TORONTO -- A newly reelected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday Canadians want him to fight climate change but that building an oil pipeline his government bought remains a priority.
Trudeau said at a news conference Wednesday that he would unveil his new Cabinet on Nov. 20 and it would again be gender balanced.
He said his government intends to go ahead with the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast, saying that it is in the national interest.
While the pipeline is opposed by Canada's other progressive parties, Alberta is increasingly angry over Trudeau's inability to get it built. Trudeau's Liberal party failed to win a seat in the province.
"For too long we have been selling our natural resources to the United States at a discount," Trudeau said. "Getting our resources to markets other than the United States and getting that done as quickly as possible remains a priority."
The pipeline would allow Canada to diversify and vastly increase exports to Asia, where it could command a higher price. Alberta has the world's third largest oil reserves but 99 percent of its exports now go to refiners in the U.S., where limits on pipeline and refinery capacity mean Canadian oil sells at a discount.
Trudeau's efforts to strike a balance on the environment and the economy have been criticized by both the right and left. He brought in a national carbon tax to fight climate change.
Alberta's previous government agreed to the carbon tax in exchange for Trudeau approving the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.