When he was prime minister in the 1980s, Pierre Trudeau beggared the West with his NEP – the infamous National Energy Program.
Now, his son Justin appears intent on beggaring the West again with a new NEP – a No-Energy Program.
The original NEP was a very deliberate plan designed to decapitate the growing political clout of the energy-rich West and confiscate its newfound wealth for central Canadian objectives.
As former Liberal strategist John Duffy wrote in his book The Fights of Our Lives, the unofficial slogan of the Liberal war room in the 1980 election was: “Screw the West, we’ll take the rest!”
By contrast, our current Prime Minister Trudeau probably has no real comprehensive plan. It’s possible his motivation for killing the Energy East pipeline (and Northern Gateway and very likely Kinder Morgan, too) involves no deeper thinking than “because it’s 2017.”
But make no mistake, the federal Liberals killed Energy East as surely as if they had passed a resolution in the House of Commons commanding it to stop. They just did it surreptitiously instead, by moving the regulatory goalposts again and again, until TransCanada, the pipeline company, surrendered and withdrew its application.