By Evan Menzies
Ever since Kinder Morgan announced it was suspending all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, we have seen an unprecedented showing of public support. The silent majority is silent no more!
The numbers speak for themselves. Five consecutive polls in a row have shown that a clear and growing majority of Canadians and British Columbians want this pipeline built.
It might explain why protestors against this pipeline are starting to get a little…silly.
Last week, professional activists staged a “die in” at the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.
It included hazmat suits, bodies in stretchers and fake blood.
Then [this past weekend], less than a hundred folks gathered in Seattle in kayaks to wave signs protesting the Trans Mountain expansion.
Ignoring the irony of using all petroleum-based products to protest the movement of Canada’s natural resources, it completely fails to recognize the incredible environmental and safety record of Canada’s energy sector. No country in the world produces oil and gas better than Canada.
But every year, Canada spends billions of dollars buying oil from countries with horrendous human rights and environmental records like Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and Nigeria.
The question begging to be asked is: when was the last time you saw protestors rallying against these countries’ oil and gas projects or tankers? Why is it that only Canadian pipeline projects are targeted with relentless harassment as individuals openly flaunt the rule of law?
The reality is, attempting to cut off Canadian oil and gas will do nothing to lower demand for energy products in the coming decades. The International Energy Agency predicts global demand for oil will increase by 12 per cent by 2040. If it’s not Canada meeting that demand, it will be countries like the United States, Venezuela, Iran and Russia that do. But foreign-funded special interest groups don’t seem too worried about this.
It’s time to get past the hyperbole and start dealing in the realm of facts and Canada’s proud record of responsible resource development.
Since 1956, Trans Mountain has loaded marine vessels with Canadian oil without a single major spill. Today, Canada has one of the most robust regulatory regimes governing all oil tanker traffic. All tankers used to move Canadian oil to new markets are double-hulled. On top of all that, the federal government is investing a further $1.5 billion into the Oceans Protection Plan to achieve world-leading marine safety.
The twinning of the $7.4 billion pipeline will bring in $46.7 billion in new government revenue over 20 years, including $5.7 billion in British Columbia alone, to help fund new doctors, teachers and nurses. The Conference Board of Canada estimates the pipeline will create 15,000 construction jobs and 37,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs during its time of operation.
Right now, Canadians who care about responsible resource development, who believe in creating jobs and opportunity for families across our great nation and who care about ensuring tax revenues are in place to fund the hospitals, roads and schools that we need, are speaking out and winning.
But we can’t afford to let a fringe but loud minority dominate the debate around responsible resource development in Canada.
If you agree, visit www.BuildCanada.org and stand up oil and natural gas produced the Canadian way.