No 2210 Posted by fw, April 29, 2018
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sidestepped questions raised in the House of Commons on Tuesday about whether he was aware of secret instructions delivered in 2016 to public servants working on the federal review of the Trans Mountain expansion project. … Trudeau responded by accusing New Democrats and Conservatives of trying to force the government to choose between either the environment or the economy.” —Mike De Souza, National Observer
Below is an abridged repost of Mike De Souza’s article with my added subheadings and highlighted text. Alternatively, to read the entire piece, click on the following linked title.
#50 of 57 articles from the Special Report: Kinder Morgan
Trudeau ducks questions about his awareness of rigged internal review of Trans Mountain project
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sidestepped questions raised in the House of Commons on Tuesday about whether he was aware of secret instructions delivered in 2016 to public servants working on the federal review of the Trans Mountain expansion project.
NDP Parliamentary Leader Guy Caron raised the questions after National Observer published a report detailing how a high-ranking federal official urged public servants from multiple departments to find a legally-sound way for Trudeau’s cabinet to approve the west coast pipeline project, proposed by Texas-based Kinder Morgan, four weeks before the government announced its decision.
Ottawa lied to public and First Nations about pipeline decision-making process
The instructions were provided to staffers from five different federal departments that were reviewing evidence and factors related to the subsequent approval. But these instructions contrasted with the message that the government was delivering at that time to members of the public and to the First Nations it was supposedly consulting about the project.
“We now have a media report claiming that the process to approve Kinder Morgan was rigged, following lobbying from a Texas oil company,” Caron said in the Commons. “The government rushed the review process and instructed staff to find a ‘legally-sound basis to say yes to the Trans Mountain pipeline.’ Was the prime minister aware that members of his government pressured officials to rush the review and produce a positive result for Kinder Morgan?”
Feds failed to abide by “legal duty to consult First Nations about decisions that may affect them”
The federal government has a legal duty to consult First Nations about decisions that may affect their rights, their land and their way of life under Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. As a result, the courts could overturn Trudeau’s approval of the Trans Mountain project if they determine federal consultations with First Nations weren’t done in a meaningful way.
Trudeau targets NDP and Tories
Duplicitous Trudeau ducks the question by changing the subject
Trudeau responded by accusing New Democrats and Conservatives of trying to force the government to choose between either the environment or the economy.
“We got elected on a commitment to both grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time, because, quite frankly, 10 years of the previous government not protecting the environment actually left us with the lowest economic growth rate since the depths of the Great Depression,” Trudeau said.
“We are moving forward on both building pipelines and bringing in protections for the environment at the same time. It is what Canadians expect of our government, and it is what we are delivering.”
Caron persists, suggesting Kinder Morgan executive has direct line to minister of natural resources
Caron persisted, suggesting that Trudeau hadn’t understood the question. The NDP MP also alluded to other details uncovered by National Observer which revealed that high-ranking federal officials sped up the timeline for completing the Kinder Morgan review, following a phone call from Ian Anderson, president of the company’s Canadian affiliate.
“It’s as if the CEO of Kinder Morgan has a direct line to the minister of natural resources,” Caron said. “How can the prime minister continue to expect people to believe there was a balanced process, when it becomes clear that the dice were loaded from the start?”
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