The Canada East pipeline

  With all the fuss over the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipeline project, one would think that British Columbia was under siege from petroleum interests. That is an epic fairy tale.

Our federal government should have the same approach to petroleum pipelines no matter where they are proposed or built. Similarly, movement of oil by ship should be the same no matter what part of Canada movement is in.

The facts tell an entirely different story:

Few people are aware that the East Coast of Canada has about 4,000 inbound trips by oil tankers each year. Tankers account for about one fifth of the 20,000 inbound vessel trips on the East Coast. Over 82 million tonnes of various petroleum and fuel products are moved in and out of 23 Atlantic Canada ports. Almost all the movement of crude oil and petroleum products in Atlantic Canada is through the following ports:

 Come by Chance, Newfoundland and Labrador

 Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia

 Saint John, New Brunswick

In Quebec, 25 million tonnes of crude oil and various petroleum products are moved in and out of 39 ports where cargo is loaded or unloaded. Eighty-nine per cent of the shipments of crude oil and various petroleum products are through Quebec City and Montreal. Over 4.1 million tonnes of oil products are moved from 29 marine facilities in and out of ports in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway. 

Of this:

 over 1.8 million tonnes are shipped between Canada and the United States

 over 2.3 million tonnes are imported/exported in and out of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway system.

The Canada East pipeline would have disrupted the vested interests of those who import and refine foreign crude. The screaming of Montreal politicians over building the Energy East pipeline has nothing to do with protecting the ecology or preventing oil spills unless we overlook the hazards of marine shipping and ignore Montreal pouring a few million liters of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. It is all a smokescreen to allow investors in the current setup to continue to make money.

The screaming out of British Columbia has nothing to do with ecology. British Columbians are attempting to punish corporations and provinces that produce petroleum products for no better reason than they feel good about themselves as a result. Perhaps we should ban fishing, declare a moratorium on west coast vacations and ban passenger liners from west coast ports in retaliation. British Columbians and their Premier don’t care about $ billions in infrastructure investment and the jobs created, the income to provinces and the federal government or lost tax revenues that can help pay for the services we need. Please let me know if you can fathom why tanker traffic is barred from the coastline of British Columbia but not Quebec. The hypocrisy and double standards are blatantly obvious and unacceptable.

The notion that a pipeline company must account for downstream effects of product shipped is ludicrous. If we ship crude to a terminal on the west coast and it is bought by China or another Pacific Rim nation we cannot be held accountable for carbon emissions of the importing nation. That is where ideologues like McKenna and Trudeau are dangerous. They believe they can impose their utopian standards on other nations while their inane policies are strangling our economy at home.

Even worse, the environmental standards imposed on Canadian projects do not apply to foreign oil imports. Our government is making it harder for us to become energy self-sufficient. Why would we import oil rather than produce oil for our own use? Something stinks and it is not Alberta bitumen.

We need grownups at the federal helm; people who put the well-being of the entire nation and our society first. Our Prime Minister preaches diversity and inclusiveness while practicing exclusion and divisiveness. The B.C. Premier is behaving like a pampered and spoiled brat who does not want anyone else to touch his toys. There is sound reason why interprovincial works projects are under federal jurisdiction – to prevent the very sort of localized spanner-in-the-works Behaviour by one province over the interests of others. The BC exclusivity is the exact opposite of the inclusiveness Trudeau preaches. The contradiction is palpable and emphasised by federal government inaction.  

Trudeau is a laughingstock amongst world leaders. He arrives in foreign nations preaching climate change, gender equality, progressive trade, diversity and inclusion. Some governments are politer than others in telling him to hit the road and mind his own business. He is not an emissary for the United Nations and does not speak for most Canadians.

More and more of us are fed up with his social engineering and attempts to change our society to reflect his personal beliefs. We are not his minions or mini-Trudeaus. We did fine without Justin for 148 years and will survive his ineptness.

John Feldsted

Political Consultant & Strategist

Winnipeg, Manitoba

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