed at losing out of being part of the national dream with all of those jobs and opportunity.”
McKenna explained to CTV: “We don’t have access to oil pipelines, we don’t have access to national as, so we’re literally cut off from the rest of the country.”
Not everyone was downcast by the decision, however. Native groups, environmentalists and the mayor of Montreal were jubilant over TransCanada’s decision.
McKenna advised Mayor Denis Coderre, who has become a national figure for his defense of the illegal refugees streaming into his province of Quebec, to refrain from exacerbating the anger and frustration that many Canadians share on the issue.
“In the case of Denis Coderre, if any of his projects… had to go through this process, they’d never be built. So he’d be smart to keep his mouth shut on this file,” McKenna said.