A Montreal-based company is proposing to build a C$23-billion pipeline from Alberta to New Brunswick that it says can succeed where the controversial Energy East megaproject failed.
The plan from Canadian Prosperity Pipelines Corporation is still in its formative stages, Pipeline News reported Monday, in a post republished by industry newsletter JWN Energy. “Their idea is to transport oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Saint John, New Brunswick, and a marine tanker terminal for potential export,” writes editor Brian Zinchuk. “As a matter of course, the mainline would pass through Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec to get there.”
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Canadian Prosperity President and CEO Duane Lauritsen, who spent 25 years designing and building tar sands/oil sands projects, said the line would carry 1.1 million barrels of oil per day.
With the recent drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s fossil infrastructure, “energy independence and energy security for Canada, especially Eastern Canada, is getting heightened awareness,” Lauritsen told Pipeline News. He’s casting his pipeline as a bid to build Canadian unity by “breaking through communication barriers in an informed and factual manner,” Zinchuk writes.
That’s what’s behind the “strategic” choice to locate the company in Quebec, the start of an “inside-out” messaging campaign “to inform and educate the people of Canada about what the [fossil] energy industry means to the Canadian confederation,” Lauritsen said. He’s planning what Pipeline News calls “factually-driven broadcasts” across the country in English and French, addressing specific issues in each province along the route while touting a wider message of Canadian unity and prosperity.
“Lots of people love the idea of unity, but at the end of the day, what 99% of people care about is ‘What’s in it for me?’,” he told Zinchuk. “The unity-prosperity equation actually results in them being able to see money in their pocket at the end of the day—every Canadian. Every Canadian that wants to be part of this has an opportunity to.”
Pension plans are paying attention to the project, particularly international funds, and Lauritsen said he wasn’t concerned about the provisions of Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act, known as Bill-69 during its tortuous journey through the House of Commons and especially the Senate.
“We have done a deep dive into Bill C-69, every section with a fine-toothed comb. We have completed a comprehensive review of Bill C-69 to identify specific risks in order to develop assessment and engagement strategies,” he told Pipeline News.
“To that end, from a prosperity perspective, we will be putting into trust shares for Indigenous groups that do not have the ability to participate in an equity partnership with us. We will be intending to gift those shares from the corporation to those Indigenous groups, those bands, and so on. We are optimistic that we can generate prosperity for all Canadians.”
On the campaign trail, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said any province would be allowed to veto a major pipeline project if his party formed the next federal government. “I would not impose a project on any province, and that means there has to be social acceptability,” he told CBC Monday evening. “If we want to move forward with a project, there has to be the buy-in from all the people involved.”