As 2017 winds down, Manitoba’s only face at the federal cabinet table has been on the road. A lot.
“I really do try to get home every weekend,” says Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.
The MP for Winnipeg South Centre has been Canada’s face at meetings in Dubai, Riyadh (investor conference in Saudi Arabia), Paris (International Energy Agency), Houston (meeting with U.S. Secretary of Energy), Toronto (Canada’s Electricity Association), Calgary, Edmonton, Regina … and so the list goes.
The current Liberal regime has stepped back from a common federal practice of a designated regional representative in Ottawa. However, with a key portfolio and being the lone representative in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, Carr can’t step away from answering questions on issues key to the Keystone province.
A solution to Churchill’s isolation due to a damaged rail line and a fractious relationship between Ottawa and the provincial government on several files rank high on that list.
Carr also must balance the Liberal government’s desire to exploit natural resources such as oil with a stated promise to protect the environment. A delicate blend Carr doesn’t see as a contradiction and says neither does his boss, the Prime Minister.
“Wind turbines and pipelines,” Carr says, echoing comments made by Trudeau. “We need them both because we are using the wealth we have now to help finance the transition to a low-carbon economy that will take quite a while.”
Carr repeats the mantra of the current Liberal government when it comes to extracting resources and reversing climate change at the same time. Create jobs and economic development, he says, while promoting environmental stewardship and then do the first two in partnership with Indigenous communities.
Carbon tax me
Mixing those stated intentions and getting partners on board isn’t always easy and in 2017 Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister wasn’t on the same page with the Trudeau Liberals on a number of…