Recently the Prairie Post asked Canadian Energy Centre officials about what their thoughts were regarding the Keystone XL cancellation and its affects on rural Canada including Oyen and the surrounding region. The Canadian Energy Centre is an arm of the Alberta provincial government and its “mandate is to promote Canada as the supplier of choice for the world’s growing demand for responsibly produced energy. It is an independent provincial corporation that is primarily supported by the Government of Alberta’s industry-funded Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.”
1. How can the Canadian Energy Centre assist rural Alberta in highlighting their plight? Is there any specific campaign which outlines or shows the impact of the Keystone cancellation or the new for similar future projects?
a.Given the oil and gas industry is based in rural Canada, everything we’re doing – from stories to research and advocacy – is in support of those families and the fact they rely on the resource industry to put food on the table. That includes the ripple effect of pipeline work, jobs, and the impact on small businesses.
b.The CEC has been advocating in support of KXL since May 2020, when we put out our first piece. We have done two letter writing campaigns as well as additional information pieces. We pivoted recently to focus on line 3 and line 5 which are now also be targeted by anti-oil and gas activists. That is in addition to our ongoing support for all pipeline development, and any large scale energy development under attack.
2. What has the Canadian Energy Centre been doing specifically since Biden’s announcement in regard to (a) inform the public about the ramifications and (b) has there been any discussions with any of the local governments or municipalities (i.e in this case Special Areas or town of Oyen, Acadia Valley)? Is there anything you can do for them?
a.We have been running a number of campaigns to engage our supporters to pressure our federal government to be more aggressive in defence of the KXL. Whether this is reference to some of the pieces mentioned above, or different media interviews, we are continuing to push the benefits of KXL. However, what this has shown us, and all Canadians, is we need our own pipelines to our own coasts to supply the world market. This then protects us from relying heavily on a single customer – the U.S. - whose actions are outside our control.
b.We have not specifically engaged with those local communities, however we have spoken to the indigenous communities along the pipeline route about the impact of the decision. As this continues to evolve, we will engage with any community that wishes to get their message out.
3. What have you found the Alberta reaction to be like in general about the Keystone cancellation… is rural or urban more or less upset? Is it hard to gauge?
a.We don’t have any hard data showing how Albertans are feeling about this decision. However, in our conversations with industry representatives and local officials, this is just another blow in a series of decisions that has rocked Alberta – regardless whether rural or urban. There are reports of more job losses coming in Calgary as the economy continues to be battered by both Covid and restrained production. Albertans are a tough group and we will overcome this, but at some point, need to see forward momentum on these projects. I think the completion of Line 3 and TMX would help relieve some of the constraints we have in getting our world-class energy resources to market.
4. What specifically about Justin Trudeau’s response has troubled you the most? Is there anything you as a group can do to lobby the federal government or is that something left to Erin O’Toole?
a.I don’t think it is appropriate for us to comment on the political leadership and the decisions they make or not make. However, we will continue to provide Canadians with the information and tools they need to express to representatives at all levels of government the need for a balanced approach when making energy related policy decisions It is important all decision makers understand the majority of Canadians support oil and gas.