Saskatchewan politicians are reacting with frustration and disappointment over TransCanada’s decision to cancel the Energy East pipeline.
The pipeline, which would have transported oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in New Brunswick, was nixed due to the inability to reach a “regulatory decision,” according to TransCanada.
Premier Brad Wall released a scathing statement on Twitter and Facebook describing it as “a very bad day for the west” and laying the blame for thousands of job losses at the feet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government.
Wall blasted the comments of Montreal Mayor Dennis Coderre who called the decision a “major victory.”
“He is cheering against an energy sector in our country that employs thousands and has paid on average over the last 3 years $17 billion annually in taxes and royalties to Canadian governments,” Wall wrote.
The premier also lashed out at Coderre’s own actions, pointing to the spillage of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River.
“It is a good thing that Mr. Coderre’s hypocrisy needs no pipeline for conveyance, for it would need to be very large and could never get approved for construction,” Wall said.
He also questioned whether Saskatchewan and Alberta taxpayers should continue to send $2.5 billion in equalization payments to Quebec, comparing the situation to having “Stockholm Syndrome.”
Today is not a good day for Canada. It is not a good day for the federation. It is a very bad day for the west….
Economy minister, Regina mayor weigh in
Economy Minister Dustin Duncan also commented on the situation, calling it a massive loss.
“(It would’ve created) 14,000 construction jobs, it would have increased the GDP of the country by $55 billion, taxes alone would have been in the range of $10 billion,” he said.
Duncan is also disappointed to learn Montreal’s mayor is celebrating the announcement, saying Coderre is forgetting where Quebec’s oil comes from.
“They import their oil, 60 per cent of that from the United States, but 30 per cent of that coming from countries like Saudia Arabia, Nigeria, Algeria,” Duncan said.
“I don’t know how they justify that.”
Duncan maintained the government must continue to educate people about pipelines and the advantages of getting Canadian oil to market.
Regina’s mayor also isn’t happy about TransCanada’s decision.
Michael Fougere said the federal government needs to do a better job of supporting the energy sector.
“We need a federal government that will stand up for the energy sector and say this is good for Canada,” he said.
“It’s good for the world, because we have energy we can sell to the world and we are missing an opportunity here to do that.”
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark was unavailable for comment Thursday.