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Trudeau leaving Russian oil out of sanctions speaks volumes

Keean Bexte

February 28, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is talking a big game right now, imposing sanctions against Russia and its elite over their invasion of Ukraine. However, Russian crude oil is conveniently left off the sanctions list, despite it being Russia’s number one export to Canada.

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), in 2019, Canada exported $594 million to Russia, with aviation technology (planes, helicopters, and/or spacecraft) and radioactive chemicals being the main products exported. Meanwhile, Russia exported $1.09 billion to Canada, with the main exports being crude petroleum ($418 million) and refined petroleum ($97.4 million), meaning oil exports represent over half of all Russian exports to Canada.

With one of Canada’s supposed allies fighting a full-scale invasion of their country, ceasing all purchases of Russia’s number one export to Canada is the greatest gesture Canada could make to support Ukraine — short of direct military involvement — especially considering Canada can easily afford to do it, being one of the top five oil producers in the world, and has absolutely no need to remain reliant on Russian oil.

Still, PM Trudeau remains adversarial, if not outright hostile towards the province of Alberta and its oil industry, and has promised to put a cap on carbon emissions, which will further devastate the industry. Quebec and the Atlantic provinces share this hostility, preferring to fund the Russian war machine rather than helping Canada become completely independent.

Indeed, rather than target Russian oil, Quebec has dedicated itself to removing Russian vodka from liquor store shelves, even though most vodka Canada imports isn’t even Russian.

While the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion into BC is a good development, it should have been taken years ago and would have had it not been for foreign-funded environmental activist groups stifling the industry by sewing division and weaponizing Indigenous issues.

Moreover, it would have positioned Canada to replace Russia as a source of oil for those nations otherwise not able to sanction Russian oil.

The US now finds itself in a similar position — reliant on Russian oil after President Joe Biden cancelled the Keystone XL Pipeline almost as soon as he took office to address a ‘climate crisis.’

Of course, cancelling the pipeline, and crippling his own country’s oil industry in the process, hasn’t done a thing to make America less dependent on oil. Instead, it has resulted in the US buying roughly 600,000 barrels of oil and petroleum from Russia every single day, constituting $50 million daily for Russia’s economy. And this is all oil that needs to be shipped across the ocean on massive vessels rather than through significantly cleaner pipelines with a lower carbon impact.

Now, due to actions purportedly taken to ‘save the world’ from a ‘climate disaster,’ Canada, the US, and several other countries are stuck funding Russia, which has proven to be one of the greatest threats to world peace in nearly a century.

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