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Islanders among taxpayers losing billions of dollars and services due to lack of pipelines

May 30, 2019
Islanders among taxpayers losing billions of dollars and services due to lack of pipelines

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s cross-country tour stopped in Charlottetown today, showing how much money taxpayers are losing because Canadian oil is sold for less than its full value due to a lack of pipeline capacity. The tour features a large digital clock displaying losses going up in real time. The CTF’s analysis shows the federal government lost $6.2 billion between 2013 and 2018 and that number is going up by $3.6 million per day.

“Islanders are losing out on valuable services like doctors and nursing homes and an opportunity for lower taxes, because Canadian oil can’t get to market,” said the CTF’s Atlantic Director, Paige MacPherson.

Canada isn’t getting full value for oil due to a lack of pipeline capacity to reach foreign customers. Based on data released by the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the CTF calculated how much additional revenue the federal government would receive if Canadian oil sales received full value compared to the American price.

The lack of pipelines cost the federal government:

  • $6.2 billion between 2013 and 2018; and,
  • Another $3.6 million per day (based on projected loses of $6.6 billion between 2019 and 2023).

These figures only account for direct losses to the federal government and don’t include the cost of lost job opportunities, smaller household incomes, foregone revenue to energy companies and other costs to the Canadian economy due to a lack of pipelines.

Here are a few examples of the potential benefits for taxpayers if increased pipeline capacity captured full value for Canadian oil from 2013 to 2023:

  • Six new major hospitals could be built based on the cost of Halifax’s QEII hospital redevelopment;
  • Over 25,000 new teaching positions in Prince Edward Island could be fully funded for 10 years;
  • All residents of Prince Edward Island could be exempt from federal taxes for more than 13 years.

“The money Ottawa is losing by roadblocking these projects matters for Islanders because a great deal of that pays for important services in P.E.I.,” said MacPherson.

Revenues from Ottawa made up 39 per cent of P.E.I.’s total budget in 2018.

“Taxpayers are losing out on billions of dollars because we can’t get pipelines built and we aren’t receiving full value for our oil,” said the CTF’s Alberta Director, Franco Terrazzano. “From East to West, all Canadians are made better off when governments allow job creators to build pipelines.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s tour is visiting every province to show how much money taxpayers are losing because governments haven’t encouraged pipeline construction. You can find the analysis here.

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