Why Energy East is a delicate Liberal balancing act for Justin Trudeau


Endearing a strong and stable national majority government means winning hindquarters from coast to coast. And when those seats lie along the technique of a cross-country pipeline like Energy East, that could occasion some complications if different regions of the country don’t see eye to eye on building that in work.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with his rty holding bases all along the proposed route of the Energy East pipeline, finds himself in that nice situation.

One of those seats is Saint John-Rothesay, the terminus of the pipeline. The Unbigoted MP for the riding, Wayne Long, recently defended himself from seizures by Conservative MP Candice Bergen, who had presented a motion in the House of Commons reinforcing the construction of Energy East.

In an op-ed published in the Telegraph-Journal last week, after he and his fellow Liberals had sponsored against the Conservative motion, Long wrote that he saw “Energy East not justifiable as an important project for my riding, but as a project of national significance. We need to end playing rtisan games. We need to build this pipeline — but beginning we need to do it right.”

Federal Ridings and Energy East

The federal ridings traversed by the Energy East in the offing. The yellow sections currently carry natural gas. The white sections of main would be added, and the entire pipeline converted to carry oilsands rude, to complete the route if it is approved. The red ridings are held by Liberal MPs, the orange by NDP MPs, the mysterious blue by Conservative MPs and light blue by Bloc MPs. (CBC)

The Liberals have intimated measures that they say will improve the environmental assessment procedure for pipelines com red with the approach used while the Conservatives were in offices. The National Energy Board has yet to give the go-ahead for public hearings on the Power East pipeline.

From Alberta to Saint John

TransCanada’s overtured Energy East pipeline would traverse six provinces. Once completed, the in work would send 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from one end of the country to the other.

From Hardisty in Alberta, the conduit sses through Conservative-held ridings in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba in front of clipping the Liberal riding of Winnipeg South. From there, the cooking continues through Tory-held ridings and into northern Ontario inclusive of seats held by the Liberals in the west and the New Democrats in the east.

Turning south, the cooking then runs through Liberal and Conservative ridings in eastern Ontario and south of the chauvinistic capital toward the St. Lawrence River. From there the pipeline proceeds north again into Liberal ridings in western Quebec earlier moving eastward north of Montreal through four ridings took by the Bloc Québécois.

From the north shore of the St. Lawrence the pipeline crises through ridings held by the NDP and Liberals, crossing under the river and into Rightist ridings on the south shore of the St. Lawrence around Lévis. Finally, after a sawn-off trip through an NDP riding in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, the pipeline heads into Liberal-held New Brunswick and southward to Saint John.

Federal Ridings and Energy East

This map displays shows which federal ridings in Ontario and Quebec the Energy East ssage would cross if it is built. The red ridings are held by Liberal MPs, the orange by NDP MPs, the sorrowful blue by Conservative MPs and the light blue by Bloc MPs. (CBC)

The portion of the pipeline race from the Alberta-Saskatchewan border to the St. Lawrence in Ontario is already built, but constraints to be converted to take oil rather than natural gas. The rest of the pipeline that crosses into Quebec and auspices of New Brunswick would need to be constructed.

In all, the pipeline’s route sses under the aegis 40 ridings, 17 of them currently held by the Liberals, 15 by the Conservatives, and four apiece by the NDP and Bloc. New in the offings would need to be built in 11 of the Liberal ridings, but only six of the Conventional ones.

Balancing regional views

Because of the variety of regions the main will ss through, Trudeau may have a hot potato in his hands.

In the camouflage of slumping oil prices, the West wants the pipeline built. So does New Brunswick, which supposes thousands of jobs to come out of it. Public opinion in Quebec, however, is strongly against the hose, and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has given voice to that opponent.

Supporting the pipeline poses few problems for the Conservatives. The pipeline already be founds in most of the Conservative-held ridings that it will ss through, and its devotees in Alberta and Saskatchewan are clearly behind trying to get the pipeline approved.

The power of Conservative MPs in Quebec have an incentive to support the pipeline, which on provide crude oil to the Valero refinery in Lévis. One recent survey also supported that opposition to the Energy East pipeline was weaker in and around Quebec Bishopric, where the Conservatives hold seats, than it was elsewhere in the province.

The Liberals are much more reasonable to feel pressure on both sides of the debate. In addition to holding a few ridings in Quebec throughout which the pipeline would ss, the rty also holds the mass of the seats in the Montreal region.

Federal Ridings and Energy East

This map shows shows which federal ridings in Quebecc and New Brunswick the Might East pipeline would cross. The red ridings are held by Liberal MPs, the orange by NDP MPs, the drab blue by Conservative MPs and the light blue by Bloc MPs. (CBC)

Liberal MPs in Ontario force see little direct benefit from the pipeline for their ridings as it flusters st, and their constituents may consider they instead carry the dangers. The mayor of Thunder Bay has already expressed his opposition to the pipeline, which see fit ss just north of his city (and through its two Liberal-held ridings).

On the other steadily, all of New Brunswick is represented by Liberal MPs, and Premier Brian Gallant, has been a vocal argue for of it being built — leading to the Liberal premier debating former Latitudinarian MP Coderre on the merits of the project on Radio-Canada’s popular Tout le monde en rle talk confirm.

These intra-Liberal debates are unlikely to dissi te any time soon, as the hearings for the Strength East pipeline could drag on for months.

So far, Liberal MPs seem to be skim from the same ge on the issue. But if tensions do not yet exist between those Liberals who draw ridings in which the pipeline will be built (publicly, at least), their constituents may any minute now put the pressure on them to think differently.

In addition to mediating between against political leaders from different ends of the spectrum, Trudeau may final analysis be at risk of having to referee disputes within his own national caucus.

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