Why the General Motors plant closures are good for America and not so good for Donald Trump


Image result for 2019 cadillac ct6
2019 Cadillac CT6
One of the best cars on the road and discontinued

Toyota Camry has been the best selling car in America for more than two decades. In the last few years the Honda Accord was the second best selling car in America.    Last year, Toyota and Honda introduced all new versions of the Camry and Accord and while the cars two remain the best selling cars in America. Sales of the two cars are substantially lower than 2017. 

Its not just Toyota and Honda, most passengers cars are crawling off dealer lots.  With one exception, nearly every automaker is offering incentives to move  passenger cars off the lots as American tastes have shifted to SUV’s.  

Kelly Blue Book says passenger cars sales are down 12% this year. Autodata says passengers cars represented 32% of all vehicles sold this year. This is a major drop from 2015 when passenger cars represented 51%. 

General Motors has spent billions in developing new fuel efficient cars.     The newest generation Chevrolet Impala and the Chevy Cruise received some of the best reviews for the brand in decades.   Consumer Reports said the Impala was the best in class. And despite the good reviews both models are under preforming, selling fewer cars than the previous generation.  

General Motors revamped its stodgy Buick and Cadillac divisions with Cadillac building cars that can out maneuver Germany’s best.   The problem is no one wants the relatively new Buick Lacrosse and the Cadillac’s CT6.  

General Motors recently announced they were closing down five plants in North America.   The Lordstown Ohio plant that builds the Chevrolet Cruze. The Hamtramck Plant in Detroit that builds the Chevrolet Volt, Buick Lacrosse and the Cadillac CT6.   Transmission plants in Michigan and Maryland and the plant in Oshawa, Ontario that builds the Chevrolet Impala.  An estimated 14,000 workers will be affected.

Donald Trump is outraged. During his candidacy he promised to increase auto manufacturing jobs. To punish GM, he’s threaten to cut all subsidies. The President is particularly angry about the closing of the Lordstown Ohio plant,in state that overwhelmingly supported him in 2016.  It was a foolhardy promise, as no one can predict changes in the marketplace.   

While our president was tweeting, the auto industry changed.  Automakers like Volkswagen, Hyundai Kia and General Motors underestimated the popularity of the SUV’s and no one predicted the popularity of Tesla and Electric Car. 

Preparing for a New World

Some believe in the next few years fewer people in urban areas will purchase cars. A new generation is embracing ride sharing and other modes of transportation.  Technology is allowing millions to work from the home and the growing demand for Electric Cars may, require a                                                        different type of auto worker.                                                      

For years, domestic automakers ignored changes in the marketplace.  In the early 70’s Americans were attracted to the low prices and quality of the Japanese automakers.   The Ford, Chrysler and General Motors (The Big 3) responded with mediocre small cars.  The profits for the Big 3, was in large cars with V8 engines and trucks     

In 1973, (OPEC) The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries  stopped sending oil to the US. Resulting in fuel shortages and higher prices.   Buyers, of fuel efficient small cars, abandon Ford, Chrysler and General Motors for small cars at Toyota, Datsun (Nissan) Honda and Volkswagen. Many of them continued buying cars from the Japanese Automakers.

 When Gas Prices increased again in the early 2000′ American Automakers heavenly invested in SUV’s  Despite slowing sales American  Automakers continued to build over saturating the market.   The industry was to slow to react to changes in the industry, the demand for more fuel efficient cars and trucks. 

General Motors one of the largest automakers in the world and Chrysler needed a bailout loan from the government to remain in business.  

General Motors Positioning Itself for the Future

If the Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had their way, GM would continue to build  unprofitable vehicles to keep their constituents employed. 

To avoid a catastrophic 2008 meltdown, General Motors and other automakers are being proactive. 

General Motors CEO Mary Barra  is implementing billions of dollars in cost-cutting measures in preparation for the next economic downturn. Shifting the company’s focus toward costly, emerging technologies such as autonomous and fully electric vehicles.  

 Shrinking its employee ranks is part of the plan, especially on the manufacturing side of its business, but GM also is sending a message that it’s working to change the makeup of the work force that remains.

“We are going to continue to hire, because when we look at the skill sets that we need for the future, the vehicle has become much more software-oriented, when you think about the hundreds of millions of lines of code that are in a vehicle that operates today,” “That’s only going to increase.”     Mary Barra

Just the first round……….

This is just first round of layoffs and plant closures.    Ford Motor Company is planning to stop building every sedan except the Mustang, and the Focus which will be built in China.   Unlike General Motors, Ford doesn’t plan to close any plants, however some shifts may be eliminated.  Most of Fords sedans are assembled in Mexico.   

Tesla and the new world order

A few years ago the California Air Resources Board required 15 percent of cars sold in California to be all-electric, plug-in hybrid electric or hydrogen vehicles.  This requirement would cost the industry billions in an untested market.  Billions more to build a hydrogen car.  Initially most of the industry converted gas engines for short range electric engines in existing models.    In 2010, GM Introduced one of the first plug in hybrids, the Chevrolet Volt, which allow the car to drive on pure electric power for up to 60 miles and then the car combustion engine powered the car and recharged the battery. 

Enter the California Fuel Cell Partnership:   In January 1999, two state government agencies—California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission joined with six private sector companies—Ballard Power Systems, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, BP, Shell Hydrogen and ChevronTexaco—to form the California Fuel Cell Partnership. Headquartered in West Sacrmamento.  The goal was to demonstrate and promote the potential for fuel cell vehicles as a clean, safe, and practical alternative to vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Within a very short time, other government agencies and private businesses became members.  Today, the members include Hyundai, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota, Honda and General Motors.  Today there are three hydrogen fuel cell cars for sale in selected markets.  Honda Clarity, Hyundai Nexo and the Toyota Mirai. The challenge for hydrogen vehicles is suppliers of hydrogen and a network of fueling stations.  

In 2010 Nissan introduced the Leaf, one of the first all electric cars sold in several countries including the United States.  Nearly 400,000 Leafs has been sold globally.  Most of the Leafs sold in the US were sold in California.  Initially the Leaf had a range of less than 80 miles.  The newest models have a range of 151 miles.

In 2012, Tesla Inc. A small company in Northern California. Introduced the first full size luxury, all electric car called the Model S.  The standard Model S had a driving  range of 208 miles, more than double the Leaf . Buyers could  increase the driving range to over 300 miles by opting for a larger battery.  By 2016 the Model S was the second best selling electric vehicle in the world. 

While sales of nearly all combustion engines passengers cars are down.  Sales for Tesla’s Model 3 us up over 400%  It was the sixth best selling sedan last month in the United States. 

  American and Domestic automakers are investing more than 100 billion dollars to bring more electric and  hydrogen vehicles to the marketplace. 

The transition in the Auto Industry is troublesome for Donald Trump as some workers will not survive.   The proactive measures taken by Ford and General Motors to avoid a repeat of the 2008 meltdown may not be good for the President, however it is good for America. 

CityFella 

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Fresh Not Frozen: “Paradise Gone”


Image result for paradise ca fire 2018

Eighty seven miles northeast of Sacramento is the City of Paradise. Last night around 6:45 pm “The Camp Fire” Jump a line and destroyed this eighteen square mile city, population 27,000. As of 4am today more than 35,000 people have been evacuated in the area as the fire has not been contained. Six people have perished in the fire.
Image result for paradise ca fire 2018

Conditions in most parts of California is very dry. There hasn’t been any significant rain in Sacramento is several months. Low humidity levels and offshore winds blowing hot air inland, combined with dried out vegetation, could cause any wildfires that spark to spread quickly. A smoke a smoke advisory has been issued for the San Francisco Bay Area over 200 miles from the fire.

Image result for paradise ca fire 2018
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints burns during Camp Fire in Paradise

The “Camp Fire’ was discovered around 6.30am near Pulga, Ca, 26 miles northwest of Paradise. The blaze, named the Camp Fire because of its proximity to Camp Creek . High wind gusts is resulting in a fire growing at a rate of 80 football fields a minute. The Fire is less two miles from Chico, the home to nearly 90,000 and California State University, Chico

All roads in and around the Chico area including 99, 20 are closed.

CityFella

Facts Fiction and Don Lemon


CNN anchor Don Lemon on a Wednesday evening segment of CNN Live.

Perhaps there would be less outrage if the story was told by Wolf Blitzer or Jake Tapper.

There are many white men who are OUTRAGED!!!   Here you have a black man stirring the racist pot.    IF a white man said something about a Black man, they’d lose their jobs.    Megan Kelly lost her job over “Blackface’ so here we have a black man calling white men terrorist, he should lose his job is only fair!

There are white men in this rapidly changing world who believe that they are under attack.  It had gone too far and it far more difficult to be a white man in America and this morning advertisers and CNN will  demand that Don Lemon lose his job.

THE OUTRAGE

In the course of a week, 14 bombs were mailed to prominent Democrats.  On Wednesday, a white man attempted to enter a black church in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. Fifteen minutes later, he drove to near by Kroger Supermarket and killed two black people.  As the gunman passed a white shopper in the parking lot he said, I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.”   Saturday, a white man entered a synagogue and killed 11 worshipers and wounded six others including four Police Officers.

Cnn’s Don Lemon said Trump would have people believe immigrants are to be feared, but statistics reveal the biggest threats are home-grown.   He went on to say, we have to stop demonizing people and realize that the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them. So ,have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban — you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white-guy ban. So what do we do about that?”

“the biggest terror threat in this country is white men.”

This is what some people heard!   Other’s heard he called for a “white guy ban”               Fox news said Lemon was ranting!   Others called him a racist!

You decide, Listen. 

There are many in this country who supported the Presidents ban on Muslims and individuals from the middle east based on a unsupported belief that, Muslims hate Americans and want to destroy America.    The facts are white men are the principle source of terrorism in the United States and no one is proposing a ban on “white men” this is what I believe Mr Lemon meant.

When its not Fake News

Since 9/11 attacks in 2001, far-right violent extremists have killed 106 people in 62 attacks in the United States, while radical Islamist violent extremists have killed 119 people in 23 attacks.

https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/683984.pdf

From  2008 to 2016, there were almost twice as many terrorist incidents carried out on U.S. soil by right-wing extremists — many of whom are white — than by Islamist extremists.  It showed there were 115 incidents involving right-wing extremists and that those that ended in death were more deadly than incidents carried out by other groups.

https://www.revealnews.org/article/home-is-where-the-hate-is/

An analysis of the Global Terrorism Database by researchers at the University of Maryland published in 2017 shows a “sharp increase”in the share of attacks by right-wing extremists, from 6% in the 2000s to 35% in the 2010s. The share of attacks by religious extremists also increased, from 9% to 53% between the two decades.

https://qz.com/1435885/data-shows-more-us-terror-attacks-by-right-wing-and-religious-extremists/

White supremacists in the United States killed more than twice as many people in 2017 as they did the year before, and were responsible for far more murders than domestic Islamic extremists, helping make 2017 the fifth deadliest year on record for extremist violence in America, a new report states.

https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-report-white-supremacist-murders-more-than-doubled-in-2017

Politics of Fear

For decades,some members of the GOP have demonized immigrants from Mexico. They were accused of  straining our resources and crossing the border to have babies and to get on welfare.

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump took it further, he said the people coming from Mexico were bringing drugs, bringing crime and-they’re rapist.   There isn’t any subjective data that supports any of these claims.

A point of reference for some against Mexican immigration is the murder of Arizona Rancher Rob Krentz in 2010.   Krentz’s property is near the Mexican border. The Krentz family was accustomed to undocumented migrants crossing their 35,000 acres.  Because of this, many assumed he was killed by one of those undocumented migrants. His widow was convinced his was killed by an illegal immigrant. After an extensive search, no one has been linked to his murder.  Today, many are convinced he was killed by a Mexican national.

Less than a year after the Death of Mr Krentz.  Arizona passed a law requiring anyone suspected of being in US illegally to produce papers to the police.

 

Race Baiting 2018 (Donald Trump’s Evil Caravan)

Before I talk about our president current attempt to inject white fear in the midterms, I want to look back a few years.

But first thing’s first! What is “Race Bating?:    The unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people

A look Back to 1986

In 1986, a convicted felon named Willie Horton — who was serving a life sentence for murder — was released from a Massachusetts prison on a weekend furlough program, during which time he escaped and raped a woman. Then-governor Michael Dukakis had supported the prison furlough program, and when he ran for President in 1988, his opponent, George H. W. Bush, used that to his advantage. The “Revolving Door” ad never mentions Horton by name, but the connection was clear and the ad received considerable news coverage.

Bush Played on the fears of whites who were terrified of blacks.

2018, President Trump,  has told his base a Caravan is coming, filled with thugs, bad people, including people from the middle east.   He has a few days to convince his base these horrific people filled with diseases  (so says Fox News) will be here at any moment.  In a world where facts don’t matter.  These terrible people are walking and they only have 800 miles to reach our borders.  Tuesday, if you believe the president. Bringing lawless people who will kill the men and rape the women. (a small exaggeration)

The footage is several years old and his story about Democrats allowing illegals in is patently false.  Donald Trump is doubling down on his attack on brown skinned people using fear to get them to the ballot box.

Luis Bracamontes was first deported to his native Mexico in 1997, during the Clinton administration, after he was busted selling drugs. But, according to U.S. Immigration officials, Bracamontes managed return to the United States by 2001, when he was deported a second time for being in the country illegally. That was during the first year of the Bush administration.

Bracamontes was back in America again by 2002. He married a U.S. citizen and remained in the country even as the Bush administration deported people at a record rate, topped only by the Obama administration.

When Bracamontes shot and killed the two Sacramento county deputies in 2014, he had been deported once under a Democratic administration and once under a Republican administration. He had been back in the United States for at least six years during the Bush administration and five years under the Obama administration.  He is currently on death row in San Quentin.

It’s 2018

Perhaps, some white men would have been more comfortable with CNN’s Jake Tapper or  Wolf Blitzer talking about this subject.   One would think, in 2018 we are beyond this. Apparently not.

By the reaction,s only black people should talk about black on black crime in cities like Chicago or Detroit.  Or Hispanics in El Paso or Albuquerque.     Don Lemon ins’t racist, he didn’t attack white men, he talked about the news and the double standard.

I can’t remember a time when a white reporter was dismissed after reading statics about black people or any other persons of color.     I can remember when a reporter or personality was dismissed after saying  spic, called black women nappy headed hoes, fag and other disparaging words or terms on air.   Blackface, hasn’t been acceptable since the 1930’s neither are insulting ethnic impersonations.

 It’s 2018, come on America, come on

 

CityFella

Denmark to label food according to effect on climate


Denmark to label food according to effect on climate

New labeling on food packaging will enable consumers in Denmark to see the effect of their shopping on the environment.

 

Food products will be marked with stickers showing their environmental impact, according to a proposal expected to be included in a new climate package to be presented by the government this week.

“We want to give consumers the means to assess in supermarkets the environmental impact of products,” Minister for the Environment Lars Christian Lilleholt said.

Business interest group the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC) welcomed the proposal, but said a number of considerations must be made.

“It might be necessary to weigh up the environmental impact against the nutritional value of the product. A bottle of soda may have a low environmental impact, but it is not a product you can live on,” DAFC director Morten Høyer said via a press statement.

Lilleholt agreed that the plan to implement environmental labeling on food products carried a number of challenges, but stressed the importance of providing consumers with information.

“My impression is that there is a demand for knowledge about how individual consumers can contribute to improving world climate,” the minister said.

Based on voluntary climate markings on food packaging, the government will launch a campaign to make it easier for consumers to make climate-friendly choices, according to the plan.

The initiative will involve a collaboration with supermarkets.

“I will enter into dialogue with the retail sector, butchers and other food producers to open a discussion about how we can implement this in a way that would enable the climate labeling to work,” Lilleholt said.

 

The Local

‘Losing all the glaciers in Switzerland is not that far away’


‘Losing all the glaciers in Switzerland is not that far away’
The Rhône glacier. Photo: Max Schmid/Swiss Tourism
By Sean Mowbray/The Local
A child born in Switzerland today will likely live to see the turn of the 22nd century. If scientists are right, the views they’ll see will have changed remarkably, writes The Local contributor Sean Mowbray.
For one, they will likely shiver less in winter and only see glaciers in the highest reaches of the Alps. It’s a grim vision of a future depleted of snow and ice, but it’s a vision that can be avoided. Well, sort of.
Glacial retreat
This past year alone was nigh-on catastrophic for Switzerland’s glaciers.
Matthias Huss, a glaciologist at the University of Fribourg, tells The Local that many of Switzerland’s glaciers were snow-free by July this year. That meant the icy surfaces of glaciers were at the direct mercy of the sizzling August temperatures. The result is that over a single year, three percent of Swiss glacial mass melted away.
That’s enough ice melt to provide every single Swiss household with a rather cold 25m2 swimming pool, Huss says.
“This really indicates that losing all the glaciers in Switzerland is not that far away,” he warns.
That’s not to say that the epic ice loss of 2017 will be necessarily repeated next year, nor even in the next five years. But, Huss explains, Swiss glaciers are still going through a steep decline with no end in sight. For the past 30 years they’ve been losing mass, sometimes in epic proportions, overtimes in small amounts.
The result of all this loss is that by 2100, when a Swiss child born in 2017 is lighting their 83rd birthday candle, there’ll be far fewer glaciers left in Switzerland, with up to 90 percent of them lost.
“The troubling thing is that this is not even that much dependent on future CO2,” says Huss.
Will scenes like this, of the Aletsch glacier, become a thing of the past? Photo: The Local
He points to the Aletsch glacier, which is currently the longest glacier in Europe. Unfortunately it’s too big for the current climate. Even if temperatures stabilize, glaciers such as the Aletsch keep on melting for a time until they retreat to a place they can survive, says Huss. Unfortunately, the Alps just aren’t high enough to offer refuge.
“We cannot preserve the Aletsch glacier, for example, with its beautiful glacial tongue, even with strongly reduced CO2 emissions,” Huss continues.
The Aletsch won’t disappear altogether, but it will likely retreat nearer to the Jungfraujoch and become a shadow of what it once was, with around 70-80 percent of its current volume reduced to meltwater.
Snow’s not so sure 
Glacier-lovers may have a grim view of the future in Switzerland, but skiers need not despair completely – for now.
Christoph Marty, of the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, is more optimistic about what’s to come. That’s because we can still do something about the amount of snowfall in Switzerland, he says.
“We say that glaciers have a memory,” Marty tells The Local. “A bad year with little snow and lots of melt means they have a bad start to the next year.” However, for snow, “each year is like resetting the dial back to zero”.
In a study released earlier this year, Marty and his team said that snow cover will largely disappear from the Alps by 2100.   That’s hardly great news, but crucially, his research points out that this is dependent on CO2 emissions and the amount of warming that happens between now and then.
“If we don’t cut emissions, enough snow for winter sports can only be guaranteed above 2,500 metres,” the researchers said in a statement back in February.
Since less snowfall also comes with a loss of snow days in general , the ski season simultaneously shortens while snow cover worsens – bad news for skiers.
The ski slopes in Grindelwald in mid March 2017. Photo: The Local
Marty believes that as things stand, we are probably on course to raise the snow-sure altitude level from its current 1,400 metres by a good 500-700 metres. But if we tackle emissions then that could be reduced greatly.
However, that seems a big ‘if’.
Switzerland, for its part, is committed to the Paris agreement and aims to halve its CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The new Energy Strategy 2050, which enters into force on January 1st 2018, also envisages a Switzerland that’s more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels.
But with the US pulling out of Paris, it remains to be seen if enough can be done worldwide to tackle climate change.
Not such a quick fix    
By now, you’re probably thinking perhaps these problems could be fixed with a few good snow blowers. These water and energy hungry snow producers are now a common sight at many alpine ski resorts. Couldn’t they be used to save glaciers?
Glaciologist Felix Keller has been figuring out how to put them to use to save the Morteratsch glacier. He plans to blow snow over the glacier during the summer months to ward off any melt. Previously, it had been thought that thousands of snow machines would be needed, but Keller’s new calculations mean that only around 200 would be needed, he tells The Local.
However he concedes this would be a stop-gap measure and that glaciers cannot be saved forever – we can only slow their decline. On top of that, using snow blowers is incredibly costly, both financially and environmentally, making it a measure that Huss says simply isn’t feasible across the hundreds of glaciers in Switzerland.
Efforts to save glaciers should only be considered if it’s absolutely essential to preserve water sources, says Keller, who is concerned about what the loss of glaciers means for freshwater availability, particularly during summer time, something that’s not yet entirely clear.
So it’s likely we can’t engineer our way out of this one. Switzerland’s glaciers are melting away, one year after another, and while we can still hope to see snow-sure slopes for some time to come, as temperatures rise this will become more challenging and be at further cost to the environment. What is sure is that children born today or in the coming decades will look out on to an alpine landscape that’s vastly different from our own.

Canada: Trudeau under fire as Trans Mountain pipeline opposition grows


Trudeau under fire as Trans Mountain pipeline opposition grows

Indigenous leaders and environmentalists march in protest against Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia [File: Nick Didlick/Reuters

Canadian PM vows to push through a $5bn oil pipeline project, but indigenous leaders say it ‘will never be built’.

By: Jillian Kestler-D’Amours\Al Jazzera

Montreal – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been widely criticised for vowing to get a multibillion-dollar oil pipeline project built in the face of widespread, indigenous-led opposition that is mounting across Canada.

The prime minister said on Sunday that his government plans to hold a “formal financial discussion” with the proponent of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Texas oil corporation Kinder Morgan.

“We are going to get the pipeline built. It is a project in the national interest,” Trudeau told Canadian media.

But that pledge was immediately shot down by indigenous leaders who have emerged at the forefront of a grassroots campaign against the Trans Mountain project.

The pipeline is proving to be the biggest challenge to Trudeau since his 2015 election, when the now-prime minister ran on promises to protect the environment and build a new relationship with First Nations based on reconciliation.

“[Trudeau is] on the public record saying that governments provide permits and communities provide consent,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

“Clearly, the indigenous community, as well as the citizens of British Columbia, have not provided consent or social licence for this project to proceed,” Phillip said at a press conference this week, reiterating his opposition to Trans Mountain.

‘The answer is still no’

The $5bn Trans Mountain project would twin an existing 1,150km pipeline, allowing it to ship up to 890,000 barrels of oil a day from the Alberta tar sands to the coast of British Columbia (BC), in western Canada, for shipment to Asia and other markets.

Trudeau approved the project in 2016, saying it would bolster Canada’s economy and create new jobs.
Several lawsuits have been filed against the pipeline, however.

Opponents say it endangers waterways and marine ecosystems, threatens the health of communities, will actually lead to a loss of jobs, and violates indigenous land rights.

More recently, activists have been arrested for blocking construction on oil transport terminals in BC and thousands have protested against the pipeline.

Thousands march in protest against Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia [File: Nick Didlick/Reuters]

While Ottawa says the project was approved after a thorough consultation process, several First Nations along the pipeline route say they remain firmly against it.

“The whole issue of consultation is a red herring. It’s a distraction because … the legal bar has been raised to consent. There is no consent,” Phillip said.

“The answer is still ‘no’. The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline will never be built.”

Canada-wide debate

The pipeline emerged at the centre of a national debate this month after Kinder Morgan issued what many critics of the project viewed as an ultimatum to the Canadian government.

On April 8, the company said it would stop allocating shareholder resources to the project and suspend “non-essential activities and related spending” as it seeks “clarity on the path forward”.

Kinder Morgan specifically called out the BC government, which has been a vocal opponent of Trans Mountain, as the main hurdle in getting the project built. It did not mention active indigenous opposition, however.

The company said it would consult stakeholders and come to a decision by May 31.

In response, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, reaffirmed Ottawa’s support for getting the pipeline built and echoed Trudeau by saying the project “is in the national interest”.

“This crucial resource project will expand export markets for Canadian resources and create thousands of good, middle-class jobs and no one should be standing in the way of those jobs and the families that stand to benefit,” Carr said in a statement.

Ottawa said it will seek to reassure Kinder Morgan of the economic viability of the project, but the government has not explicitly said whether it will offer the company financial support, and if so, how much.

“We are determined to find a solution. With all our partners, we continue to consider all available options. As our prime minister has said, this pipeline will be built,” Carr said.

Federal jurisdiction

Ottawa has also painted the problem as a struggle between federal and provincial jurisdiction. Under the country’s constitution, the federal government has the final say over national projects that cut across multiple provinces.

Trudeau said his government would consider tabling new legislation to reaffirm that the federal government has jurisdiction over these types of projects.

Provincial leaders, meanwhile, have emerged on opposite sides of the issue.

Rachel Notley, the premier of Alberta, home to Canada’s sizeable tar sands oil reserves, is unsurprisingly strongly in favour of the project.

“The federal government, along with the government of Alberta, has commenced discussions with Kinder Morgan to establish a financial relationship that will eliminate investor risk,” Notley said on Sunday.

For his part, BC Premier John Horgan has been a vocal opponent of Trans Mountain.

The BC government recently proposed a measure to make it more difficult to transport oil through the province, and mayors, federal parliament members and other officials across BC have also voiced their unequivocal opposition to the pipeline.

“The prime minister has failed on this project. He is blowing this into a national crisis because of his mishandling of this file,” said Kennedy Stewart, an MP in Burnaby, BC, which recently hosted a march against Trans Mountain.

The government of Quebec even waded into the fray last week, after a minister published an open letter that criticised the Trudeau government for attempting to impose its will unilaterally on the provinces.

Opposition to other pipeline projects has been particularly strong in the past years in the French-speaking province, which has historically been a staunch defender of rights at the provincial level.

‘Our rights haven’t been honoured’

But for indigenous peoples, the Trans Mountain pipeline is just one example of the deeper problem of various levels of government in Canada bulldozing over their rights.

“This land was given to us by our ancestors and it is our responsibility as elected leaders to protect that land for our children and their children,” said Khelsilem, a spokesperson for the Squamish Nation Council in BC, on Monday.

“We have rights as a nation that have not been met or honoured,” he said.

A protester listens to speeches at a protest rally against Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia [File: Nick Didlick/Reuters]

Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said the Canadian government’s support for Trans Mountain also goes against its commitment to respect the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Canada signed on to UNDRIP in 2016 and the declaration states that countries must obtain “free, prior and informed consent” before undertaking any actions that may affect indigenous peoples.

While the current focus is on the Trans Mountain pipeline, in particular, Chamberlin said the debate stems from a deeper issue.

“The underlying, fundamental issue for Canada is the fact that since the beginning of this country they have system disregarded aboriginal rights, aboriginal peoples, and exploited the lands and resources that our own peoples for others’ enjoyment,” he said.

“When a company from the United States declares that May 31 is the drop-deadline to go forward, this is an ultimatum to the Canadian government to run over and disregard the human rights of aboriginal people in Canada,” Chamberlin continued.

“I want to believe that Canadians find this unacceptable.”