Tiptoeing back to Trans Mountain

If you missed Canada’s weekend politics shows, get caught up here in four quick snapshots
A sign warning of an underground petroleum pipeline is seen on a fence at Kinder Morgan’s facility where work is being conducted in preparation for the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday April 9, 2018. The Houston, Texas, based company announced Sunday it has suspended all non-essential activities and related spending on the pipeline expansion that would carry Alberta bitumen to an export terminal near Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Didn’t catch Canada’s weekend politics shows? Here’s what you missed. This is an excerpt from today’s Politics Insider newsletter, which you can read here.

  • In his testimony to the justice committee Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick attacked the original Globe and Mail story that kicked off the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Bob Fife, one of the journalists who broke the story, made the rounds, and on CTV’s Question Period defended the scoop: “In politics the best defence is often a strong offence, and particularly shooting the messenger, but in his testimony [Wernick] actually confirmed what we reported—we reported Miss Wilson-Raybould was subjected to pressure to cut a deal so SNC-Lavalin would not be prosecuted, would pay a fine. We did not say the Prime Minister directed her to do so. Nobody said that. In fact nobody did do that.” (CTV video tweet)
  • Speaking on Question Period Conservative Justice Critic Lisa Raitt said Wernick’s committee testimony shows lines were crossed with Wilson-Raybould: “Jody Wilson-Raybould told the prime minister and the clerk of the privy council in no uncertain terms she wasn’t going to overrule her deputy on the matter. That’s where it should end. And yet we see time and time again through phone calls through meetings between her staff and the PMO, the prime minister himself, Gerald Butts, and whoever else that we’ll find along the way, all took it upon themselves to go in and check-in with her and see whether or not she’s taken another decision.” (CTV News)
  • Following Friday’s recommendation by the National Energy Board that the Trans Mountain pipeline be approved, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said Ottawa is on track to wrap up consultations with 117 Indigenous committees that would be impacted by the pipeline within the next few months: “The work that we have done so far and the work we will continue to do in the coming months, I can tell you that I feel that we are in a very strong position to conclude these consultations within the next 90 days. But we must get it right.” (Global News)
  • On Trans Mountain, Canada’s fisheries minister Jonathan Wilkinson told CBC’s The House that increased tanker traffic from the pipeline expansion won’t have much additional impact on endangered southern resident killer whales because they’re already being blasted with underwater noise. “It’s important to understand that the plight of the southern resident killer whale has very little to do with the Trans Mountain pipeline, he said. “There are 3,200 large container ships that come into Burrard Inlet every year, there are thousands of ferries…. All of those generate noise. So irrespective of whether Trans Mountain proceeds there’s a need for us to actually address issues around marine traffic.” (CBC News)