National Post Reports: In recent days, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver have complained that foreign-financed “radical” opponents of the plan have hijacked the Northern Gateway debate and threaten to slow down the hearings…
Just because certain people in the United States would like to see Canada be one giant national park for the northern half of North America, I don’t think that’s part of what our review process is all about. Our process is there to determine what the needs and desires of Canadians are,” Said Harper.
Harper said he is concerned that the review is now subject to “extraordinary delay, and they’re increasingly vulnerable to foreign money coming in for the sole purpose of delaying the process.
Harper added that he doesn’t object to foreigners expressing their opinion. “But I don’t want them to be able to hijack the process so that we don’t make a decision that’s timely or in the interests of Canadians.”
Late last year, the U.S. government delayed a regulatory decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would have shipped Alberta oil to the southern U.S.
This development has, in government circles, highlighted the need to diversify in other energy markets, such as Asia.
“I think what’s happened around the Keystone is a wakeup call, the degree to which we are dependent or possibly held hostage to decisions in the United States, and especially decisions that may be made for very bad political reasons,” said Harper. “What I think I’d make clear is that I believe selling our energy products to Asia is in the country’s national interest.”