Majority Of Canadians Favor Moving Past Keystone XL Decision Onto Other US Issues - Poll

TORONTO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th January, 2021) The majority of Canadians are in favor of moving past the Keystone XL pipeline extension cancellation decision to pursue other priorities in its bilateral relationship with the United States, an Angus Reid Institute poll revealed.

In one of his first acts as US president, Joe Biden signed an executive order to rescind the Keystone XL construction permit granted in 2019 by former President Donald Trump.

"If it were up to them, three-in-five Canadians (59%) say they would accept the cancellation and focus on other priorities in Canada-US relations. The number that share this view is highest in Quebec, where three-quarters would do so," the study said on Tuesday.

Despite this majority, most Canadians were in agreement that Biden's decision is bad for their country - 52 percent - and especially bad for Alberta - 65 percent.

However, the was discord in how Canadians perceive the Keystone XL pipeline; 51 percent of Canadians stated that jobs and the economy have to take precedent over climate change and the environment, while 49 percent said opposite.

Canada's leader Justin Trudeau has expressed his disappointment with Biden's decision but his government is showing signs of moving forward bilateral relations. On Saturday, Canada's Ambassador to the US said that Ottawa will be "moving forward" from the Keystone XL to other priorities with the Biden administration.

Meanwhile, this approach is receiving pushback from some provincial premiers who have expressed a desire to see a tougher response to Biden's decision.

Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta has urged Trudeau to impose proportionate economic consequences on the United States for revoking the permit or, at the very least, seek compensation and says that the revocation is a clear violation of the investor-protection provisions in the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).

Keystone is an oil pipeline system that moves Alberta crude oil from the Canadian town of Hardisty to refineries and tank farms in the US states of Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. The first three phases of the system are currently operational, however, the construction of the fourth phase, better known as Keystone XL, which is planned to transport oil to the US state of Nebraska, has caused a major uproar on both sides of the border.

The proposed section of the pipeline was twice rejected by the Obama administration, but was backed by Trump.

In September, the US Supreme Court rejected a request from the Trump administration and the pipeline's parent company, TC Energy, to dismiss a lower court ruling blocking further construction of the pipeline because of a violation related to a water-crossing permit.