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Smith discusses national resource right-of-way in Vancouver speech

VANCOUVER, BC (June 12, 2014): The time is right for the provinces and the federal government to start discussing a national resource right-of-way that would set aside dedicated land for pipelines and other commercial infrastructure, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said today.

Smith laid out the idea in a lunch speech to a group of Vancouver business leaders, saying a single right-of-way for future resource transportation and commercial activity would avoid the kind of lengthy hearings and approvals processes that are tying up current projects and would strengthen the national and provincial economies.

The right-of-way would cut through northwest Canada from northern Ontario and Manitoba to the west coast, allowing goods and resources to reach the Pacific Ocean.

 “A trans-national commercial corridor through the north of western Canada will be for this century what the St. Lawrence Seaway Project was for the previous one and maybe even what the Canadian Pacific Railway was for the one before that: A unifying venture that will define a generation and lay out the foundation of our economic prosperity for decades, even centuries to come,” Smith said.

Smith acknowledged the negotiations to establish such a right-of-way would be difficult and lengthy, but said a single negotiating process is favourable to multiples processes for multiple projects in the years ahead.

“Some Manitoba-based or northern Ontario-based resource of the future shouldn’t be held hostage and prevented from reaching international markets by political intransigence in Alberta or in Saskatchewan,” she said.

“In today’s world – where the process for creating jobs, wealth and tax revenue is becoming burdensome to the point of unworkable – it is time for those of us elected to lead to actually lead.”

You can read the full speech here.