• Rob Snow

Resourceful hypocrisy

Jason Kenney said recently: "Canada is broken."

In Quebec, it's working like a charm.

Not that anyone asked, but the Quebec government decided to weigh in this week, offering its opinion on the TransMountain Pipeline dispute, currently tearing western Canada apart. "It's not a good sign for federalism,” said Premier Philippe Couillard.

It's a bitter pill to swallow in Edmonton, coming from a province that played a key role in the demise of the Energy East Pipeline; not to mention the funding Quebec City manages to extract from the west in equalization on an annual basis. ($11.7-billion this year alone.)

More infuriating is the damn hypocrisy on the development of natural resources.

Two days prior to Premier Couillard's lament on federalism, he ratified an agreement with Dwight Ball's government of Newfoundland & Labrador, vowing to ramp up production of one the most valuable deposits of iron ore in the world, Labrador Trough.

Believed to hold more than 80-billion tonnes of iron ore, Couillard is willing to commit $230-million in public funds for improvements to an important highway. There could be millions more for upgrades to rail and marine infrastructure. While much of the open-pit mining is done in Labrador, the ore is carried by a Quebec rail line, to the major port in Sept-Îles.

Then there's Old Harry. By some estimates, this Gulf of St. Lawrence oil field holds two-billion barrels of oil (twice the size of Hibernia) and as much as 7-trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Premier Couillard repeated this week his province has no interest in exploiting the field, but "will want to receive a share of the profits if Newfoundland and Labrador were to do so."

In Quebec there's no need to 'drill baby drill', as long as Énergie Saguenay moves ahead unimpeded.

The massive liquefied natural gas project is the largest fossil fuel endeavor in Quebec's history, valued at $7.2 billion U.S. Scheduled for completion by 2023, it includes a new LNG export terminal, built on land owned by the Saguenay Port Authority. "Easy access to international markets, via the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Waterway." And it will even have a brand new 650 km pipeline!

It's an embarrassment of riches for a chronic have-not.

Alberta and Saskatchewan are preparing a tap-trickling tag-team on B.C. (Let the western bastards freeze in the dark?) As they coordinate their efforts, they must look on in amazement at the pace of resource development in Quebec, where Canada is not broken, but working like a charm.


Bloomberg: Alberta Cut to Oil Shipments Would Ripple Across West Coast

CTV News: Quebec asks for federal help as number of asylum-seekers spikes

CTV News: Saskatchewan premier says his province will also table oil ban bill

CP (Victoria): B.C. threatens to sue if Alberta restricts flow of fuel

#Quebec #Oil #NaturalGas #Alberta #Saskatchewan #Pipelines #Federalism

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