Pipeline politics


Here we go again! The province of Quebec has filed for a court injunction to stop the Energy East Pipeline until the pipeline passes a provincial environmental review of the project. This is nothing more than Quebec trying to flex its sovereignty muscle.

The National Energy Board  is mandated  to approve or reject energy projects that are in the national interest. Somehow Quebec seems to think that it should have the authority to override a decision by the Federal Government.

They want all the rights of a separate country until it comes to finances. As I pointed out in my column last week they expect the other provinces to give them financial assistance in the form of transfer payments to the tune of $10 billion a year.

On Wed. March 2 the Premier of Quebec, Philippe Couillard made the statement that the most important  project in Canada today is to guarantee the success of Bombardier  in producing and selling its planes.

It is obvious from these two issues that Quebec is totally self centered and does not consider the welfare of the rest of Canada in making its decisions.

I do not think it was a coincidence that Quebec made the announcement of seeking a court injunction on the Energy East Pipeline just prior to a climate change conference in Vancouver.

The most important project for the benefit of Canadians today is the pipeline, not Bombardier.

That will create more jobs that are long term for all Canadians including Quebecers, whereas Bombardier will only create jobs in Quebec.

Rachel Notley the premier of Alberta recently made the statement that the Energy East Pipeline was this Centuries Railroad. I totally agree with her. Canada cannot achieve its economic potential without an oil pipeline to tidewater.

While she did make a profound statement she is at the same time being a hypocrite. By pushing her three billion dollar carbon tax agenda she is signaling to the climate change community that support for the pipeline will increase CO2 emissions.   That would create opposition to the pipeline.

I think her credibility on the issue of the pipeline is in question when she puts far more effort into her climate change agenda than on promoting Alberta’s oil industry.

She should have been supporting Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan with some demonstration of outrage rather than just mild lip service at Quebec’s court injunction.

The other province that is demonstrating a lack of Canadian unity, in my opinion, is BC. They have put five conditions on building a pipeline through their province that makes it almost impossible for Alberta and the pipeline companies to comply.

You can be sure were the shoe on the other foot there would be a loud cry about Alberta’s self centered self interest.

B.C. seems to be using the excuse that the extra tanker traffic would constitute too high a risk. I have always found it interesting that the people who are opposed to pipelines always bring up the risk of tankers hauling oil for export. When was the last time you heard someone express concern about tankers hauling oil for import into Canada?

The Energy East Pipeline would eliminate the need for importing oil to Canada. The way oil tankers are constructed now, the argument that they pose a high risk of an oil spill, is just a red herring.

Evidently it is environmentally preferable to import oil from Islamic countries that have a poor human rights record than to transport our oil via a pipeline across Canada. Where is the logic?

The argument that pipelines constructed by the high quality standards of today pose a high risk of a spill is also a red herring.

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