Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen questions Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decision to purchase the Kinder Morgan pipeline in the House of Commons on May 30. (CPAC photo)

Purchasing a 65-year-old pipeline doesn’t make sense, says MP Nathan Cullen

Weed gibe works into Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP’s debate with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The Trans Mountain pipeline may be located in the Lower Mainland, but local Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen had some choice words for the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today over the decision to purchase the project.

“Liberals do know it’s not legal to smoke weed until August, right? Because this makes no sense at all,” Cullen said to Trudeau in a heated debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday, May 30.

“Only Liberals would dump $4.5 billion on a 65-year-old pipeline and call that an energy strategy. Only Liberals would try to force through a pipeline and tankers through traditional First Nations territory and call that reconciliation,” Cullen said, adding, “Watch, he’s about to say the environment and economy go together.”

Cheers of support for Cullen, a member of the NDP, erupted from the House of Commons. In response, Trudeau reminded MPs that the NDP had “celebrated” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s plan to both protect the environment and grow the economy.

“Part of that plan included three elements: one, an absolute cap on oil sands emissions; two, a price on carbon that would apply to the Alberta economy; and three, getting our oil resources to new markets,” Trudeau said, emphasizing that Notley is also a New Democrat.

Cullen questioned the uncertainty of the project.

If it was such a great risk for a private company to take on, why would it be fair for the Canadian public to pick up the risk, he asked Trudeau.

The prime minister responded by quoting Notley, who said the government met the deadline set by Kinder Morgan and “this project has more certainly than ever.”

“We have demonstrated that despite the actions of one province trying to block this pipeline, the project is in the national interest and the jobs that will be assured and defended in this project are an integral part of our plan to fight climate change and grow the economy for future generations,” Trudeau said.

Opponents to the Kinder Morgan project cite a 700 per cent increase in oil tanker traffic along the B.C. coast as one of the major red flags.

Cullen has been a fierce advocate for the oil tanker ban for Haida Gwaii and the North Coast, and tabled a private member’s bill for such a ban in 2014. While he was pleased to see Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, pass the House of Commons in early May, he said it took too long, and now they have to wait for the Senate to pass the bill.

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