Less than three weeks stay earlier than American voters head to the polls to decide on 4 extra years of U.S. President Donald Trump or a brand new administration headed by former vice-president Joe Biden.
And no matter occurs Nov. 3, it is not simply the way forward for America that is at stake.
In Alberta, dialogue about election implications have largely centred round Biden’s promise to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline if Democrats win the U.S. presidential election.
But as specialists see it, the stakes of a Biden victory — which might be the doubtless end result have been the election held at this time, in line with CBC’s Presidential Poll Tracker — cannot be absolutely judged solely on the destiny of the beleaguered pipeline or the way forward for fracking.
“I think it’s still a question about whether he would actually reverse Keystone,” Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt advised CBC’s West of Centre podcast. “I think it’s more complicated, but Albertans are making it much simpler.”
Despite that uncertainty, current polling from Léger for 338Canada mentioned on West of Centre confirmed that Alberta was an outlier when polling on Trump’s assist, suggesting that 32 per cent of Albertans would assist the president in contrast with 68 per cent assist for Biden.
Support for Biden throughout Canada was someplace between 82 and 90 per cent, in every single place besides Alberta.
- Listen to this week’s full episode of West of Centre right here:
West of Centre37:49What’s a win for Alberta on November third?
Keystone future ‘not a foregone conclusion’
Speaking at a information convention on Thursday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney mentioned he was nonetheless hopeful about the way forward for the $8-billion US mission, even ought to Biden win the election.
“We are working with many people in the United States who support this project, including many people in the Democratic party,” Kenney mentioned.
The pipeline, ought to it transfer ahead, would transport as much as 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta to Nebraska — roughly one-fifth of the entire oil transported every day between Canada and the United States.
Alberta mentioned in March that it had agreed to speculate $1.1 billion US as fairness within the mission, saying on the time that over the subsequent 20 years it will soak up an estimated $30 billion in tax and royalty revenues.
Scotty Greenwood, a specialist in Canada/U.S. relations with Crestview Strategy in Washington, D.C., advised West of Centre that there was nonetheless “every possibility” Keystone XL goes ahead given Biden’s status as a centrist.
“He’s very thoughtful on questions of energy, infrastructure — just public policy generally,” Greenwood mentioned. “So I don’t take it as a foregone conclusion that he has it deep in his soul that he needs to eliminate the permit.”
Greenwood mentioned that the pipeline, the cross-border part of which has already been accomplished, has confronted quite a few difficult court docket rulings as of late and can face a “very delicate dance” after the election.
“I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion,” she mentioned. “I know that Biden’s transition team, his advisors, are all really thoughtful and are looking at a balanced approach.”
Trump’s govt orders geared toward transferring Keystone XL ahead might make him appear the preferable ally to the pipeline by some Albertans.
But Carlo Dade, director of the commerce and funding centre on the Canada West Foundation, mentioned the pipeline presently stays in flux regardless of efforts of the Trump administration.
“Trump was not able to move the pipeline despite taking executive action,” he advised West of Centre.
Alberta as a sustainable producer
Opportunities may come up for Alberta in a possible Biden administration, Greenwood mentioned, in the case of investments in sustainable tasks.
“There’s all sorts of innovation around carbon utilization, carbon capture and utilization, not just carbon capture and storage,” Greenwood mentioned. “So I think there’s going to be a phenomenal conversation, actually, if you’ve got a U.S. that is open to collaborating again with its neighbours.”
Greenwood cited numerous examples within the Canadian non-public sector which have a pretty big stake in U.S. vitality tasks, similar to Stantec or Capital Power.
“Capital Power, for example, has this carbon reduction program that they’ve invested in that is a finalist for the Carbon XPRIZE,” she mentioned. “That’s exciting, and that is an Alberta story that people here are hearing and listening to.
“It’s not simply the outdated debate of 10 or 15 years in the past about oilsands.”
Earlier this month, the provincial government released its new natural gas strategy, a vision the province hopes would see Alberta hosting large-scale hydrogen production facilities and be a continental leader for recycling plastics, among other initiatives.
Such an initiative could be another opportunity for collaboration down the line, Greenwood said, adding that a new administration could see Canada and the U.S. working together on critical minerals and rare earths.
“There’s a possibility for Alberta in it, in one thing like that to essentially assist its personal economic system,” Greenwood said.
“Use the engineering expertise it already has, use the infrastructure its received and course of vital minerals and uncommon earths in a approach that may be extraordinarily related to the United States.”
Trump and Alberta
Last month, Trump tweeted that he had approved construction of a $22-billion railway between Alberta and Alaska that could move oil, grain, ore, container goods and potentially passengers.
If built, ATA Rail said the project would create more than 18,000 jobs for Canadian workers and bring in $60 billion to Canada’s GDP through 2040.
Such a project, or Trump’s efforts towards Keystone, could suggest why the president sees relatively higher support in Alberta compared to the rest of Canada, according to Léger polling.
But Dade said that may just be perception.
“Even misinformed notion, can drive politics and might, sadly, often, drive coverage,” he said.
While some Trump policies may seem to be net positives for Alberta, Greenwood said recent unpredictability of U.S. policy — paired with Trump’s adversarial nature — can lead to negative impacts on markets.
“Removing the spectre of metal and aluminum tariffs, or different punitive tariffs that might come at any second, which is the way in which Trump rolls, eliminating that could be a actual optimistic,” she said.
“It’s an actual optimistic for enterprise, it is a optimistic for the federal government to authorities relations, and it will assist markets.”
In Bratt’s view, Trump’s first term has been “disastrous” for Canadian foreign policy given Canada’s strong ties with international organizations.
“Whether it is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, whether or not it is the assaults on the World Trade Organization, whether or not it is pulling out of [the] Paris [climate agreement], whether or not it is seeing NATO as paying dues to the United States,” Bratt said. “These are all hits to elementary elements of Canadian overseas coverage.
“And a second term, he’ll be even more unbound by that. That’s incredibly damaging to Alberta. It’s incredibly damaging to the rest of Canada.”
And although a re-elected Trump might pose tough challenges to Alberta and Canada, Greenwood mentioned it may additionally present a possibility for Canada to “stitch the global coalition back together.”
“I’m not predicting his re-election, by the way — it’s really close,” she mentioned. “But if [Trump] wins, I think Canada could play a very important role in explaining to the world how important it is that we hang together with these global coalitions.”
- Listen to the whole West of Centre podcast sequence proper right here.