Trans Mountain expansion will reap long-term economic benefits, says Conference Board of Canada
Alberta stands to gain the most financial and employment benefits
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will generate almost $1 billion in economic activity and nearly 34,000 jobs a year, according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada.
The report — commissioned by Trans Mountain — estimates the expansion project would generate 678,000 person-years of employment and $18.5 billion in revenues for federal and provincial governments over the first 20 years of operations, mostly in Alberta and B.C.
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Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline has for decades shipped various petroleum products from the Edmonton area to Vancouver and Washington State.
The expansion project (TMEP) would nearly triple its capacity, enabling oilsands crude to be shipped to lucrative Asian markets, but has faced stiff opposition from environmentalists and First Nations groups.
The project is awaiting approval from the National Energy Board, which expects to make a recommendation to the federal government by May.
According to the report, Alberta obtains the largest share of employment and fiscal benefits – 55 per cent of the employment impacts and 41 per cent of the fiscal benefits.
But B.C. also experiences significant benefits including 24 per cent of the employment impacts and 12 per cent of the fiscal impacts.
"The economic benefits of the TMEP from dividend payments, oil and gas investment, and tanker traffic, can be added to the impacts previously estimated by the Conference Board — from the construction and operations of the pipeline, as well as higher netbacks," the group said in a release on Wednesday.
The project has faced pushback in the B.C. Lower Mainland, much of it related to concerns over the environmental impacts and safety risks of increased oil tanker traffic moving through the Burrard Inlet.
But the report highlighted significant economic benefits from the tanker traffic in Port Metro Vancouver.
It said the additional 348 "Aframax" size tankers would support 1,300 jobs per year and bring in $2.5 billion in spending over the first 20 years of operation.