It should come as no surprise that a nation as large as ours, with its comparatively small population by global standards, needs transportation infrastructure to succeed. The movement of goods to global markets is table stakes for a modern, developed country.
Pipeline obstructionism is an attempt to upset that movement of goods, and to undermine our competitiveness against other jurisdictions. And it’s taking a toll.
We know Canada loses as much as $100 million per day because various activists and their often-non-Canadian donors are blocking new pipeline infrastructure in Canada. We have to oppose this resistance.
Through decades of strong performance as the country’s main economic engine, Canadian social programs were supported through the hard work and good fortune of the Alberta resource sector.
Now things are different. Canada’s top export, oil and gas, is held hostage by a network of ENGOs and U.S. donors who force Canada to sell its product at a discount south of the border.
So, the question is, what could Canadians buy with $100 million? Here are a few answers.
- Over less than three days at $100 million per day, it would cover the cost of Calgary’s beautiful new Central Library ($245 million).
- In a day, it would pay for 200 new nurse practitioners ($115 million) for B.C., or a new, $103-million Johnson Street Bridge for Victoria, a city not known for its pipeline boosterism.
- The $39-million Ottawa Art Gallery & Arts Court project could be funded before lunch on any given day. In less than two weeks, the $1.2-billion revitalization of Port Lands in Toronto would be fully covered.
- And just six weeks of revenues from a new pipeline to tidewater could fund the entire $4.2-billion new Champlain Bridge for Montreal.
Canadians should know pipeline obstructionism comes with a huge price tag. By 2020, we’ll have walked away from a projected $92 billion in foregone revenue. Meanwhile, global oil demand is growing and Canada, an acknowledged leader in the protection of people and the planet, is left in the lurch.
But Canada was built on a few key commitments: as provinces, we work together to improve the lives of our citizens; we take our environmental obligations seriously, and we manage our natural resource endowment using the highest standards, the best people, the newest technology and the safest infrastructure.
That’s why, for the benefit of the entire country, it’s time to build the pipeline.
Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder/spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.