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Forcing pipeline through Que. would be political disaster, says former premier | Power & Politics



the Constitution is clear that inter provincial infrastructure such as pipelines are the exclusive authority of the federal government we agree to disagree on this point I don't see how we can have a new pipeline on the Quebec Territory without the approval of Quebecers I understand that it is a sensitive issue in Quebec signing up to a pipeline is not 40 or 50 years of signing up to fossil fuels it's it's providing their best form of transportation that is existing today the safest and most reliable I made a commitment to British Columbia stirring election campaign to defend our coast some clear divisions they're on pipelines as Canada's premiers wrapped up their annual meeting in Saskatoon yesterday the Premier's worked on numerous issues but couldn't agree on a national energy corridor Quebec premier France while ago is open he says to a natural gas pipeline but insists there's no social acceptability for oil pipelines in his province the Premier's are unanimous though that they alone should determine their respective climate plans what do the Premier's stances indicate about the health of the Federation and how might their priorities affect the fall federal election campaign time to bring in the Premier's League in Vancouver Christy Clark premier of BC from 2011 to 2017 now senior advisor with Bennett Jones and here with me Robert Gibbs Premier of Pei from 2007 to 2015 now president and CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association hi to both of you doing this miss Clark I'll start with you there was kind of this pre meeting before the meeting of the Premier's between what many of them described as like-minded what did you think of the that idea and do you think it sort of had any kind of impact on a on a on a divide that we did see sort of emerge later on well I think that if you want to make your voice heard at the Premier's table there are two ways to go about it one is to keep you know options open with all of the Premier's around the table and continue to talk to them which is kind of I think which is what was my experience at in the era that I was there I think Rob probably had the same experience it does seem now though you know all these men around the table very divided ter horrible relations between British Columbia and Alberta I feel like they're sort of dividing into tribes and you know teams and I think that's really what we saw is a country vividly divided and rather than premiers kind of finding a you know kind of a finding a way to get along all the time I think there's a little bit of kind of competitiveness between them right and a lot less cooperation than we once saw what were your impressions mr. Gibbs did you see that kind of divide as well there's always going to be somewhat of a divide especially when you get this close to a federal election and you've got different premiers that have their own political agendas as well but I don't really see a problem with different premiers getting together and creating strategic alliances and building on relationships you know a lot of these premiers besides probably two or three of them this is actually their first term elected so you know they're just really starting to develop these relationships you know I was fortunate that I knew Christy from way back in a different political career so we've always had a good relationship while I was there Brad wall and I were able to forge a very strong relationship and if you looked at us on paper you would think that we were polar opposites but we ended up becoming best friends and I think that that led to some extra developments taking place at the preimage table because we did work on those relationships so I think as Christy said relationships are extremely important and it does help move the agenda along you sort of reference miss Clark eras you know when you guys were at the table versus right now what do you think some of the big differences are that might prompt that kind of divide that you referenced well I think in general we are seeing a much more partisan country a much more divided country the federal Liberals have really vacated the center and they've moved to the left the federal Conservatives are kind of I mean they they feel more to the right to me at least in their language then they were previously so I feel like countries a little more divided we've seen governments our governments are I think a little bit more confrontational there was I was there in an era where you tried to work with the federal government I think the federal government's habit of deciding that they want to just in a high hat 'we behaved unilaterally overruled provinces in in you know get into areas of exclusive provincial jurisdiction has been very bad for that relationship and for the country and i think the third thing is there are no women at the table anymore and when you know i mean the it's the fact is in my experience at cabinet where almost half my cabinet was almost always women is it really does change the behavior around the table and it tends to make it a little bit more collaborative and I think that element probably not the most important of those three elements is being seen right now what about the federal election that federal provincial dynamic because in the lead-up to this that's where mister gives the focus was certainly placed on we have seen so much jockeying between the two miss Clark talks about the the role of the federal government how she views their their behavior in this respect jurisdiction was definitely a big topic of discussion what do you think about all of that yeah I definitely see the divide and I think Christy is absolutely right when it comes to the Aris and the era when Christy and I were there when you had Stephen Harper who was less a fair with the provinces so it actually allowed the provinces to play a larger role in terms of nation-building whereas now we have the Trudeau government that's more involved whether or not it's carbon pricing or different issues involved in a whole lot of areas that do affect the provinces more directly you're also seeing and I agree with Christy that the Trudeau Liberals are not traditional in the center where usually they were there a little more to the left and now you're seeing provincial governments that are you know not so much Progressive Conservative government's but almost conservative governments as well even though a few of them call themselves Progressive Conservatives and so what do you what do you think is helped us understand what's happening behind the scenes let's take an issue like for example miss Clark a pipeline that goes through the country we heard a lot of discussion about this tons of questions to mr. Lago premier Lago who was insistent that there's no social acceptability for something like that that would go through Quebec but then you see the other side talking about the federal government having constitutional authority and I mean so much of the of the discussion at least in the public that revolved around that what's happening behind the scenes there do you think is there any way at a meeting like this there could be movement on a subject like that you know I I despair of any concordance amongst debris there's nothing that's gonna happen I mean I live in British Columbia and so I see this divide but you know Alberta British Columbia used to be the closest provinces of any in the you know in the country to one another and it's you know John Horgan could not be more different in his views on this on pipelines than than Jason Kenney so I don't think you're going to see any agreement between the provinces which is why it is so important because the federal government does have constitutional authority here but they aren't using it and that really is the problem is the failure of the federal government to step up protect middle-class jobs fight for all the funding that goes toward health care that comes from the biggest sector of our economy and oil and gas and really do its job and protect the Canadian economy they haven't done it they've abdicated their role there and until they decide to step in I don't think you're going to see a solution come from premiers to be fair there isn't mister gives a pipeline proponent right now for that there was of course energy ease Mr Shearer you know the leader of the federal Conservatives I've asked him as well would you be willing if there was such a thing hypothetically a pipeline would you be willing to exercise that constitutional authority he won't give me a direct answer on that talk about the considerations especially where Quebec is concerned and what's that what is that like behind closed doors yeah I think you've hit the nail on the head you know really it would be a disaster politically to go into a federal election and saying I'm going to impose a pipeline on Quebec nobody's gonna do that Andrews chairs not doing that they're all saying there are processes now in place there is a constitutionality that does exist for the federal government to approve these things and there's processes we saw the federal government step up to the plate at West they put their money where their mouth was they bought a pipeline but I think that I want to go back to the premiers meetings and how you do move the needle a little bit and the one thing I do like about premiers meetings and I'm not sure if Christie will agree with me on this but I there are sometimes some movement within the room and I think there is movement within the room because unlike some other First Minister's meetings they're not publicly televised and sometimes when you sit in a room with just the 13 premiers you are a to move that needle a little bit and I think where we've seen the needle move a touch and I like to call it wiggle room is you've seen now the Premier of Quebec talk about social acceptability he's not talking about were against it he's just saying there's not social acceptability exactly so in other words if you can change switch around that social accessibility so if they can perhaps put a demand on the table that they need some approvals to move there hydro to different provinces then maybe they'll be willing to back off on that social acceptability miss Clark do you agree final word to you I think so and I you know rob was a real unifying force around the table he'd been there a long time when I was there and kind of bringing people together so he you know has a lot of experience that kind of understanding how this the this these this work comes together but I will just say this the federal government killed the Northern Gateway pipeline they killed the energy East pipeline and they still haven't turned a shovel of dirt on the Kinder Morgan pipeline I really I mean my argument that they've vacated the field and refused to step up on this I think is a pretty sound one and again I would just end even with Rob around the table again I don't think we'll get there on pipelines unless the federal government decides to step up and decide they want to fight for this for the sake of Bounce they are I think the Prime Minister is hurting so I think there they are at the TMX site today they are promising that this construction season there will be does he have a shovel there well he might have for the photo-op I have to double-check that it wasn't built during the Harper years either so you know there was a balance when there was those demands there as well all right we have to leave it there right now but thank you very much to both of you for joining us thanks to Christy Clark former premier of BC and Robert gives former premier of PE I appreciate your time both of you today thank you thanks for Ashlee thanks Christy thanks Rob hi I'm Vashti Capello's host of power in politics see more of our show by subscribing to the CBC news channel or click the link for another video thanks for watching

21 Comments

  1. A. Soul
    A. Soul July 14, 2019

    NOT forcing a pipeline across Canadian territory, ie Quebec, Then tear up the Constitution Act, 1867, and all the following federal Acts until 1982; Turn Canada into a hodgepodge of banana republics; Quebec has been pissing on the very idea of Canada for more than two hundred years; They pulled this venal, dog in the manger, crap on Newfoundland, back in the sixties; When they stole the hydro profits; Greed and dirty dealing; High time for Canada to step up and be a sovereign country; Maybe it will happen without Quebec; Maybe without Alberta;

  2. Graham Drew
    Graham Drew July 14, 2019

    As soon as Quebec hands back equalization payments they have a leg to stand on…importing Saudi oil is criminal when we can replace it with CANADIAN oil…Quebec needs to quit whining and join in…BC too!

  3. Art Dent
    Art Dent July 14, 2019

    30-years ago everyone thought of Quebecers as the big whiners in Confederation, now everyone thinks it's Albertans. Waah, waah, diversify your economy, ya big babies.

  4. Wtornado
    Wtornado July 14, 2019

    A real Canadian pay's their taxes and would fight for their country and not flee.

  5. Lisa Renne
    Lisa Renne July 14, 2019

    But it's OK for quebec to have their own… gotcha!

  6. Charles Malchow
    Charles Malchow July 14, 2019

    Alberta has oil… East coast needs oil… Quebec said it's public didn't want pipeline… Why can't the Quebec population be asked about the issue… A referendum this fall during Federal election… 51%… Build the pipeline… Quebec takes Canadian tax payers money yet stops Canadian tax payers from getting any return for their labour… Selfish and selfserving politicians… Get donations to keep the Country divided… Thanks mon amie… All Muslims should be relocated to La Belle Province… Je me souviens…

  7. perry reasch
    perry reasch July 14, 2019

    BC pulling strings / since they got kicked out of Venezuela

  8. charlotte collins
    charlotte collins July 14, 2019

    Ms. Clark. The Premiers stated themselves they had more in common than disagreed. Thank you Premiers 🇨🇦

  9. chindoo
    chindoo July 14, 2019

    No BC pipeline. we'll fight this tooth and nail.

  10. sausageslaps
    sausageslaps July 14, 2019

    why do they keep interviewing losers? kristy needs to dissappear as does horgan, hes only doing this to keep power, if he caves then his government falls

  11. Ken Rogers
    Ken Rogers July 14, 2019

    Hmmm…Fight against the oil industry, but wait with their hands out to accept the billions of dollars in welfa..I mean "equalization" payments, generated but oil!!!! Hard to rationalize or understand.

  12. Nova
    Nova July 14, 2019

    tellacom goon talking about pipelines….CBC is a joke.

  13. Nova
    Nova July 14, 2019

    Quebec wants it. It's the liberals and their Saudi support that don't want a pipeline to the east coast as ALL oil in Atlantic Canada comes from Saudi Arabia.

  14. J Kerfont
    J Kerfont July 14, 2019

    Alberta needs to suck it up. What does men/women have to do with anything… Where's Kim Campbell ?

  15. Lawrence Johanson
    Lawrence Johanson July 14, 2019

    Imagine Quebec trying to tell Alberta how to run their province and shut down the pipelines.but  will take 13 billion this year from Alberta oil money.Bloody disgrace.

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