Hopeful proposal for east coast

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Quite a tug of war has played havoc with the future of Alberta oilsands product, but once again it’s looking like this end of the country could be a winner.

Massive debate has already surrounded various proposals for the flow of crude from the oil-rich area – to the west coast, to the south, along with occasional mention of the Atlantic provinces.

Now, Alberta Premier Alison Redford is describing the interest of New Brunswick as a “natural fit” for marketing the product. This comment comes as New Brunswick Premier David Alward and his energy minister, Craig Leonard, tour Alberta and discuss a potential eastward proposal.

Should that come to pass, it would mean a boost to a number of industries in the Maritime provinces. Also, as some commentators have suggested, greater volumes of crude sent to eastern refineries should translate into lower prices at the fuel pumps for motorists.

This idea has been proposed before – notably by former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna. While it hasn’t quite caught fire, it also tends not to encounter the vociferous protest that other alternatives have – such as the earlier plan of a pipeline to B.C.’s Pacific coast.

The eastward route, as has been emphasized by proponents, has the advantage of a pipeline already in place for part of the required transmission. The current discussion between the two premiers involves sending oilsands crude eastward possibly to Saint John, N.B., to the Irving oil refinery.

Redford said on this subject that Canada relies a great deal on imported, more costly, crude for its needs. At the same time, her province needs to get its product to coastal waters to be able to access international markets.

Although these things are always a pipe dream until the construction is underway, this marks the most significant acknowledgement of the possibility by key players. If it turns into reality, it will benefit consumers and a wide swath of this region’s industry.

Geographic location: Alberta, New Brunswick, Maritime B.C. Pacific Saint John Canada

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  • concerned citizen
    February 06, 2013 - 06:40

    Thanks for my morning laugh. What a load of bull. I started chuckling with the statement "once again it looks like this end of the country could be a winner" could someone refresh my memory as to when we were considered winners in the past. Then the "natural fit" line almost made me fall off my chair, yeah we're a natural fit alright. Would it be because the west coast provinces want a fair share of the profits from the oil but out here on the starving east coast we have to take whatever crumbs are thrown our way. Then the final gut buster that almost made me split my sides was how we should see lower prices at the pumps if the crude comes our way, what a joke. Here in Nova Scotia we have natural gas flowing right through our province and we can't even get a sniff of it let alone enjoy lower energy costs. It sounds to me like a real "pipe dream ".

  • Hank Spitball
    February 05, 2013 - 23:14

    The only thing the Maritimes are getting from the oilsands in Alberta is the Long Range Transport of POLLUTANTS.

    • honker
      February 09, 2013 - 11:27

      No Hank, if you live in the east you get money, money generated by industry in Alberta. This money helps pay for provincial healthcare and education, etc. Alberta is also the largest employer of Maritimers, paying good money for skilled jobs that are not available here. If the Alberta oil sands don't continue, then the province of NS and it's citizens are in big trouble. You think the provice has bad financial problems and high taxes now? If Alberta faulters you won't be able to make spitballs because you'll need every piece of paper you can get to heat your house.