Not a good beginning for a new president

Weyburn Review editorial

Today, January 20, most people will be watching the news out of Washington, D.C., with some interest, and with some dread.

For those who happy to see Donald J. Trump gone, which seems to be a lot of people, they will be eager to see what incoming president Joe Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris are going to do in their new administration.

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If preliminary indications are any sign, there are going to be problems right off the bat, and anyone connected with the oil and gas industry in Canada knows what the biggest one is going to be.

Word has come down that one of Biden’s first acts will be to cancel the Presidential Permit that allowed the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the Canada-U.S. border into the States.

This will be in spite of many, many people in Biden’s own country who will be deeply hurt by this action, including the unionized American workers who voted for him.

The impetus for this action, which will have severely negative impacts on Canada, and Alberta in particular, seems to be purely an anti-Trump spiteful action. Trump allowed for the pipeline to be built, therefore Biden is going to undo it, no matter who it hurts.

This is the same kind of immaturity and spitefulness that Americans were hoping to get away from by voting Biden in, but clearly it’s not what they’re going to get.

Like most politicians, he made bold claims to be different, to be the one to bring civility back into office and not to be a divisive force.

The problem is, to act in a spiteful manner simply because of a strong hate of a predecessor is not being different, and is most definitely not an example of civility.

Like most presidents before him, he’s going to ignore Canada, but as the biggest trading partner with the U.S. and the northern next-door neighbour, it would be far better if he tried to have a good, positive relationship with us. Starting right off the bat to hurt our ailing economy is not a very good way to start his presidency.

The biggest sign of something not right is having Biden sworn in surrounded by a military force and fences like has never been seen in the United States capital city before. He and most Democrats are going to blame Trump, of course, but it remains to be seen what is going to transpire today.

One thing is for sure, it’s not going to be your usual Inauguration Day with concerts and parties and the big gathering of the public for the swearing in on Capitol Hill. At least Biden won’t try to outdo Trump in claiming who had the biggest crowd, because COVID and the military will ensure that there won’t be one.

The hope is Canada can have a better working relationship with the United States, one which will benefit citizens on both sides of the border.