Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the House of Commons. (Photo: CP)That debate consumed the House of Commons on Thursday, as the Conservative opposition presented a motion effectively calling for a vote of confidence and support in TransCanada's proposed $15.7-billion pipeline to carry Alberta and Saskatchewan bitumen to New Brunswick refineries and ports. On Wednesday, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that current project assessments, including Energy East and the Trans Mountain line in B.C., would have to be assessed on the upstream greenhouse gases emitted in the production of the oil they propose to carry. The Liberal government also said it would appoint a ministerial representative to consult indigenous communities, while extending the time frame for a decision on each of the two major pipelines.
Indigenous rights to be respected: McKenna
Natural Resources Minister James Carr (left) and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna prepare to hold a joint news conference in Ottawa. (Photo: CP)Former Tory cabinet minister Erin O'Toole said Trudeau needs to show leadership rather than acceding to the regional war of words between lower levels of government. "He's not a traffic cop between mayors," O'Toole said during the day-long debate. Trudeau told the House the Liberal majority would vote against the Conservative motion, which he said simply reflected the "failed policies" of the last decade. New Democrats also opposed the motion. NDP critic Nathan Cullen, during the debate, said the Conservatives are pre-judging a project whose 27-month assessment by the National Energy Board hasn't even begun. "They want to cast judgment on Energy East before it's even hit the hearing stage," said Cullen. There's a lot of that going around.
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