Is the contentious Energy East pipeline the best way to help Alberta?
Justin Trudeau has pledged almost a billion dollars to boost Alberta's sagging economy. But would fast-tracking the Energy East pipeline be a better way to help Alberta? With guest host Duncan McCue.
More from this episode:
- WEB EXTRA: Energy East pipeline will affect more than the economy, photographer
- CALLER: National Energy Board rules unfair to landowners, farmer
- GUEST: Energy East pipeline needed for Canada to compete in oil markets, Nenshi
For the past decade, Alberta has been the engine of the Canadian economy and now, the province is spluttering. Energy revenues are expected to fall from $9 billion in the last fiscal year to $2.8 billion in the fiscal year that ends next month.
As oil prices have plunged, so has the number of jobs. Alberta shed almost 20,000 jobs last year—more than any year since the 1982 recession, which many Westerners blamed on the National Energy Policy—introduced by Pierre Trudeau.
So when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Premier Rachel Notley and oil executives last week, there were hopes that more than pleasantries would be exchanged. As the columnist Jen Gerson put it: "There are few provinces in this country less inclined to sunny ways than Alberta!"
The implications of the sluggish energy sector continue to ripple though other resource dependent provinces: Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador. But many argue that it's hard to imagine any province making a stronger case for aid than Alberta.
Of course, the elephant in the room in all these meetings is the building of a pipeline to help get western oil to market. The most likely pipeline is Energy East, which would stretch from Alberta to an export terminal in New Brunswick and could carry up to 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day.
However, all attempts at pipelines, whether west, south and east, have been snarled by entrenched political opposition. Justin Trudeau has vowed that pipelines won't be built without community acceptance, especially from indigenous peoples. And Quebec's agreement is crucial to the project, so far the province's mayors are as divided as the rest of the country seems to be. The mayor of Quebec City is in favour, while a coalition of Montreal area mayors are against.
Our question: Is the contentious Energy East pipeline the best way to help Alberta?
Chair and professor in Mount Royal University's Department of Policy Studies
Columnist and blogger for Le Journal de Montreal.
Acting Head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba
Mayor Naheed Nenshi
Mayor of Calgary
Checkup web extra
- Oil export pipelines: Will Canada ever build another?
- Alberta to get $700 million in infrastructure cash within 'weeks to months'
- TransCanada announces major contract for Energy East pipeline. Project is controversial, with Montreal and nearby mayors opposed on environmental grounds
- Pipeline projects to face new environmental regulations
- Justin Trudeau says government won't act as pipeline projects 'cheerleader' as Tories did
Globe and Mail:
- Braid: Trudeau starts Alberta visit on the right note
- Braid: NDP smiles at the rest of Canada, gets the finger back