Trudeau Government has Double Standard for Foreign Oil Imports

Author: Colin Craig 2018/05/01

New documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation show the Trudeau government has rolled out the red carpet for foreign oil imported into Canada while putting regulatory blockades in front of Canadian oil.

The situation is not only irrational; it’s costing taxpayers billions – right across Canada.

Canadian company TransCanada recently gave up on its Energy East pipeline. The project would have helped offset billions of dollars Eastern Canada spends each year purchasing foreign oil.

2014 report by the Canadian Energy Research Institute estimated the Energy East pipeline would have contributed $3.5 billion in tax revenue for the federal government alone – money that could have helped pay for health care and other government services across Canada. Not to mention, the project would have created thousands of jobs for skilled labour.

But alas, common sense was just not meant to be.

After TransCanada spent more than $1 billion planning for the project, and going through the government’s approval process, the federal government announced the pipeline would also be subject to an “upstream and downstream” emissions review.

We all know what happened next: TransCanada pulled the plug on the project. Who can blame them? Why would anyone spend another dime dealing with an erratic government that changes the rules halfway through very expensive approval processes?

We then decided to file an “access to information” request with Environment and Climate Change Canada for reports and analysis on any “upstream or downstream impacts to greenhouse gas emissions from foreign oil that is imported to Canada.”

The department responded: “After a thorough search, no records were found concerning this request.”

We asked Natural Resources Canada, the department of Global Affairs and Transport Canada for the same information. They too informed us they had no such reports. Four departments, four free passes to foreign oil.

Why is the government putting up a massive regulatory roadblock in front of Canadian energy companies while giving a free pass for foreign oil?

Previously, the Trudeau government helped out Bombardier and Ford with nearly half a billion in financial aid. Considering the two companies produce vehicles that emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide, one might assume those companies would also have gone through an “upstream and downstream” emissions review. But alas, the federal government informed us those companies were also given a free pass.

Our country is full of oil – we have the third-largest reserves in the world and yet Eastern Canada is importing 600,000 barrels per day of foreign oil. Why? Largely due to our own government’s immense regulatory hurdles – hurdles foreign oil doesn’t have to jump through.

Canadian governments are losing out on billions of dollars in tax revenues from large Canadian oil companies – money the government will still obtain by increasing our taxes.

Some people say our country is shooting itself in the foot economically, but what we’ve really done is aim the pistol right at our head.

Colin Craig is the Alberta director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation
This column was published in the May 2018 edition of Business in Calgary and Business in Edmonton magazine 

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