Greens say Feds spend $120 million to ‘grease’ Enbridge Northern Gateway bid


VICTORIA – Federal Green party Leader Elizabeth May claims leaked documents show taxpayers are subsidizing the bid to build the proposed $6-billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline with about $120 million in government studies.

While Ottawa is cutting major science research projects across Canada, May says the documents reveal the federal government has embarked on at least two major initiatives that are “greasing the wheels” for Enbridge (TSX:ENB), the Calgary-based firm proposing the pipeline.

May says the Harper government is spending at least $78 million on marine spill studies specifically connected to bitumen, the molasses-like crude that will be shipped in the pipeline between Alberta and B.C.

She also says the documents reveal Ottawa is spending $42 million to study ways to improve weather forecasting in the coastal regions that will be used by oil tankers if the project is approved by the federal Joint Review Panel.

One of the conditions set out by the B.C. government for its approval of the pipeline was that oil spill response, prevention and recovery on the west coast needed to be world-class.

The federal government could not immediately be reached for a response to the documents, dated May 2012.


Greens say Feds spend $120 million to ‘grease’ Enbridge Northern Gateway bid

  1. So, when the government doesn’t do safety investment, May thinks they’re at fault, and now when the government is investing in safety, May thinks they’re at fault too.

    • If this is Enbridge’s pipe dream then let Enbridge finance the “studies.” If, however, Canadian taxpayers are to share in the “profits” from this commercial endeavor, then let Prime Minister Harper come out and say so instead of asking us to pick up the tab for the assessments. While this is the first that we’ve heard of the federal governments complicity in helping to get the Northern Gateway oil pipeline deal approved, it’s not surprising given that Harper has his own political reputation at stake riding on the outcome.
      Remember that the Conservative’s mantra is; It’s all about jobs and the economy.

      • “share in the profits”?

        The oil and gas industry provides billions of dollars in revenues to governments in royalties, excise taxes, GST-PST-HST, income tax, CPP, EI, corporate income tax, employer CPP and EI, property tax, business tax, grants in lieu of tax, capital tax, and excess profits tax, tax applied on top of tax, and probably others that I missed.

        On average in Canada companies pay out some nine dollars to governments for every one dollar made as profit, and then the profit, too, is taxed as it is received by the shareholder.

        • Ok. If this trickle down effect is, by your analysis, so gratuitous, then why don’t Canadians receive a dividend from all those tax revenues at the end of the calender year like Alaskan’s do? Where does all that ‘gravy train’ you’re describing disappear to? Into the ‘black hole’ we call the federal treasury? The one controlled by the Conservatives? The same party whose leader decided to spend upwards of $120 million of Canadian taxpayers cash to launch a pipeline that could have huge, irreversible, environmental consequences.

          • Haw haw haw… governments get it, of course, and then spend it on the citizens in various ways, notably by having the taxpayers pay less tax for a given amount of services.

            Municipal, provincial, and federal governments.

          • Is that why the country’s in deficit? Because taxpayers are getting services they’ve already paid for? Or because the expense of running a dysfunctional institution is seriously out of control?

          • Now you’re just ranting about extraneous issues you’ve come up with on the spur of the moment.

          • Sure. Of course. Whatever you say.

  2. And how much US Foundation money is “greasing” the protest groups against the pipeline? Funny, Ms. May doesn’t give us that number.

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