As I move through 2018, I am reminded how open-ended and indefinite the world of politics has become at all levels. Like with the aches and pains that too often afflict the human body, we live in a society that is finding it harder to come to any resolution on key public issues. Discussion as to what does or doesn’t work too often ends up in a battle of wills or media play on emotions. To avoid falling into that trap of never coming to a decision of what needs to be done sooner than later, many of us adopt a position and learn, after seeking the best advice, to live with the consequences. Canada, a nation of over a hundred and fifty years, has faced many critical moments in its checkered history, where strong leadership has stepped in, grasped the nettle and averted some kind of major national division, whether it be conscription, the building of a national railway, the repatriation of the constitution, a tainted blooded scandal, sensitive trade talks, or a public health crisis. Presently, a similar scenario has emerged with the national debate over the proposed oil pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver. As it stands today our too-often absent primeminister, Justin Trudeau, has called Premiers Horgan and Notely for a summit next week in Ottawa, in the hope that both provinces will agree to call off a costly trade war resulting from this project. BC wants to regulate it to death before it gets off the ground in order to protect future oilspills along its coastline, while Alberta wants it built pronto in order to get its dilbit or bitumen to market. The economic stakes are so high, with Ottawa giving Kinder Morgan complete blessing to proceed but unwilling to go further in enforcing it because BC has launched a court action claiming to have full regulatory control of the site. TransMountain, the parent company, has upped the ante by announcing May 31st as a final drop-dead date for withdrawing if jurisdictional issues aren’t resolved. Most constitutional experts agree that Kinder Morgan should proceed because the Feds have the legal power to act on behalf of national interests, which seem to trump environmental ones, so why the delay? My theory is that Trudeau, like Horgan, is walking a dangerous political tight rope on this one: failure to answer to the environmental base of his party and he stands, like Horgan, to lose the next election.