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Saturday , 24 July 2021

City of Cold Lake voices concern over lack of support for the oil patch

Cold Lake City Council unanimously passed a motion to voice the City’s concerns over the U.S. executive decision to halt work on the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as Canada’s increasingly precarious position in the global market as an oil-producing nation.

“Across Canada, families rightly expect their neighbours, communities, and leaders to stand up for the jobs and industries they rely on to make a living,” Mayor Craig Copeland said.

“At various times the auto industry, lumber industry, tourism and agricultural industries have all heard the full chorus of Canadian leadership voice their support. But, when it comes to Alberta’s oil industry and the thousands of jobs it creates, we hear little more than a whimper on the national stage.”

Council agreed that the U.S. decision reversing approvals for the Keystone XL pipeline was met with a lacklustre response from Canadian leadership and media outside of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Copeland further noted that a growing movement to block Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline in Michigan is largely ignored, despite the dire economic consequences the move could have, especially for southern Ontario’s refining industry.

“It seems that the self-imposed carbon tax has bought us only higher energy prices and inflation – any notion that the carbon tax has purchased a ‘social licence’ can no longer be taken seriously,” Copeland said.

“Canada’s oil industry has consistently proven itself to be the most innovative in the world. It has invested in and developed technology to meet ever-increasing environmental standards, all while delivering a product required for economic growth.”

City Council noted that Alberta’s resources are increasingly being isolated, not only internationally, but within the Canadian federation as well.

Council passed a motion to voice the City’s support for Keystone XL on both sides of the border, build support for TC Energy and its infrastructure investment, and call for movement on Canadian pipelines that will support existing domestic refineries in Ontario and Quebec, as well as increase access to Asian markets via Canada’s west coast.

“A country’s energy use and its economy are linked and we are threatening our future by standing by idly as one of our greatest industries suffers wave after wave of attacks,” Copeland said.

“Our oil industry should be a source of national pride, a pathway to economic recovery, and a means of funding the diversification of our energy industry. Instead, the hardships our industry is facing are being ignored, the opportunities it offers us are being squandered, and the families who depend on this industry are being left behind.”

The global economic slowdown, compounded by the economic hardship resulting from continued restrictions meant to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, added to City Council’s sense of urgency in supporting pipelines and Canada’s oil industry.

Council also stated that the willingness for Canada to accept oil from other countries shows that the need for oil is not being denied, and implies that Canada’s oil industry is being unreasonably ignored.

“We know that the Governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan are doing what they can to support the industry, but the global nature of this issue requires a united, national response,” Copeland said.

“Cold Lake may not have a loud voice on this stage, but we have an obligation to use our voice to defend Canadian jobs, and Canada’s oil industry. Canadians should pay heed to what is in fact happening around them.

“This industry has brought prosperity to Canadian workers from coast to coast, and revenue to governments at all levels for too long to be ignored – especially now, when it needs our help the most. Our fear is that those standing up for our industry will not be heard until the impact of these decisions start to cost jobs in Ontario and Quebec. By then it will be too late.”

Council’s resolution also sought:

  1. A letter of support to U.S. politicians who support legislation to reverse the course of President Joe Biden’s unilateral Keystone XL decision;
  2. A letter of support to TC Energy supporting keeping the pipeline constructed so far, so that the infrastructure can be kept in place until its need becomes evident to the United States of America as Canada’s oil supply is continuously being replaced by supply from other countries;
  3. A letter of recommendation to the Prime Minister of Canada and the Premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario to move forward on a pipeline that connects with the Canadian leg of Keystone (Portage La Prairie) and to carry forward with an “Ontario east” pipeline that travels exclusively in Canada and transports oil to the key refineries in southern Ontario;
  4. A letter recommending that our Prime Minister and the Premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan support in principal and financially, the Eagle Spirit Pipeline and to also seek a modification of the tanker ban in support this pipeline, which would allow another conduit for Canadian oil to be shipped overseas.

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