Harsh comments by Alberta politician Jason Kenney, (left) a former federal minister about the competence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right) have raised many an eyebrow. Photo: The Canadian Press- Jonathan Hayward- Adrian Wyld

Name-calling: spat over pipeline turns nasty, personal

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Prime Minister “empty, clueless” J Kenney

The ongoing debate over the Kinder Morgan pipeline took a nastier tone this week. An Alberta politician slammed the Prime Minister and apparently has no intention of taking back some harsh comments.

“He can’t read a briefing note longer than a cocktail napkin” J Kenney on PM Trudeau- Calgary Sun newspaper

The oil-producing province of Alberta has been locked in a battle over building a new pipeline from the oil fields to a loading facility on the Pacific Coast. The neighbouring west coast province of British Columbia, along with environmentalists and several aboriginal groups have been mounting a strong resistance.

huge protest march against kinder morgan pipeline in British Columbia.

Thousands turned out in Burnaby British Columbia in March to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project, one of hundreds of protests against the project. Photo: Mike Zimmer-CBC

The American pipeline company has threatened to halt the several billion dollar project over ongoing delays, which got the federal government involved. The Prime Minister insists the pipeline will go through and recently indicated taxpayer money would be used if needed.

Canada's finance minister Bill Morneau at a press conference.

Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau at a news conference May 16 announcing the government would help finance the project if needed and compensate pipeline backers for any financial loss due to delays. Photo: Chris Wattie -Reuters

Jason Kenny, once known as “Mr Fix-it” as a cabinet minister in the previous federal Conservative government is now leader of the provincial United Conservative Party  (UCP) in Alberta, which currently sits in the opposition.

This week in a  Calgary newspaper column by Rick Bell,  the UCP leader, obviously frustrated by the Trudeau government’s slow pace on the pipeline issue, ripped into the Prime Minister for continuing to allow B.C to block the project.

In public comments he said of Prime Minister Trudeau, ““He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. This guy is an empty trust-fund millionaire who has the political depth of a finger bowl.”

The route of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion from the oil sands in Alberta to a loading facility in Burnaby British Columbia. Image: Kinder Morgan Canada

He was later asked by Global news if his assessment of Trudeau was too harsh, to which he replied that he had, “worked with dozens of MPs in Ottawa, including [opposition] critics who were thoughtful, intelligent, engaged people with whom I had a constructive relationship. He wasn’t one of them”.

Kenney also explained his comments by adding, ““I was asked about whether I think the prime minister understands the complexity of the pipeline issue, and frankly, based on my firsthand experience, I don’t think he does”.

Trudeau who said his government is working very hard to resolve the pipeline issue has not responded to the comments, but Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley said Kenney needs to rise above personal animosity towards Trudeau if he wants to be an effective leader.

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Posted in Environment, International, Politics

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One comment on “Name-calling: spat over pipeline turns nasty, personal
  1. Bob says:

    wow, nailed it