Pipelines critical to Canada's economic future: Clement

Teresa Wright
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board of Canada, was in Prince Edward Island this week. He is pictured here touring OmniActive Health Technologies, a bioscience company in Charlottetown.

Getting Canada’s oil to market is vital in sustaining the country’s economic wealth, and the only way to do so is by train or pipeline, Federal Treasury Board President Tony Clement told the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.

In response to a question by a member, Clement spoke at length about his frustration with opposition to resource development and pipelines.

“If we want health care in the future, if we want to be able to pay for our schools and educating our kids, we need these resources to be out of the ground,” Clement said.

“Maybe I’m on an economic literacy crusade here, but we’ve got to be able to explain to people that part of our wealth as a society is going to be from exploiting these resources, getting them to market.”

The Lac-Megantic rail disaster earlier this month has reignited debate over how crude oil is shipped across the country.

The accident has led some to suggest pipelines may be safer than trains for transporting of crude.

The debate is a timely one for eastern Canada. TransCanada Corp. has publicly stated recently it may soon go ahead with a pipeline to transport oil to Atlantic Canada.

The proposed Energy East project would convert an existing natural gas pipeline to move crude from the Alberta oil sands to refineries in Montreal and New Brunswick.

It could then be shipped by tanker to markets in the U.S. and abroad.

Clement said Wednesday the United States will be self-sufficient in oil in the next four years, so Canada must have the ability to move its crude to Europe and Asia.

“That means a west-to-east pipeline,” he said.

“I can’t tell you how many constituents in my constituency say, ‘Boy I wish we had more Alberta oil. Why are we buying oil from Venezuela?’ Ok, well how else are we going to get it here? Train or pipeline. There’s not many other choices. So we’ve got to deal with that.”

P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz and New Brunswick Premier David Alward have both expressed support for the idea of an eastern pipeline.

Ghiz told The Guardian Tuesday he expects it will be a topic of discussion at the meeting of Canada’s premiers this week in Ontario.

“I think it’s a very good idea for our region,” Ghiz said.

“St. John has a great port, a deep water area there that can easily transport crude… I think that it can be good for our economy.”

Clement has been in Prince Edward Island for the last three days, meeting with business groups and companies across the province.

He encouraged the member of the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce Wednesday to publicly support the transport of Canada’s crude and the proposed eastern pipeline project.

“I really do think this is critical to our economic future and that’s not just Alberta or Saskatchewan or B.C. It’s everybody.”




Organizations: Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, Federal Treasury Board, TransCanada Corp. Energy East

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Alberta, New Brunswick United States Lac-Megantic Europe Asia Venezuela Ontario Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • patricia parker
    July 31, 2013 - 14:29

    This government has abandoned research and development, or any incentives for, they have bolstered oil and gas with subsidies and a free for all, and their goal seems to made Canada a petro state. The talk of pipeline to the east is just so U.S. or west will start to move, a bargaining chip. Let them freeze in the dark is what comes to mind.

  • Page Turner
    July 26, 2013 - 07:47

    A quote from the story "The Lac-Megantic rail disaster earlier this month has reignited debate over how crude oil is shipped across the country." I would disagree with this statement. The problem with oil and rail cars is the lack of and lowering of federal transportation guidelines since the Harper government has taken power. Trying to make all look bad other then the federal government that should really be answering questions. Do we need east west oil movement, we certainly do. How it is done safely, no one can answer that. One pipeline leak can do a great deal of damage to the public and environment. By new train lines around populated areas and bringing back rules and regulations dropped in the past would make a great difference to what is happening now.

  • William Jefferson Clinton IX
    July 24, 2013 - 19:29

    If the U.S. is going to be self sufficient in 4 years, why the hell is the price of gas so high????

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    July 24, 2013 - 15:43

    Eastern pipeline is a great idea, but the feds won't have it. Both the Americans and the Chinese will pay more for the black gold than we will. There are also many contracts, treaties, and agreements that would have to be broken or renegotiated before such a pipeline could be built. Most of these agreements go north to south with very little talk about west to east or the east coast because we are the poorest and cannot afford it. Perhaps Mr Clements could enlighten us as to why in such a resource rich country as CANADA, why do we run deficit budgets and why do we owe any national debt? Why do the provinces have to go without sharing in those national resources and please do not answer by stating they are already giving us our FAIR SHARE in the form of EQUALIZATION WELFARE PAYMENTS THAT KEEP US IN A STATE OF PERPETUAL DEPENDENCE ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. It gets to be very hard to bite the hand that feeds you but have a better look at what and how they are feeding us. I forgot t mention the UN treaties also. Look those up.