At a town hall meeting in Ontario on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada needs to “phase out” the oilsands. He then slipped into the standard save-the-planet gobbledygook about ending “our dependence on fossil fuels.”
No details. No timeline. No background info of any kind. Just a pledge to shutdown the biggest industry in Alberta offered up as casually as a quip about the weather.
Not surprisingly, this set off a storm in Alberta. In a province where the oil industry is the source of hundreds of thousands of well-paying, middle-class jobs, small businesses, car loans and mortgage payments, tossing off remarks about an end to that income with the flick of a central Canadian Liberal wrist is fighting words.
Alberta’s opposition leader, Brian Jean of the Wildrose party, testily tweeted “@JustinTrudeau, if you want to “phase out” the oil sands, you’ll have to go through me and 4 million Albertans first.”
If you think that’s an “unhelpful” overreaction, imagine if a Western-based prime minister had been speaking in Alberta when he offhandedly mentioned that for the good of the planet we need to “phase out” Ontario’s automobile industry or Quebec’s aerospace industry.
No info on retraining all those assembly line workers. No hints at how all those middle-class families would replace all their livelihoods or how the national economy would survive the loss of all those export dollars. Just a nonchalant “by the way, I’m sacrificing all your jobs and factories on the alter of our new Green gods.”
The irony is, Trudeau’s outrage-provoking statement came during one of the first stops on his tour to tamp down public anger over his holiday trip to the Aga Khan’s private Bahamian island. I suppose we taxpayers are now going to have to pay for a second Trudeau tour to undo the mess he is making during his current clean-up-the-mess tour.