By Dan Albas, MP for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola.
Newly sworn-in United States President Joe Biden has signed an executive order rescinding the construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Keystone XL pipeline was proposed to connect Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska over 1,947-kilometres to transport Canadian crude oil to US refineries.
The loss of the Keystone XL pipeline has a significant impact for Canada, in particular Alberta, in terms of job losses and billions lost from corporate income taxes, carbon taxes as well as royalty payments.
The loss of the Keystone XL pipeline will also mean that US based refineries will have to increase importing crude oil from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, countries that have much weaker environmental and labour standards than here in Canada.
A potential increase of shipments of oil by rail between Canada and the United States is also a likely outcome with the loss of the Keystone XL pipeline.
This outcome is not only more costly; but it is less efficient and less safe.
For these reasons, the Keystone XL pipeline has been long supported by the Conservative Party both when in government and now in opposition.
It has also been long supported by Prime Minister Trudeau.
In fact, during his time in opposition, Justin Trudeau was clear that “one of the big things the Prime Minister needs to get right is getting our resources to market.”
Mr. Trudeau also stated that if a US President veto’s Keystone XL “the Prime Minister has not fulfilled that responsibility.”
Justin Trudeau was clear that if the Keystone XL pipeline is blocked by the United States that the “Prime Minister take personal responsibility for this diplomatic failure”.
By Mr. Trudeau’s own words this potential Keystone XL pipeline failure is one that he, as the Prime Minister today, must now take full responsibility for.
Those who follow this Prime Minister closely will know that he will not likely take any responsibility for this “diplomatic failure.”
The reality is the Keystone XL pipeline has been a target of US Democratic Presidents for some time now, including under both President Obama and now President Biden.
This was just as true in 2013 as it is today.
From my perspective, blaming this solely on a Canadian Prime Minister would be just as unfair in 2021 as it was in 2014.
I mention this as an Opposition MP because I feel it is important that our criticisms as opposition should be fair and accurate to the government in power.
This was a courtesy that was not extended by the current Prime Minister when he served in the opposition and I recall having these same thoughts when I sat on the government side of the house during that time.