For a befuddled Trudeau, it’s nasty in Nanaimo

by Rick BellMore from Rick Bell

After getting smacked with the carbon tax, this is our payback.

Trudeau, still flogging the idea we’ll score pipelines with a carbon tax, gets one rough ride Friday when he shows up in the Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo.

They line up early to get into the same room as Trudeau and the line is long.

Many are there because they don’t want Kinder Morgan’s Ottawa-approved Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built.

Neither does the B.C government, who’d like to restrict the increase of oilsands crude going through their province, something Trans Mountain would do.

The B.C. government wants to consult all kinds of people in the months ahead and even set up a panel of scientists to advise them.

Delay, delay, delay.

At the Trudeau talk-a-thon, it’s a senior who really gets things going. This lady calls Trudeau “my handsome precious one” and says she felt he was on her side. She voted for Trudeau. But she’s upset he backed the pipeline.

She pleads to the PM now.

“So please, please, oh please, please,” she approaches Trudeau for a hug, begs him to stop the pipeline.

Cheers! Whistles! Yelps! Yells! Chanting! Excitement! The crowd is into it.

Trudeau starts explaining, rambling, talking about how the Northern Gateway pipeline is toast. It’s as if he’s saying, hell, give me some credit.

He gets back shouts and heckling. A dude is tossed. An Indigenous chief talks to the crowd, hoping everyone will play nice.

Shouting! More shouting!

Trudeau tries and tries again to talk about the pipeline. The former teacher must have thought this was like one of those classes where the kids just won’t stop misbehaving.

“Trust me I know what your concerns are,” he tells the young and the restless.

Trudeau asks a heckler to leave, they leave. He wants to quickly finish his thought.

At some point he talks about the national price on carbon, that is, the carbon tax. And world-class oceans protection.

“The other part of that …” He’s just about to explain there will also be a pipeline.

Another heckler, close to Trudeau.

“Come on. Come on. Really? Really? This is it,” the PM says to the heckler.

“Will you respect the people in this room?” asks the prime minister, who clearly has had enough in what is quickly becoming a theatre for the absurd.

Trudeau asks three times for respect. Then he asks the heckler to leave and looks around and the other heckler who’d left is back.

“You’re here?”

He’s had it. “We’ve done this for 25 minutes now and I’ve gotten to two questions or three questions. That’s not fair.”

He asks the cops to bounce the offenders. More heckling!

Finally, he says, once again and with more words, the pipeline is getting built.

Boo! Boo! Sounds like somebody isn’t happy.

Trudeau then points to an eight-year-old girl in a white poncho to ask a question. Peace is restored.

Still, they’d had their fun. Trudeau said he had a wonderful time.

Earlier in the day, to radio listeners on Vancouver Island, Trudeau says if the pipeline doesn’t move forward, there won’t be investments in an oceans protection plan and no national carbon price or carbon tax, things the environmental types want.

Is that supposed to be a sales job? And shouldn’t he be selling the pipeline in B.C.’s Lower Mainland? Has he even figured out how he’s going to get this approved pipeline built? Don’t answer.

Premier Notley said little new on Friday. The day before she wanted Trudeau to be clear on where the feds are going on this pipeline. She must not be happy.

B.C. Premier John Horgan says sabre-rattling won’t get very far.

Can’t blame him thinking that. He’s facing Trudeau and Notley.

Jason Kenney, the United Conservative leader, says Trudeau’s performance is a “total shambles” and “it’s clear he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about.”

But people cling to his statements saying the pipeline will be built?

“All Justin does is pat us on the head and say don’t worry, it will get built. The reality is every day Kinder Morgan is burning millions as the clock ticks. Every extra barrier gets us further away from construction,” says Kenney.

“He can pretend to be in favour of the pipeline in principle while the Green opponents grind it to the point where Kinder Morgan might just finally throw up their arms and say: To heck with you.”

It doesn’t sound good.

“This is the last pipeline play we have to the world. There really is no bigger deal.”

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