Toronto (Canada), January 27: A majority of Canadians are in favor of moving past the US decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, 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 the 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 economically bad for their country - 52 percent - and particularly bad for Alberta's economy - 65 percent.
There was discord in how Canadians perceive the now-canceled Keystone XL oil pipeline; 51 percent of Canadians stated that jobs and the economy take precedent over climate change and the environment, while 49 percent noted the opposite.
Canada's leader, Justin Trudeau, expressed his disappointment with the Biden decision, but Ottawa is showing signs of moving forward in its bilateral relations with the US. On Saturday, Canada's ambassador to the US said that Ottawa would be "moving forward" from the Keystone XL to other priorities with the Biden administration.
Meanwhile, the 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 urged Trudeau to impose proportionate economic consequences on the United States for revoking the permit or, at the very least, seek compensation, suggesting that the revocation is in violation of investor-protection provisions in the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).
The existing Keystone oil pipeline system 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 a fourth phase, better known as Keystone XL, was intended to expand the transport of oil to the US state of Nebraska, and 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 2020, 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.