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Opinion: Jagmeet Singh clears up stance on cancelling Trans Mountain. Sort of

Environmentalists want the federal NDP leader to commit to cancelling project
(via Trans Mountain)

One thing that’s clear from Burnaby South MP and federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is that he’s against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project that terminates in Burnaby.

But what he would do with the project as prime minister is a little fuzzy.

On Thursday, several media outlets, including Global and the Toronto Star, reported that Singh would cancel the project if the NDP secured a majority government.

On Friday, Singh clarified his remarks from the previous day, with this answer as reported by Alex Ballingall of the Toronto Star.

“I’ve been really clear, I’ve been opposed to this project from the beginning,” Singh said. “I think that we could use our money better, we could invest immediately in creating jobs for people in the resource sector and in other sectors, we can invest immediately into renewable energy, we can invest immediately into creating jobs, and creating jobs that will be long-lasting. That would be my priority. And once we form government, we will look at the asset and make the best determination on what to do moving forward. But it’s clear that my position has always been that.”

Cancelling a project of this magnitude that is well under construction is a tricky move for a politician. Just look at B.C. Premier John Horgan’s failure to stop the Site C dam.

Singh’s stance on the Trans Mountain file has come under criticism from some environmentalists who felt the NDP should have made cancelling the pipeline project a condition of going along with any federal Liberal legislation.

“Singh had all the cards,” tweeted former federal Green leader Elizabeth May. “Holding the balance of power. He never once made any climate action a condition before giving Trudeau support.”

Singh is taking a pragmatic stance on the project, but for people who have made climate action THE issue for this election, it comes across as some weak sauce.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.