Canada's Trudeau Under Fire for Funding Kinder Morgan Opponents

(Bloomberg) -- Justin Trudeau’s government isn’t doing anything to make his job easier.

Kinder Morgan Inc. is threatening to walk away from the C$7.4 billion ($5.8 billion) oil pipeline the Canadian prime minister has staked his economic and environmental agenda on. It turns out his government is partially funding an effort to get it killed.

Canada’s parliament erupted Wednesday over a job posting from the Dogwood Initiative, a Vancouver-based environmental group that is hiring an organizing assistant for up to 12 weeks at C$15 an hour -- hardly the stuff of national news. But the job description includes “helping our organizing network stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project,” and is funded by the federal government under the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer repeatedly criticized Trudeau in parliament Wednesday, saying he was funding an effort to kill the Kinder Morgan project, which both leaders’ parties support. Trudeau said he wouldn’t stifle free speech -- drawing laughs from the opposition -- and that the same organization was funded under the same program by the former Conservative government, led by Scheer’s predecessor.

The program is sprawling. It spent about C$200 million last year to subsidize wages of just under 69,000 workers, who must be full-time students between age 15 and 30.

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