Alward should seek TransCanada concessions, critics say
Premier has made no special requests related to estimated $12-billion west-east pipeline project
Critics of TransCanada Corp.'s proposed west-east pipeline are questioning why the Alward government hasn't demanded concessions in return for allowing construction in the province.
"This has been such a bandwagon, where the Liberals and the NDP piled on with the Conservatives, and said, 'OK, great, bring it on', without any debate," said Green Party Leader David Coon.
Premier David Alward has made no special requests of TransCanada related to the estimated $12-billion project, an office spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
But B.C. Premier Christy Clark has been talking tough.
"If the proposal that British Columbia gets its fair share, and you know, if that's going to cause such a big problem that there are trade barriers, there's a very easy way to solve that —no pipeline," she said on July 25.
B.C. is looking for assurances that the costs of top-notch prevention and mitigation of oil spills on land or sea, will be covered.
John Van der Put, vice-president of eastern oil pipeline projects for TransCanada Corp., says "Premier Alward has not raised any issues with regards to liability or pipeline safety matters."
Yves Bourgeois, who studies and teaches about improving economies, contends it's time for New Brunswick to start talking strategy.
"I would like to see the province share some longer-term thinking in terms of are we devoting a percentage of royalties or tax revenues from this project to renewable energy sources," he said.
Other jurisdictions 'way ahead'
"Obviously, other jurisdictions are way ahead of us in terms of what's the next generation's way of energy development, or energy sources, and this would be great for the next ten, maybe 15 years, but what comes next? And if we're not doing our homework now, we're not going to be ready then."
Alward was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Energy Minister Craig Leonard was also unavailable.
The Energy East pipeline project, which still needs regulatory approval, would send 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada to refineries and export terminals in Eastern Canada.
An economic analysis released by TransCanada earlier on Tuesday found the pipeline could create 10,000 jobs across the country and generate $10 billion in additional GDP during the six-year development and construction phase.
The project could generate an additional $25.3 billion in GDP during its estimated 40 years of operation and sustain 1,000 direct full-time jobs, the independent report prepared by Deloitte & Touche found.
New Brunswick would see 332 direct jobs during development and 1,095 direct jobs during construction, according to the report. When the consultant looked at indirect jobs and induced jobs, those numbers grew to 868 and 2,866 jobs for the province.
During the 40-year operations phase, the pipeline would mean 121 direct jobs for the province, the report found.
TransCanada is proposing to convert roughly 3,000 kilometres of natural gas pipeline on its existing Canadian Mainline route so it can carry crude oil.
It would also construct 1,400 kilometres of new pipeline to carry crude oil into Saint John, where it will end at the Canaport LNG terminal.
TransCanada officials are scheduled to hold the final public meeting on the proposed pipeline Thursday night in Stanley.