Back in September, Globe and Mail columnist, Gary Mason predicted that the American funding of Canadian environmental groups would become one of the discussion points in the debate over the Northern Gateway Enbridge pipeline. Well, that's exactly what seems to be happening. (See: The next great pipeline debate - and American funding).
In an interview with Global TV in Vancouver, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper was asked about opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline. This new pipeline would allow Canada to export Alberta oil to Asia, via a port at Kitimat. One of the trade consequences of opening the Northern Gateway would be that the U.S. would lose its monopoly on Canadian oil exports.
Here's what Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Global TV:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper: There are environmentalists who will oppose any of these projects. Obviously, there will be environmental assessments and there always have to be negotiations with First Nations but that all said, this is a critical and important project to Canada as a whole.
Global TV: Canadian opposition may not be the only stumbling block.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper: I think we'll see significant American interests trying to line up against the Northern Gateway project, precisely because its not in the interests of the United States. Its in the interests of Canada.
Global TV: Could they do anything to stop it?
Prime Minister Harper: Well, they'll funnel money through environmental groups and others in order to try to slow it down but, as I say, we'll make sure that the best interests of Canada are protected.
Glad to hear it said.