UPDATE 1-Trudeau offers cabinet committee to repair U.S. ties
(Adds Canadian government reaction, paragraphs 7-8)
By Randall Palmer
OTTAWA, June 22 (Reuters) - If Canada's Liberal Party wins the October general election it will create a special cabinet committee to oversee damaged relations with the United States, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said on Monday.
Trudeau, whose Liberals are in third place in most opinion polls, blamed Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper for souring ties with Barack Obama by lecturing the U.S. president in New York on the need to approve TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Trudeau, son of late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, said that until Canada implements a strong environmental policy, it is obvious that Washington will "delay, defer and eventually decline" approval of the Keystone pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
"In the end, it's not really about Keystone. It's about judgment," Trudeau said in a speech.
"It's about the narrowness that allowed one project in one industry - however large and important the project and industry - to define one of the most positive and prosperous bilateral relationships the world has ever known."
For six years, Obama has mulled whether to approve Keystone. He has said his decision would hinge in part on whether carbon emissions would rise.
Responding to Trudeau's remarks, the Conservative government's natural resources minister, Greg Rickford, referred to U.S. State Department findings that Keystone XL would be safer than shipping oil by rail and that it would not have significant adverse effects on the environment. Continued...