Thursday, February 8, 2018


   Are we a country?

   At issue is far more than the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, or a spat between provinces. A fundamental underpinning of our confederation is at risk and the longer the federal government refuses to fight for it itself, the more our federation is diminished. The consequences for the country are dire.
  Section 92 of the constitution sets out all of the provincial powers, but specifically reserves to the federal Parliament key jurisdiction over shipping lines, railways, canals, telegraphs and other works or undertakings (including, today, pipelines) that connect one province with any other, or beyond. They recognized that, as important as local matters can be (and how tempting they can be for political gain), they cannot be allowed to usurp national interests.
   Someone needs to remind British Columbia – and all Canadians – of that. And that someone needs to be the federal government. The Prime Minister was recently quoted as saying, "I'm not going to opine on disagreements between the provinces." This is not – and must not be portrayed as – a battle between two provinces. This is about Canada. It is unfair, inappropriate and sets a dangerous precedent to have one province, in this case Alberta, defend what is in the national interest.

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