Steven Guilbeault’s first steps on the federal stage took the form of long Stations of the Cross.
His office overrun by young environmentalists on Friday, judgment on the Trans Mountain pipeline, decision to come to the Teck Frontier mine, not a week goes by without being questioned on the issue of climate change.
Suddenly, like a good soldier, he takes refuge behind ministerial solidarity. “It’s up to my environmental colleague Jonathan Wilkinson to comment. ”
What do you want, Steven Guilbeault is Minister of Heritage.
What environmental influence?
Quebecers’ favorite environmentalist remains a prisoner of his militant past. Wanting to avoid damaging relations with Alberta, we understand Justin Trudeau for having refused his ministry of choice.
Which raises the question: Has Steven Guilbeault been instrumentalized by the Liberal Party to improve his environmental image?
Behind the scenes, we maintain that he has a real influence. He sits on the cabinet committee on economics and the environment, when he speaks, we listen, the Minister of the Environment would not hesitate to seek his advice and support.
So much the better if that’s true.
The real test is fast approaching. The government must decide, by the end of the month, the fate of Teck Frontier’s huge oil sands project in Alberta.
I will not repeat the debate on the pros and cons of the project. Let’s just say it’s clear that Steven Guilbeault is playing on his credibility. If he has been able to negotiate his opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline as a minister, he must now stand behind the decisions of his government.
And in this case, he will not be able to hide behind his role in Heritage to avoid commenting on Ottawa’s decision. Silence on his part would say everything and would forever shake his reputation as a champion of the climate cause. It would be his Waterloo.
The ultimate test in spring
Surviving Teck Frontier is not enough. To free himself from his past and establish his credibility as a federal minister, Steven Guilbeault will have to deliver the goods on the telecommunications and broadcasting reform in the country.
Overhaul of the CRTC, regulation of web giants, the site is as urgent as it is monumental. The exercise is as perilous as it is fundamental to the country’s economy and the fragile ecosystem of its television production.
Politically, it is a minefield. Talk to Melanie Joly. If he succeeds, it will be Austerlitz! Steven Guilbeault will finally be released!