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Ottawa chapter activist challenges Globe and Mail editorial on pipeline reviews

Council of Canadians Ottawa chapter activist Phil Soubliere pokes some fun at the Globe and Mail editorial board’s stance on pipeline reviews.

Yesterday, the Globe and Mail editorial board wrote, “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has finally taken a stand on the Energy East pipeline, and it’s the right one. He says he wants to see it built but that there must be a robust assessment of the $15-billion project that takes into account a new and heightened appreciation of environmental and aboriginal issues. …He isn’t asking the NEB to start over, but he is giving it a rather difficult assignment. [What will be] the impact of greenhouse gas emissions created by a pipeline[?] Will the companies extracting the oil in Alberta have continued to lower the GHG emissions created by the extraction process? …Mr. Trudeau is not wrong to ask the NEB to ask these questions.”

Their editorial says, “His stance is laudable and very 2016, but it can’t hide one hard fact: If he fails to convince Canadians to build this pipeline, it will be a disaster for the country. …Mr. Trudeau needs to persuade Canadians of the fact that a healthy energy sector is a key part of a healthy economy, and of the consequence flowing from that: Oil must move. Where pipelines can transport oil safely, efficiently and in an environmentally respectful way that passes muster with a timely, arm’s-length review process, they should be built. The Prime Minister doesn’t need to be a cheerleader. A plain old leader will do.”

In his letter to the editor published in today’s Globe and Mail, Soubliere wryly comments, “You want Justin Trudeau to be referee, but call the game your way? But only after making the assessment process as credible as possible, of course. FIFA could learn a thing or two from you.”

For further commentary on yesterday’s announcement by the Trudeau government on interim measures for pipeline reviews, please see Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue’s blog, Feds new pipeline rules show some promise, but the devil is in the details.

Soubliere also tweets regularly at @PhilSoubliere.