This is the third major energy infrastructure to be cancelled in recent months. Tim McMillan, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) discusses disappointment in the decision, its impact on Canada, and the need for a response by governments and Canadians.
We’re very disappointed to see TransCanada step away from this project at the point that it is now at, well into the regulatory process. It is very troubling. Canada only gets so many opportunities to build these nation-building projects and this one is now done.
This one would be connecting Canadians with their own resources. Today, Eastern Canada is importing about 70 per cent of their oil from overseas. They’re bringing it in on ships from Saudi Arabia, from Nigeria, Venezuela. They don’t have access to using Canadian products entirely.
It also limits the upstream’s ability to access new and growing markets around the world. We should be aspiring to be a supplier of choice in India, the world’s fastest- growing crude oil consumer. And without access to the East Coast through Canada, we’re losing that opportunity.
We’re losing also the opportunity of our own sovereignty. We export 100 per cent of our oil today to the United States, at a time when they are producing record amounts of crude oil and exporting their own oil around the world. We’re beholden to them to be our broker at a time that we’re renegotiating NAFTA and have just narrowly avoided, we think, a border adjustment tax.
I think this is a time that all Canadians need to look at how we enable Canada to grow and be successful in the long term. That means individual Canadians, and I think governments have a role here as well.
This is the third major project we’ve seen cancelled in the last few months. Pacific NorthWest said that they, after a substantial amount of work, couldn’t move forward with their project here in Canada. We’ve seen the Nexen LNG project—same thing. After investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Canada and entering into the regulatory process, they said no, we’re going to step away from our project and we’re going to terminate it. And now TransCanada. This is a time to act and recognize that if we want to be successful as a nation, if we want to be a productive Canada, we all have a role here to play.