Trudeau says Canada will be part of Europe’s energy mix but doesn’t offer timeline
Trudeau says Canada will be part of Europe’s energy mix but doesn’t offer timeline

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed on Thursday that Canada will play a role in transitioning Europe off of its reliance on Russian gas and oil but did not elaborate on a specific timeline. 

Trudeau made the comments while at an event in Summerford, N.L. following a massive cabinet shuffle earlier this week. 

“Europe is not just choosing to get off of Russian oil and gas, they’re trying to accelerate the transition to alternative, lower carbon solutions,” said Trudeau.

“Canada can and will be a part of that.”

Despite the prime minister’s assurances, critics have blasted the Liberal government for failing to seize the opportunity when it comes to Europe’s energy needs. 

In March, Senior Fellow and Director of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment at the Macdonald Laurier Institute, Heather Exner-Pirot told True North that the clock was ticking and Canada has so far made no substantial commitments. 

“The political environment is a deterrent. There is no confidence from the investment community that projects in Canada could be approved, or if approved could be developed in a timely manner,” said Exner-Pirot. 

“Europe needs gas now, and Canada is demonstrably slow in developing these kinds of major projects, with regulatory hurdles and social acceptance being major hurdles. Also with high interest rates capital is very expensive right now, and long development times add a lot of cost. There is a window of opportunity and it is being closed.”

Last year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz left Canada empty handed following an official state visit after Trudeau said that supplying the major European economy with natural gas lacked a “business case.” 

Conservative foreign affairs critic and Michael Chong blasted the prime minister for his comments, pointing to the fact that the US has been able to capitalize on Canada’s inactions. 

“Germany’s newly constructed LNG terminal received its first full cargo from the U.S. today – not Canada,” tweeted Chong at the time. 

“That’s partly because Trudeau believes there’s ‘never been a strong business case’ for exporting East Coast LNG. What a missed opportunity.”

Soon after Canada’s refusal, Germany signed a long-term natural gas deal with Qatar for two million tonnes of LNG beginning in 2026. 

Statistics from the International Energy Agency show that imports of LNG into Europe have shot up by 63% in 2022, with the global market for LNG reaching a whopping $450 billion. 

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