Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was booed as he took the podium at an event in Calgary this week.
Outside, thousands of demonstrators blocked the streets to protest Trudeau’s appearance in a province and a city that feels completely abandoned.
These weren’t your typical protesters. There were no black masks, no property damage and no arrests.
In fact, citizen journalists shot footage of friendly, polite, respectful and jovial, albeit frustrated, Canadians showing their disapproval towards Trudeau’s policies.
Specifically, these folks were protesting his energy policies and, to use Trudeau’s own words, his plan to “phase out” the Canadian oil sands.
Trudeau, always rich in platitudes and poor in understanding his job description, admitted it is “very much a crisis” in Alberta. No kidding. Trudeau is imposing his national carbon tax while having a hand in blocking four major pipelines — Energy East, Trans Mountain, Northern Gateway and Keystone XL.
Alberta’s abundant oil supply is landlocked. Increasing amounts are therefore shipped by rail, which is not only more expensive but also more environmentally risky.
As a result, Canadian crude oil is now selling at historic low prices and the economy is losing $80 million each and every day. Unemployment levels in Alberta are the highest in decades, one of four Calgary offices sit empty, investors and Canadian energy firms are fleeing the country, and, all the while, Albertans are still being forced to pay equalization transfer payments to the rest of the country.
To add insult to injury, the Trudeau government introduced Bill C-69, which will make it all but impossible to approve future energy projects.
Trudeau is inserting his divisive identity politics into the pipeline approval process and will require companies to undergo a review based on intersectional politics — a fringe far-left ideology championed by Marxist university professors and their social justice warrior students.
With this gloomy state of affairs in Alberta as a backdrop, the federal government unveiled its Fall Economic Update this week. The Liberals have turned this update into a mini budget — another opportunity to bribe special interest groups with taxpayer money.
Trudeau’s budget seemed to have targeted handouts and tax credits for everyone — manufacturers, the tech sector, fishermen, exporters, charities, and even journalists.
Despite earlier promises to only run “modest deficits” and to balance the budget by 2018 — a pledge Trudeau said was “cast in stone” — the Liberals instead unveiled an $18.1 billion deficit, with $17.6 billion in new federal spending.
Under Trudeau’s watch, the federal debt will grow to $765 billion by 2023, and continue to skyrocket from there. Our children and grandchildren will be left with that bill, to be paid off through higher taxes and reduced services.
But out of all that money, all that borrowing and all those handouts, the Trudeau Liberals couldn’t find a way to support the energy industry in Alberta — the backbone of the Canadian economy and a source of hope and opportunity for Canadians of all walks of life.
In fact, there wasn’t a penny pledged to help Canadians who work in the oil sands. Nothing to speed up pipeline construction, nothing to increase the capacity for oil to be shipped by rail, nothing to remove barriers and help get our oil to market.
Trudeau may acknowledge the existence of a crisis in Alberta, but he fails to grasp how he’s played a significant role in creating and prolonging it.
No wonder he was booed and protested.
Candice Malcolm is the Founder of the True North Initiative.