Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces a balancing act over the next couple of days as he takes the seemingly opposing messages of environmental protection and resource development to western Canada.
After beginning the day with a speech to G7 business leaders in Quebec City, Trudeau heads west — first to Victoria to speak to Canadian Coast Guard workers, then to Vancouver for a roundtable discussion on clean technology.
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of protesters who oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plan to give the prime minister a less-than-cordial welcome at a Vancouver hotel where he will host a $1,000-a-plate Liberal fundraiser tonight.
Anger over the approved pipeline has increased in recent weeks, with about 200 people arrested near Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby, B.C. marine terminal in the last month.
Trudeau’s west coast visit will not include a meeting with B.C. Premier John Horgan, whose government opposes the pipeline and has tried to put stumbling blocks in the way of construction.
On Friday, Trudeau will visit a new Suncor facility in the Alberta oilsands. The company’s CEO complained in February that a strict regulatory regime and uncompetitive tax structure will keep the company from any further investment in Canada.