The response to last week’s approval of two pipeline projects — Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion and Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement — has exposed the lack of energy literacy in Canada that’s exacerbated by a fragmented media and convenient ignorance of Alberta’s climate plan.
The task of bridging the gap has fallen to Premier Rachel Notley, who’s in British Columbia this week to explain the importance of pipelines to Canada’s economy.
The Trans Mountain project is expected to generate $46.7 billion in federal and provincial taxes and royalties during construction and its first 20 years of operation. An additional $530 million in property taxes will be accrued by municipalities along the route and more than 800,000 person-years of employment created over the life of the project.
According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, almost 1,600 companies in B.C. have benefited this year from business generated by oilsands producers who’ve spent $1.7 billion in the province.
I had the opportunity Sunday to participate in CBC’s weekly radio program Cross Country Checkup. The topic was Ottawa’s approval of the Trans Mountain and Line 3 projects and the rejection of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project.
It was astonishing that after 40 minutes, and having heard from both Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and B.C. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, there was no recognition of the role energy plays in the daily lives of Canadians, its economic benefits or the objectives and scope of Alberta’s climate leadership plan.
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