"This government has said time and time again that pipelines are an intrinsic part of Canada's sustainable energy policy," Trudeau announced in a press conference Thursday in Montreal's historic Old Port. "But we campaigned on a promise to halt climate change."
"That's why we're going to make sure Energy East is the greenest pipeline in the world."
In front of the mighty St. Lawrence River, Trudeau explained that he instructed the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to approve TransCanada's Energy East pipeline with "tough new criteria with teeth" that include low-flush toilets along the 4,600 km route and strict requirements stipulating that any expansions must use parts made from at least 85 per cent recycled materials.
"This is why the Canadian people elected a Liberal government," Trudeau said. "It's time this country took climate change seriously. Canada will now be a world leader in green pipeline innovation and manufacturing."
"Tidewater," said the prime minister, knowingly. "Tidewater."
He also promised that this pipeline project, unlike the ones from the 1950s, would be very feminist.
Critics have questioned whether a pipeline carrying 1.1 million barrels of bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands to the Atlantic Ocean will help Canada reach the climate targets it pledged in Paris last year -- irrespective of the construction materials.
"Is that seriously what he said?" Author and avid stand-up paddleboarder Naomi Klein asked incredulously when told of the prime minister's plan. "That's bananas."
Trudeau still faces stiff resistance from provincial governments, First Nations, mayors, energy regulators, scientists, environmentalists, millennials, pet owners, cyclists and a majority of Canadians. But, he said, having TransCanada execs over for an intimate, $12,000-a-plate dinner with him and his cabinet would make it all worth it. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne looked on approvingly.
"Because it's 2016," Trudeau declared to no one in particular and in reference to nothing immediately discernable.
Author: Michael Stewart