Energy, environment on MPs' minds after Obama election win
Energy and the environment were on the minds of MPs who reacted today to U.S. President Barack Obama's re-election and its possible impact on Canada.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says it's possible the process to approve TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline extension will be simpler now that Tuesday's election is over.
There had been speculation Obama would put off a decision on the controversial project until voters had cast their ballots. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, had promised to approve the project on his first day in office.
"We believe that the XL pipeline will ultimately be approved by the U.S. administration because it’s in America's national interest. It responds to national security concerns, and it will create jobs and economic activity in the United States. It's good for both countries," Oliver said.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says Obama's stand on sustainable development issues is very close to that of the NDP, and that "there's a lot of hope for the future."
"Last night he talked eloquently and passionately about the importance of coming to grips with the issue of climate change, and don't be surprised if you see them coming forward with something that they've talked about in the past — they didn't get to in the first term, but I'm convinced we'll see now — which is a cap and trade system," Mulcair said.
Harper congratulates Obama
Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated Obama on his "hard-fought" U.S. presidential election win.
"I congratulate President Obama on his victory. I know it was a very hard-fought election and we look forward to working with the president for the next four years," Harper said at a Sikh cultural centre in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, one of the stops during his trade mission to India.
"We've had a very good and productive working relationship. We're both focused on jobs, and growth and the global economy, particularly in North America. And I look forward in particular to working with him on the Beyond the Border initiative, which is obviously very important for the opportunities for Canadians and Americans going forward."
Beyond the Border is a set of agreements on cross-border trade and security that's meant to smooth commerce and better co-ordinate on safety and security issues.
Harper also mentioned a defeated proposal to hold a referendum on whether to build a new $1-billion bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ont. The proposal had been on the ballot in Michigan during Tuesday's election.
"We're very pleased to see the support of the people of Michigan for the new bridge between Detroit and Windsor which is very important to the economies of both our countries," Harper said.
Matty Moroun, the billionaire owner of the existing Ambassador Bridge, is leading the fight against building the new international gateway.
With files from Terry Milewksi