Federal Conservatives are pushing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take immediate action now that the United States has elected a president in favour of the Keystone XL pipeline.
It’s a sentiment echoed by former prime minister Stephen Harper, whose relationship with Barack Obama became strained over the White House’s refusal to sign off on a 1,900-kilometre pipeline to carry Alberta crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Interim Tory Leader Rona Ambrose, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Photo: CP)
Interim Tory Leader Rona Ambrose made specific mention of Keystone in her statement Wednesday reacting to the stunning victory of Republican Donald Trump. Ambrose noted that Trudeau also backs the TransCanada project.
“President-elect Trump has made it clear that he supports the Keystone XL pipeline, as has Prime Minister Trudeau,” she said. “The Conservative Party of Canada calls upon the Prime Minister to reach out to President-elect Trump at the earliest opportunity and make approval of this job-creating project a top priority.”
Ambrose also took to Twitter Wednesday to hammer home the point, suggesting Trudeau can expect to be pressured on this matter in the weeks leading to Trump’s January inauguration.
President-elect Trump has made it clear that he supports the Keystone XL pipeline, as has Prime Minister Trudeau. @CPC_HQ calls upon...[1/2]— Rona Ambrose (@RonaAmbrose) November 9, 2016
Justin Trudeau to reach out to Donald Trump at the earliest opportunity & make approval of this job-creating project a top priority. [2/2]— Rona Ambrose (@RonaAmbrose) November 9, 2016
Harper also took to Twitter to congratulate Trump on his “impressive victory” and put in a plug for the pipeline he once called a “complete no-brainer” for America.
“There is much to do, (including) moving ahead with KXL,” Harper tweeted.
Congratulations to Donald Trump on his impressive victory. Canada/US partnership is strong. There is much to do, incl moving ahead with KXL.— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) November 9, 2016
Trudeau’s statement on Trump’s win made no mention of Keystone. Instead, the prime minister said he looked forward to working closely with Trump on issues such as “trade, investment, and international peace and security.”
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton opposed the Keystone project and once called Canadian oil the continent’s “dirtiest fuel.” Her victory would likely have signified the death blow to the controversial project.
Trump called climate change a hoax
Tories also pushed Trudeau to advocate for Keystone during his historic U.S. state visit in March and mocked the fact that Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr was not among the cabinet ministers invited to the event.
"How important is energy to this government when the energy minister isn't even invited to go to Washington?" Ambrose asked in the House of Commons. “I even got invited to go to Washington.”
Trudeau has long argued that taking more aggressive steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions, in part by phasing in a national floor price on carbon pollution, will help foster support for Keystone. The economy and the environment go hand-in-hand, he often says.
That might not matter as much now that Trump is headed to Washington. The Republican has already pledged to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate change deal and scrap environmental programs.
In 2012, Trump called global warming a hoax invented by the Chinese.
With files from The Canadian Press
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