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stephen quinn

Since the announcement this week that Justin Trudeau's Liberal government supports the expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, Canada's most famous "bromance" has been on death watch.

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson and the Prime Minister were close, to say the least.

But federal support for the pipeline may be too much for the relationship to withstand.

Gary Mason: Trans Mountain pipeline continues to be juicy fodder for attack ads in B.C.

Gary Mason: Sorry, Vancouver: The rest of Canada needs pipelines

Opinion: Prime Minister: You failed to do your job by approving pipelines

Witness for instance the uncomfortable phone call between the two on Tuesday night, following the news.

JT: Hello, this is Justin.


JT: Hello?

GR: Uh, hey, yeah, it's me. Is this an okay time?

JT: Well, it's three in the morning here … I 'm just up reading Trump tweets, what's on your mind?

GR: You know perfectly well what's on my mind …

JT: Look, I was hoping to tell you in person okay, but I didn't invite you to Ottawa because I thought you'd get the wrong idea …

GR: You … you … how could you, man? How could you do this to me? After everything we've been through together! You said, man, you promised. You promised ... in the campaign … that you were going to make Canada a green energy leader. Innovation … clean technologies … end the subsidies for fossil fuels. And now you do this? We went to Paris together, man. You were wearing that blue shirt with that cool black tie ... I'm looking at the Instagram right now ...

JT: Gregor, calm down. Yes, Paris was cool, but that was a year ago. Did you even hear the speech? If we want to make the shift to renewable energy we need to have a strong economy. And we'd be crazy to be sitting on billions of barrels of oil and not get it to market. So this is a short-term thing ...

GR: That is total BS, man. You could leave it in the ground! You could make a statement. God, I feel like I don't even know you any more. Who are you? Some kind of monster?

JT: I'm going to hang up now …

GR: Don't you … don't you dare. You need to hear this. You may be all like, "Hey, it's cool – I said no to Northern Gateway – so Trans Mountain will be good," well it's not! You're like, like a (intelligible …)

JT: Are you crying, man?

GR: (Long pause) No. I'm okay. I'm good.

JT: Take a breath, man …

GR: It's Rachel isn't it? You invited her to Ottawa. Do you know what that felt like? I knew it! What does she have that I don't have?

JT: Um, votes in Alberta?

GR: You cheap … dude, no one can do what I can do for you, man. They love me here. I'm your key to holding on to the Lower Mainland.

JT: You robo-called everybody in town – more than once – and told them to talk their MPs into opposing the pipeline. You managed to convince a couple of caucus members.

GR: Yeah, but that's not about us. You know that, right? That's just politics.

JT: So is this. Look, I'm sorry I upset you, but I did what needed to be done. You know where this is going, right.

GR: What do you mean?

JT: You said it yourself, man, "protests like you've never seen before." Opposition from First Nations, environmental groups and ordinary citizens – we're talking court challenges for years. Seriously, do you think this thing is actually going to get built? I'm not going put more tankers in your inlet. That'd be crazy. I did what I had to do, pal, but it's a win-win.

GR: Are you kidding me? You approved it knowing all of that? Why didn't you tell me?

JT: I thought you'd figure it out. So are we okay?

GR: Yeah. Look, I'm sorry man. I was just so … I dunno … disappointed …

JT: Alright. I'll be out there soon. We'll run the seawall.

GR: Sounds good man. Give my best to Sophie.

JT: Get some sleep.

Stephen Quinn is the host of On the Coast on CBC Radio One, 690 AM and 88.1 FM in Vancouver.

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