Environmentalists hoping for Enbridge's proposed reversal of the Line 9 pipeline to die on the grounds of opposition from an intractable Quebec government may have had their hopes dashed today. Quebec Premier Pauline Marois seems surprisingly supportive of the project.
"It would supply our refineries at a better price than what we pay for oil from Algeria, Northern Europe, and other places," Marois remarked.
This is quite a change from last year, when then-Environment Minister Daniel Breton insisted that Quebec would not allow the pipeline to be reversed.
Marois' reversal on the reversal could be just the start. It could even get Marois' Parti Quebecois government -- which has previously shown itself to be hell-bent against allowing the development of any of Quebec's natural resources -- to consider the benefits of developing resources such as its potentially-rich shale gas deposits.
Marois recently proclaimed that the equalization program is a disincentive for Quebec to develop any oil or gas reserves they may have. That was seen as a slap in the face to Alberta, who pays generously into the equalization program, from which Quebec withdraws quite generously.
Pauline Marois' about-face on Line 9 could be the beginning of a whole new Quebec... although to count on that would be spectacularly foolish.