Upcoming national election is crucial for Canada’s energy sector

Ontario – Energy and the environment is arguably the key policy area that will decide the election—and most agree the outcome of the vote will, in turn, be crucial for Canada’s energy sector.

Image result for alberta tar sands pipeline

In Alberta, political differences have become personal, particularly after the 2014 crash in petroleum prices. And while a CBC poll tracker shows the opposition Conservatives holding a slim lead over the ruling Liberals – neither is projected to win a majority government.

But in Alberta, a Tory landslide is predicted, with the Conservatives holding a nearly 45 percent lead over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. After the 2015 national election, Alberta was already feeling the effects of the turn-down in oil and gas prices from the previous year. Unemployment in the province was 10 percent.

“I think the federal government has a specific hate on” for Alberta, Robyn Moser says, according to The Guardian. “We have a federal government that wants to choke the Alberta economy for its own political reasons.” She is referring to Trudeau, who has tried to walk down the middle of the road, playing to both sides of the climate issue and Alberta’s failing energy sector.

Conservative candidate Andrew Sheer at a gathering in Langley B.C. this week.

Conservative candidate Andrew Sheer at a gathering in Langley, B.C. this week. Andrew Sheer
Oil sands very existence is on the ballot

While Trudeau and his supporters argue that Canada can become a global oil superpower and a leader in fighting climate change – his main challenger, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, accuses Trudeau of abandoning a pipeline through British Columbia, failing to push through another line to Canada’s east coast and passing a law that they say will make major energy projects impossible to approve, reports BNN Bloomberg.

And voters have not forgotten a comment Trudeau made at a town hall meeting back in 2017 when he said the country “needed to phase out the oil sands.”

“Do we want our energy industry to be a global player, or do we want our industry to go into hibernation and we’ll just slowly shut it down?” Derek Evans, chief executive officer of oil-sands producer MEG Energy Corp., said in an interview. “That’s the point we’re at.”

Athabasca oilsands in Alberta Canada.

Athabasca oilsands in Alberta, Canada.
Howl Arts Collective (CC BY 2.0)

It is true that the region around Fort McMurray contains the world’s third-largest crude reserves, but to get the thick bitumen to market requires pipelines, and that is a contentious subject in today’s world of environmental awareness. With limited pipeline capacity, discounts to Canadian oil, and delays to projects like TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, the future is not looking good.

Trudeau did not win friends or influence people when his government ended up buying the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline that was being held up with legal challenges, protests and a British Columbia government pledging to block its construction. The only thing to come out of this move was that Trudeau earned the nickname “Justin Crudeau.”

Naomi Klein, the prominent Canadian writer, and activist said the purchase highlights the “utterly hypocritical” position Trudeau has taken since coming to power, allowing the oil sands to expand while claiming to make Canada a climate leader.

Green Party Canada

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We’re the only party standing firmly against any fossil fuels.

In a climate emergency, that’s the only position endorsed by science.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-11/green-who-wants-to-abandon-oil-may-be-canada-s-next-power-broker 

Green Who Wants to Abandon Oil May Be Canada’s Next Power Broker

Elizabeth May has been the lone green voice in Canada’s legislature for most of the eight years since she became her party’s first elected member of parliament.She may soon have more company. Polls…

bloomberg.com

How will the vote go?

It will be a close race and as the polls suggest, Canada could very well end up with a minority Liberal government. Even so, there will be seats for the environmentally-minded Green Party and the New Democratic Party – and this could end up being bad news for oil sands advocates.

Green leader Elizabeth May sees the election as a referendum on climate and Canada’s last chance to take the lead in fighting climate change. “We can’t negotiate with the global atmosphere to say, ‘We need a bit more time,’” said May, whose campaign platform displays a photo of her being arrested protesting against the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Karel Mayrand, the director of the David Suzuki Foundation for Quebec and Atlantic Canada, a non-profit environmentalist organization, says “You could say ‘Alberta can export its oil, and Quebec can export its electricity and everyone shakes hands. But the problem is that for a growing share of the population, in Canada as well as in Quebec, accepting this means throwing all of Canada’s climate goals out of the window.” SOURCE

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