The Prime Minister says Canada is leaving fossil fuels behind, but in the meantime, projects like Energy East are important.
Justin Trudeau was asked in a moderated sit down at the Globe 2016 Conference why his government isn’t rejecting the Energy East pipeline out of hand.
He says Canada is transitioning off of fossil fuels, but a key responsibility for government continues to be getting this country’s resources to market.
“Quite frankly, we need to get through this transitional phase in a way that is going to make us leaders in the coming years. Right now, while the world still requires fossil fuel resources, Canada can play a positive role in making sure that we are doing that as responsibly and as safely as possible.”
Military single largest consumer of fossil fuels in government
Trudeau did say that the federal government needs to move off of fossil fuels in many areas, including the military.
Apparently Canada’s military is the single largest consumer of fossil fuels among all federal departments.
Justin Trudeau was asked how he would make the military more environmentally friendly, he says the federal government needs to act across all departments.
“Making smarter decisions about how we maintain our rent space. How we maintain our buildings. Look at our automotive and vehicular fleets. Being a lot smarter around green procurement and standards that we expect within government as a business not just a government is really, really important.”
In the U.S., the American military uses 395,000 barrels of fossil fuels a day.
Hopes to achieve consensus with Premiers
Trudeau says he doesn’t take exception to Premiers like Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall, who is not a fan of a carbon tax, or efforts to block the Energy East pipeline.
“I expect that Premiers, and indeed all representatives, are going to do the job that they were elected to do, which is to stand up for their communities, stand up for their regions, and ensure we are working together in ways that grow the economy right across the country while protecting the environment.”
Trudeau said he hopes to achieve consensus with the Premiers on climate change, and is anticipating positive news when the meetings end, and he and the Premiers face the media tomorrow evening.
On our neighbour’s Presidential race?
One other topic touched on at the sit down? American politics.
When faced with a question concerning American politics, Trudeau carefully stepped around it.
He was asked how he might deal with Donald Trump, should Trump capture the Republican nomination – and the White House.
Especially considering some of Trump’s remarks on the climate, like his pledge to dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“One of the first things you learn as a politician is not to answer hypotheticals. I am going to wait and see the results of the November election before commenting on that.”
He jokingly added Canada is beautiful for Americans who might want to move North.