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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ottawa South Liberal MPP still at odds with boss over Energy East Pipeline

Published for the Prince Arthur Herald

The Ottawa South Liberal MPP who took over for Dalton McGuinty is still at odds with Premier Kathleen Wynne over the Energy East Pipeline, his campaign confirms.
John Fraser was McGuinty’s right-hand man in his riding for several years, and he recently won the office in a close by-election in August 2013.
Fraser’s opposition to the pipeline came up shortly after the by-election, where he became the only MPP to oppose the pipeline in a statement to Ecology Ottawa.
That put him at odds with Premier Kathleen Wynne, who said she was “open” to the pipeline.
Fraser’s campaign confirmed Thursday that Fraser is still at odds with his boss.
It is not known why Fraser opined on the pipeline in the first place, considering that the proposed pipeline would not touch or go through Ottawa South. In fact, the pipeline crosses the Rideau River just north of Kemptville, which is part of Leeds-Grenville, not Ottawa South.
The Energy East Pipeline is a proposed TransCanada pipeline that will take Alberta’s oilsands out to Canada’s east coast.
At its peak, Energy East would stretch 4600 kilometres and carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to Eastern Canada. The project is broken into three stages:

  • Converting an already existing pipeline from natural gas to oil transportation
  • Constructing new pipelines in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Eastern Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick to link up with the new pipeline
  • Constructing associated facilities, pump stations, and tank terminals to move the oil once it reaches its destination

Energy East is an important opportunity for the Atlantic provinces, which continue to import oil from foreign countries even though it could be sourced from Alberta. In fact, even the left-leading Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives notes that provinces’ energy security, such as Nova Scotia’s, are at risk because of their importing of energy resources.
It’s also an important opportunity for Ontario, which has constantly struggled to retain good-paying, skilled jobs. Ontario has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs under the Liberal policies of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.
The potential benefits of Energy East are exactly what Ontario needs to see, raising questions of whether the major Ontario political parties would support or reject its development.
TransCanada notes that Ontario stands to be the largest beneficiary of its approval, with almost 37 percent of its economic benefits coming into the province. The company says that the pipeline will generate $10 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) during the development and construction phase (six years) and $25.3 billion during the 40-year operational phase.
Of that potential $35.3 billion windfall, Ontario stands to gain almost $2.7 billion during the development and construction phase and $10.34 billion during the operational phase. TransCanada estimates that will result in almost 35,000 jobs being created Canada-wide, many of them in well-paying fields such as construction, engineering, architectural, and oil and gas support service industries. Of that figure, 9900 jobs will be in Ontario.
The estimates have been independently reported on and verified by the auditing company Deloitte.
Projects like Energy East are the types of energy projects that Ontario should be rushing to approve and develop with its provincial counterparts. The Energy East Pipeline’s benefits can be compared to the McGuinty-Wynne “green energy” flop, which has cost billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money for very little tangible results. A Spanish study on its own green energy policies in 2009 found that every “green” job created was at the expense of 2.2 jobs elsewhere, and that each green job was being subsidized by the government to the tune of a whopping $850,000.
The Liberal-commissioned Drummond Report blasted the McGuinty Liberals for the same short-sighted and ill-advised policies, saying several planks of the Liberals’ Green Energy Act needed to be reconsidered or scrapped.
Developing Canada’s national energy security by relying on national oilsands rather than imported oil from foreign countries – especially when the national oilsands stand to benefit so many Canadian provinces – should be a central issue of the current Ontario. So far, questions on the Energy East pipeline have not been asked during the 2014 Ontario election.

Daniel Dickin’s book on the Ontario Liberal legacy, Liars: The McGuinty-Wynne Record, is available in paper copy through Freedom Press Canada and in paper and e-book format through Amazon.ca.