Al Gore tweeted yesterday on the subject of the bitumen that would be transported from Alberta to Pacific tidewater via the Trans Mountain pipeline. "The Kinder Morgan pipeline carrying dirty tar sands oil would be a step backward in our efforts to solve the climate crisis," he wrote. "I stand with @jjhorgan, @MayorGregor, and all of the Canadians—including the First Nations—who are fighting to stop this destructive pipeline."
All of the Canadians? According to a new national poll, only 16 per cent of Canadians oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline extension outright, while two-thirds either support it outright (47%) or "somewhat support" it (20%). Asked about the significance of these findings for Prime Minister Trudeau, pollster Nik Nanos said, "It gives him a mandate to move forward but there should be a big cautionary note on this. This has put stress on the federation and we have to make sure we have a balanced approach that reconciles economic and environmental aspirations."
Mr. Nanos could not be more mistaken. As the prime minister himself well knows, he was given "a mandate to move forward" when he told Canadians in 2015 that the pipeline extension was in the national interest—and they rewarded him with a majority government. If the project derails this month and ends up costing Mr. Trudeau his majority in 2019, it won't be because he failed to "reconcile economic and environmental aspirations." It will be because he grossly underestimated Canadians and cast his lot with the likes of Al Gore.