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Small return of Alberta taxes welcome, but NDP must fight for $28 billion worth of pipeline construction

A small return in Alberta tax dollars from Ottawa to spur infrastructure spending is nowhere near as beneficial as the NDP fighting for Ottawa to end its tanker ban on the west coast and to fast track over $28 billion in pipeline construction for Alberta, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

In November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a plan to “formalize a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast,” essentially gutting the Northern Gateway Pipeline project. Premier Rachel Notley has refused to advocate for or support this project – which would generate $7.9 billion in private sector construction and an extra $300 billion in GDP growth for Canada.

The federal Liberals have brought further uncertainty by working on a new regulatory review process, a move that could impact the Energy East pipeline – a project that would bring in over $55 billion in economic activity. The Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion that is currently being reviewed would create a further $28.2 billion in new economic activity.

“If the NDP government was serious about supporting jobs and the economy, they would do all they could to spur private sector investment into our economy, make the case for these pipelines and defend our industry,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “No government spending could ever match the benefits of pipeline expansion in Alberta, and it’s time for the NDP and the federal Liberals to start recognizing this.”

Alberta’s crude product continues to sell at a significant discount without these new pipeline projects, even when West Texas Intermediate is selling below $30 per barrel.

Wildrose Shadow Economic Development Minister Prasad Panda said with Alberta’s industry facing these incredible challenges, there’s nothing better governments could do than support increased market access for Alberta’s energy sector.

“These projects will create billions of extra tax revenues for not only Alberta, but governments right across Canada, yet industry continues to see these same governments throw up obstacles at every turn,” Panda said. “It’s time for the NDP to get on board, to stop acting embarrassed of our number one jobs sector and to get people back to work.”

Quick Facts:

Construction Costs

Trans Mountain - $5.4 billion
Northern Gateway - $6.5 billion
Energy East – $15.7 billion