What happened to social license? Will this country ever build a pipeline to tidewater again?
Unfortunately, these are questions that need to be asked now that the Trans Mountain Pipeline project has been thrown into jeopardy.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, Kinder Morgan announced it is suspending work on the project. They are worried the pipeline will be tied up indefinitely, and who can blame them? The Prime Minister failed to take immediate action to address the situation with the BC Government. The Liberals already vetoed the Northern Gateway pipeline, which was a political decision that had nothing to do with science. Then they killed Energy East with last minute regulatory changes.
What kind of signal is this sending to anyone wanting to invest in Canadian energy? It’s no surprise that the Liberals have now presided over the biggest decline in Canadian energy investment in 70 years – a loss of $80 billion dollars.
On April 14, the Prime Minister finally announced that he may be working on a plan for the Trans Mountain project. But he needs taxpayer dollars to do it. Kinder Morgan didn’t ask for tax dollars – they want to get to work on the pipeline, and they just need a guarantee it will go ahead.
Whether you agree with this course of action or not, I think it is an indictment of this government’s policies that the private sector might now need tax dollars to be convinced to build something in this country (and the verdict is still out on whether even that will be enough). Furthermore, a government stake in the project won’t do anything to placate those holding up the project with their opposition.
As recently as last week (while on a trip to France), the Prime Minister said he wants to “phase out” the Canadian energy sector. We now have the carbon tax, regulatory changes, and inaction on Trans Mountain as proof that he means what he said. Despite their promises, this government’s policies have done nothing to secure the so-called ‘social license’ we were told was needed to build approved pipelines.
Needless to say, this is bad for Canada – and especially Alberta. Energy companies don’t just provide employment – they actively invest in our communities. Thousands of community centres, hockey rinks and neighborhood events across our province are sponsored by energy companies. Not to mention important services, such as the STARS Air Ambulance. If the energy companies leave, we lose an incredibly important community partner.
To all those who have written to members of parliament, attended rallies, and shown their support for Canadian energy – thank you. I know there are so many people who have lost their jobs and suffered needless hardships because of this government’s decisions. Please know that we will keep up the fight in Ottawa. The best way to get the Canadian energy sector back on track is to replace this Liberal government in 2019.
I can be reached in Ottawa at 613-992-0761 or firstname.lastname@example.org. My Brooks office can be reached at 403-793-6775 or email@example.com, and my Strathmore office at 403-361-2980 or martin.shields.c1B@parl.gc.ca. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about any federal issue.