Calkins says Trudeau took the ‘easy position’ with pipelines

Red Deer-Lacombe MP not satisfied with recent announcements

  • Dec. 8, 2016 11:00 a.m.

BY KALISHA MENDONSA

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement of the approved pipeline projects last week, local officials have spoken up for what they feel these announcements will mean to Albertans.

MP for Lacombe-Red Deer Blaine Calkins said he was pleased with the announcements but feels the projects need to be kept in perspective in terms of potential and what could have been granted.

“It’s good news, but it could have been great news,” Calkins said, disappointed in Trudeau’s decision to not grant approval to the Northern Gateway pipeline.

“Line 3 is simply a replacement of an existing pipeline that offers very little in the way of new capacity and new market access. The Kinder Morgan pipeline is simply another pipeline on an existing pipeline right of way, so it’s not a new pipeline either, it’s just an increase in capacity of an existing system,” Calkins said.

“While these pipelines will result in construction jobs a good thing to come there is still a problem.”

Calkins said Trudeau should have worked alongside the approval of the National Energy Board in granting approval to the Northern Gateway Pipeline, perhaps the most controversial of the projects being discussed.

He said the Northern Gateway pipeline would have presented positive equity opportunities for First Nations groups and would have allowed for greater market access and market diversification.

“There were First Nations groups along the Northern Gateway route that stood to gain tremendously for their own people, from an equity position, who have now lost that opportunity,” he said.

“Furthermore, the deep water port that Northern Gateway would have accessed would have allowed virtually any tanker in the world to load up with Alberta crude oil. The same cannot be said for the port of Vancouver, which is a shallow-water port. That limits the market access and market diversification that we so desperately need.”

Calkins explained the price differential on oil in international markets versus North American markets creates several billion dollars in royalties that Albertans should be able to capitalize on. He added he believes the Northern Gateway pipeline would have allowed for greater prosperity for Albertans during this continuing economic crisis and he looks forward to the approval of the Energy East pipeline when that comes.

“I believe Justin Trudeau took the easy position on this. The prime minister obviously calculated this politically rather than scientifically or technically,” he said.

“We could have had even more jobs, we could have had even more development and even more market diversification, with a better value for our product in the market-ways. We hope Trudeau realizes this and will support the Northern Gateway pipeline.”

Calkins said there are a few other negative aspects that could come from Trudeau’s decision to block Northern Gateway, including the potential for a lawsuit from Enbridge that would be carried on tax dollars.

“A couple of years ago, in 2014 I believe, the National Energy Board recommended the Northern Gateway be approved with 209 conditions. It then became an issue for Enbridge to meet all 209 conditions but they were well on their way,” he explained.

“Now, with the reversal of the decision, taxpayers may be on the hook for the compensation to Enbridge because Enbridge had proceeded with the pipeline application, was approved and then shut down by Trudeau.”

At the same time Trudeau announced the pipeline projects, he announced a plan to formalize a moratorium to ban crude oil tankers on B.C.’s north coast. Calkins said this is going to further hinder development and investment in potential pipelines.

“When you don’t have certainty and predictability that the National Energy Board recommendations will be accepted by the government, no one is going to invest. That’s the harmful part of this decision it’s created an even bigger chill when it comes to further investment in the energy sector.”

Calkins said he hopes to, “Bring some common sense to the debate on these issues” and he wants to be able to bring hope back to Albertans.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Lacombe Generals to host 2019 Allan Cup

The Allan Cup was last hosted in Alberta in 2013 in Red Deer

Rogers Hometown Hockey lands in Lacombe Feb. 3rd and 4th

The weekend will feature broadcast hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, meet-and-greets with NHL alumni and activities for the whole family

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

UPDATE/WATCH: Jason Klaus and Josh Frank guilty in triple murder

Crown argues for 75 years to life in prison, sentencing on Jan. 22nd

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Three-car pile-up on Northstar Drive and 58th Street

No injuries reported at Thursday afternoon incident

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Newly freed Diab wants reforms to Canada’s ‘lousy’ extradition law

French authorities dropped terrorism charges against Hassan Diab who was suspected of taking part in an attack in Paris in 1980

Most Read