Justin Trudeau is still riding high in the polls. But Michael Harris suggests that B.C. could turn out to be his Waterloo:
Trudeau’s most immediate practical challenge to his feel-good, unbuttoned politics is the recent provincial election in British Columbia.
Trudeau made a major political blunder in aligning himself with a government whose rape-and-pillage approach to that special province is only now on display. The trade-off was obvious: Trudeau would play ball with Christy Clark and she would reciprocate by signing on to his national carbon policy.
Now that Clark and her band of corporate Liberal locusts have been thrown out, the extent of the damage they have done — and the degree of Trudeau’s sellout — is becoming more obvious by the day. Just one case in point: BC Hydro is $20 billion in debt largely because Clark insisted that it borrow to cover operational shortfalls so that she could produce balanced budgets. In other words, she pushed the utility deep into the red so she could fake it with the public on the true state of the province’s fiscal health.
Trudeau’s unholy alliance with Clark can’t be spun into gold by even the best set of rented tonsils. The prime minister was willing to barter away the environmental commitments he made on the campaign trail in return for a sitting provincial government’s cooperation on his national agenda.
It's always been true that politics makes strange bedfellows. But sleeping with the wrong partner can prove unhealthy and sometimes fatal. Trudeau has compounded the problem by pursuing policies which many West Coasters oppose:
Then, of course, there’s Kinder Morgan. British Columbians have just elected a government that is opposed to it. The new premier opposes it, the Mayor of Vancouver opposes it, the leader of the Green Party opposes it, coastal civic leaders oppose it, and First Nations have vowed to take to the ramparts to stop it. I still remember the days when Trudeau was on their side — when they at least thought he was.
So far, the PM’s reaction has been every bit as corporate as Christy Clark’s. He has rather arrogantly asserted his continuing support for Kinder Morgan, while Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has sent the insulting message to British Columbians that they don’t control their own coastline. A nice, neighborly kick in the meatpies, yes?
Having family roots in B.C. may not be enough to get British Columbians to vote for Trudeau.