First Jane Fonda, then our very own Prime Minster. What a week.

Speaking at a humble town hall in Peterborough, Ont., Trudeau was asked about his government's approval of pipelines along with his commitment to the environment.

Trudeau provided the dislaimer "You're probably tired of hearing me say it [...] You can't make a choice between what's good for the environment and what's good for the economy."

A fair statement, and one that most would agree with.

However, the way he finished that thought is what promoted so much outrage.

The Comment

"We can't shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels."

"That is going to take time. And in the meantime, we have to manage that transition."

Phase out?


This prompted Alberta's Premier to weigh in with her own comments, and admittedly, somewhat defiant of Trudeau's statement.

"Our job is to make sure Alberta's product is the first in line," Notley said.

"The bottom line: Alberta's oil and gas industry and the people who work in it are the best in the world. And we're not going anywhere, any time soon."

Alberta Opposition Leader Brian Jean — whose Fort McMurray constituency includes the oilsands — says the oil and gas industry provides thousands of good-paying jobs and supports government services across Canada.

"If Mr. Trudeau wants to shut down Alberta's oilsands, and my hometown, let him be warned: he'll have to go through me and four million Albertans first," the Wildrose leader said in a statement.

Liberal Perspective

Liberal Leader David Swann was more diplomatic and called on Trudeau to clarify his remarks.

"In the current international economic climate the industry does not need any more uncertainty about its future," he said in a statement. "We need our prime minister to not only support this industry, the economic engine of the country, but to communicate that clearly.

"Given Justin Trudeau's recent pipeline approvals, he should be given the benefit of the doubt and a chance to clarify his remarks."