Premier Kenney looks like he and his government made a bad bet on Trump’s win in the 2020 US Presidential election. If Trump won, the Keystone XL pipeline would proceed. If Biden won, he promised the project would be dead. Biden won and he killed the project on his first day in office.
The Auditor-General commented on the scheme in his November 2020 Report. The UCP Provincial Treasurer, Minister Toews has promised more details on the deal and the actual loss for months but nothing has been forthcoming. There are rumblings about the UCP taking legal action against the Biden government over the permit cancellation.
And now TC Energy, the proponent, has totally abandoned the project. We are being denied details of the “investment” because of confidential proprietary constraints. Given the deal is dead, there should be much more, and more timely, disclosure of the details of the company-government deal.
So far we are told the loss of Alberta tax dollars is in the $1.3 (+\-) billion-dollar range. If true that is a cash loss of about $300 for every man, woman, and child in the province. Add to that the loss of about $2.1billion in the UCP ideologically-based cancellation and sale of 2019 NDP bitumen-by-rail contracts to increase capacity move product to the USA due to pipeline capacity constraints, That’s another $500 cash loss for every many woman and child in Alberta.
Back to the main point, what is a *Conservative government doing, buying an ownership position into a private-sector project? The Conservative rhetoric is usually that “…government should not be involved in picking winners and losers in private-sector projects. They are overwhelming right in that regard, and picking this monumental epic of a project loser proves then correct.
So now we need to get to the bottom of what drove Kenney into this fiasco of fiscal folly? It looks like the Auditor-General is going to take on the task of following the money but not evaluating the wisdom of the deal itself. We need both.
Opposition Calls for a Public Inquiry But…
The NDP Opposition recently called for a Public Inquiry into the Keystone XL deal but has not been very persistent in pursuing the proposal. Part of the reluctance may be the extreme unlikelihood of Kenney ever exposing himself to a serious evaluation of his motivation, intent, integrity, honestly, risk-reward analysis, and many other aspects about his judgment around this deal.
Kenney will refuse the NDP call for a Public Inquiry as typical Socialist negativity and political posturing.
He can’t say the same if the demand for a Public Inquiry came for the citizenry in pursuit of accountability, transparency, openness, integrity, decision-,making process, what advice was sought, received, and recommended, where was the fiscal prudence, and what finally crystallized the political judgment to do this deal?. So as Seth Meyers would say “It’s Time For a Closer Look.”
Is it time for a Public Inquiry into the UCP government’s entire engagement, scope, purpose, decision-making process, and actions taken around the Keystone XL pipeline financial involvement decisions?
DO YOU AGREE? YES OR NO?