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Rex Murphy: How much more can Canadians ask Alberta to take?

Those who think that ‘environmental review’ is about reviewing the environment have lost the plot

If cars and trains and planes could run on green sanctimony, in the age of Justin Trudeau, Canada would be Kuwait. But of course they don’t. And in Save the Auto Pact week, which is how I would characterize Chrystia Freeland’s frantic return from Europe and Ukraine to Washington, to answer Mr. Trump’s summons and catch up with her Mexican “partners,” who would have guessed that a federal court would shoot a thunderbolt at the industry that allows all those cars to do what cars do in the first place?

Poor battered Fort McMurray — what’s left for them after fire, flood, world prices and a court’s curt quash? A plague of frogs and locusts and perhaps an eclipse of the sun, just for variety.

This careless government has careened from one bungle and self-manufactured crisis to another. From India, to Saudi Arabia, to Washington this week, it’s either catch-up, incompetence or peacock risibility. And as Ms. Freeland and her team pulled sophomore “all-nighters” to save free trade and appease the angry god in the White House, dear Alberta learned there was no way they will be able to trade their oil whatever way NAFTA goes.

For the pipeline, the pipeline we had to buy because Canadians didn’t support it correctly in the first place, is now on hold, which is Liberalese for “you will not see this in your lifetime.” Finance Minister Bill Morneau extended the novel explanation that the decision was a good thing, which raised questions on just which asteroid he was reporting from. Catherine McKenna, minister of climate change, still on the straw crusade, had less or nothing to say, apart from a dart at Doug Ford — which is her latest Twitter hobby — even as a much disappointed Rachel Notley (finally) in principle abandoned co-operation with federal carbon plans.

Ms. Freeland may or may not save the Canadian bacon in Washington — it’s unclear as I write. But the mess that has fallen on Canadian politics, and provincial relations, emphatically those with Alberta, though other provinces are closely involved, as a result of the guillotining of the Trans Mountain pipeline, will not swiftly or easily be repaired. It is a massive fail. The strains and contests it will inspire within this happy Confederation will be compelling as any distempers with deal-maker Trump.

How was it then, that Alberta got shafted once again? And how many of the “slings and arrows of outrageous” greenism can or will Alberta take?

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