EDITORIAL – Pipeline promises to be headline grabber at Trudeau visit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Image: FCM)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE FEDERAL ELECTION is, more or less, underway.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in Kamloops next week for a $300-a-plate fundraiser luncheon and, to read the regular pleas for money sent out to local Liberal members, the party is badly in need of support to match the Conservatives.

Conservative incumbent Cathy McLeod is well underway with her aspirations to deliver the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding to the federal Tories again, and the NDP have elected a riding executive headed up by Bill Sundhu, the party’s candidate in 2015.

Though it’s been a long time since a Liberal was elected in Kamloops, Trudeau obviously thinks the Liberals have a shot at toppling McLeod. Party leaders don’t tend to go places where their chances are slim.

In 2015, Liberal candidate Steve Powrie came within a couple of hundred votes of second-place finisher Sundhu, and was only about 3,000 behind McLeod. And he did it while spending a quarter of what his two main challengers did.

It was the best showing by a Liberal in many years.

So what can Trudeau, who didn’t visit this riding during the 2015 campaign, say now to boost the party’s chances?

Think Trans Mountain pipeline. Here in B.C., a solar system away from Alberta, Trudeau should be in mainly friendly territory on that issue. Sure, expect pipeline opponents to be out in full force with chants and banners, but the quiet majority around here is at best supportive and at worst ambivalent.

If Trudeau can offer reassurances that the pipeline is going to happen without further hiccups, and get at least equal media attention to what the protesters do, he’ll be able to count his visit as a good unofficial start to the campaign.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (6626 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Pipeline promises to be headline grabber at Trudeau visit

  1. Chris O'Connor // January 4, 2019 at 1:59 AM // Reply

    Oh, Mel you are so right about your prediction. Share BC will be holding a Brown Bag lunch for those who can’t afford the $300/plate event. We will be there to encourage the construction of “The People’s Pipeline” and to show our support for all resource communities and resource workers in BC and Canada. The people of Kamloops are welcome to attend and get some of the Southern Interiors best barbecued Baloney. Details as to time and place can be found on the Share BC Facebook page.

  2. Linda Bentz // January 3, 2019 at 1:41 PM // Reply

    Pipelines are one thing, possibly considered somewhat innocuous. But B.C. has a coastline where the pipeline ends. THAT IS THE ISSUE!!!

  3. Sean McGuinness // January 3, 2019 at 9:37 AM // Reply

    Mr. Trudeau can come here an talk pipelines all he wants. But he knows that he’s running into a hornets nest of opposition on the coast. One thing for sure, he’s not going to be talking about what his govt has done to combat climate change because we’re nowhere near meeting our targets. Despite dire warnings from the scientific community, Trudeau has decided that it’s more important to make Alberta richer than save the planet.

  4. Maybe he can articulate a more detailed plan for a no pipeline future…at least no more spending money on a soon obsolete paradigm…that would be astronomically cool!

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