Open letter to the PM

joseph's picture

Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to express shock, disappointment, and no small measure of outrage with statements I read and heard you make in various news reports about your recent townhall meetings in Alberta and BC.

In the past, I have supported you and defended the balanced approach you have taken as a welcome change from the former Harper government.  Despite shelving some important campaign promises, I have, until now, seen your government as generally benevolent, balanced, and inclusive, with the best interests of the country and a majority of its citizens.

However, your most recent comments about the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project are making me reconsider this view.  Although I am personally opposed to this pipeline, I have always been willing to consider that it may be in the best interest of Canada.  But your recent comments have taken this debate from rationale, evidence-based decision making to ideologically fuelled authoritarian dogma.
Here's the problem:

1) You campaigned on "communities grant permission".  Yet your recent statements clearly imply that it does not matter one bit what coastal communities think about this project.  Rather than working with oppositional communities, you are vilifying the very communities whose permission this project relies on for acceptance and long-term sustainability.

2) You campaigned on reconciliation and repairing relations with First Nations.  Yet in your recent statements you clearly state that this pipeline project will go ahead, despite substantial opposition from a number of Nations and a pending court challenge from Nations who's territories and aboriginal rights are being impacted by this project.

3) You campaigned on responsible climate action.  Yet in your statements you said "We won't get a national price on carbon and we would never meet our Paris targets"  if the pipeline project does not get built?   This is just bizarre.  Are these comments intended as blackmail - give me the pipeline or I will renege on the Paris accord?  Or are they just contradictory nonsense - implying that somehow we will achieve our commitment to reduce carbon pollution by shipping more bitumen to Asia?  Truly, this one has me worried about you.

4) You campaigned strongly on the flawed NEB process that originally approved the KM expansion project.  Yet your government has done nothing to correct the faults in that process, and has been making decisions based on the very NEB report you so vehemently criticized while in opposition.

Prime Minister Trudeau,  I want to have faith in my government.  I want to believe that important decisions are being made based on evidence and rational deliberation; based on a broad, national perspective and consensus; and based on a vision of Canada that is larger than the petty corporate interests of the day.  But how can we, your constituents, have faith in a government that is illogical, that contradicts itself;  that says one thing but does another;  that speaks of reconciliation and the fundamental rights of communities to self-determination, yet acts with authoritarian impunity;  that appears to represent and fight for the interests of big money and corporate power over the interests of its own citizens?

Prime Minister Trudeau, I hope you will take a few moments to reflect on this.  I hope you will take some time to recall the reasons you entered the political arena, and the passion you had for the ideals expressed during your campaign.   A campaign that inspired a nation, and resulted in a landslide victory for you and the LPC.  And I hope your advisors and strategists will take time to consider the political suicide an inspirational leader makes in failing to deliver anything but the status quo.

I wish you well, truly I do.  The stress of balancing the competing interests of this diverse country must be excruciating at times.  I hope you can find a way to get back to your core values and beliefs, and govern with honesty and integrity - it is all we ask of you.


Joseph Fall


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