Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing a backlash over comments he made about the “phasing out” of fossil fuel production from Alberta’s oil sands during his outreach tour across Canada.
At a public meeting in Peterborough, Ontario Trudeau was asked about his decision to greenlight the Kinder Morgan pipelines from Alberta to British Columbia, despite his promise to fight global warming. Trudeau answered with his often-repeated remarks that you can’t just shut down the oil sands.
“We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels. That is going to take time and in the meantime we have to manage that transition,” he said.
The comments sparked anger from the Wildrose Party in Alberta and one Conservative Leadership hopeful.
“He wants to shut down Alberta’s oil sands, and my hometown. Let him be warned: he’ll have to go through me and four million Albertans first,” said Wildrose Leader Brian Jean on his Facebook page.
Meanwhile, PC leadership candidate Jason Kenney asked if Trudeau in a tweet if he wanted to “hand-over all global oil production to Saudi [Arabia], Iran, Qatar.”
At the same meeting Trudeau also faced tough questions on his decision to implement a federal carbon price by one woman struggling to pay her bills while her hydro bills continue to mount.
Trudeau defended his climate change policy and said revenue from the carbon tax stays within the province to be used as they see fit.He said that while Canada needs to move away from fossil fuels, government needs to ensure that Canada’s most vulnerable are protected. “What's so important is we do not penalize people who are already stretched beyond the breaking limit ," Trudeau said.