Peter Foster: Not his father’s Liberal? Don’t be so sure
Since the days of Pierre, the urge to regulate, redistribute and centrally plan has not disappeared, despite the intervening collapse of the Berlin Wall. Indeed, the urge has swelled to global proportions on the back of projected catastrophic man-made climate change. The climate issue — whose existential seriousness Trudeau claims to believe, and which dominates his government’s immediate future — seeks to demonize all oil companies, promote local green champions, direct corporate activity towards «technologies of the future,» and load on carbon taxes. More than that, the climate agenda seeks to put all economic activity under global control.
Pierre never seemed to take that much interest in the NEP or economic nationalism, which bubbled up from the popularity of Petrocan with a naïve electorate, and out of the Liberal backrooms via men such as Maurice Strong, «the most important man of whom most people have never heard». He was the mastermind behind the 1992 UN conference in Rio from which the climate issue emerged on the global political stage. Just as in the days of Pierre, this boils down to Ottawa vs.
The most important issue is who will be pulling Trudeau’s policy strings
Indeed, Obama’s election gift to Trudeau may be definitively to nix Keystone XL, the only pipeline that Trudeau supported in the campaign. Stephen Harper was in fact skillful in «ragging the puck» on the climate issue, mirroring U. Trudeau may not be so adept on the climate policy ice. One of his many problems, as he will rapidly learn, is the different energy profiles of the two countries. Trudeau cannot possibly make commitments more draconian than the Conservatives.
That’s where we get into relations with the provinces which, at a meeting last July, wittered on about a national energy strategy that would effectively deal with emissions. The provinces have a crazy quilt of crazy climate policies whose coordination makes herding cats look relatively easy. Trudeau has apparently promised to take all the provinces with him to Paris. Paris will become Justin Trudeau’s Flying Circus.
That’s where we get to that controversial email from Liberal campaign co-chair Dan Gagnier to TransCanada Corp. , the company proposing both the Keystone XL and Energy East pipelines. The email’s import was not so much that Gagnier was in a conflict of interest, advising Trudeau while being paid by a corporation, but that Gagnier is typical of Maurice’s children, who insist that corporations bend the knee to environmental power.
Indeed, Gagnier is chairman of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, which was created by Strong. Gagnier noted that «An energy strategy for Canada is on the radar» and suggested that the industry should try to insert itself in early meetings with the Premiers and «help them get things right.» But we should be concerned about Gagnier’s, and the Liberals’, idea of what «right» means. Trudeau’s chief adviser is Gerald Butts. Last year the foundation held a climate conference in which the main speakers were radical activists such as Tzeporah Berman and policy wonks such as Chris Ragan, head of the Ecofiscal Commission.
Butts worked with the McGuinty Liberals whose radical — and expensive — anti-oil green policies are still being eagerly pursued by Kathleen Wynne, who is reportedly close to Trudeau. Clark was one of the main bureaucratic architects of the National Energy Program. The final keynote speaker at the Trudeau Foundation conference was Avrim Lazar, who, as a bureaucrat, not only negotiated Canada’s suicidal commitments under Kyoto, but also acted as Judas goat by leading the forestry industry into the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement after a series of ENGO do-not-buy campaigns.
Source: Peter Foster | Financial Post