Build the pipeline or Granny suffers


As Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver explained to reporters after QP, the Conservatives are appalled that NDP MPs would express a dissenting opinion about the Keystone pipeline within earshot of Americans. In other news, the Keystone pipeline is now an initiative to provide health care for seniors.

I was appalled when I heard the NDP intends to go down to the United States to talk negatively about the Keystone XL project.  This is a project which will generate hundreds of thousands of jobs for Canadians, billions of dollars of economic activity and it will fund important social services like education for our children, health care for the elderly. Frankly, I think what they’re doing is a disgrace.

On the question of the NDP MPs and their trip to Washington, at least one voice in the scrum noted the example of a former opposition leader who went on American television to express his concern for Canada’s refusal to go to war in Iraq.


Build the pipeline or Granny suffers

    • And I seem to recall Jason Kenney, while in opposition,  doing a little doo doo disturbing on a government trade mission to China. 

      • Heh…that was before he discovered the Chinese were our best buddies.

  1. most Canadians outside of Quebec…says our current PM. 

    My Canada includes Quebec. Is it really such a surprise that the CPC is so poorly represented in Quebec and Harper so unpopular there? No of course not. It is all explained by the inherently unCanadian stances that province routinely adopts…at least according to Harper it is. How did we ever come to choose such an opportunistic divider to lead this country? The guy hasn’t changed one iota…he’s still cutting his clothe to suit his audience while condeming anyone else who dares to do the same. Harper has all of the faults and more of sir John A. and precious few if any of the great man’s virtues.

    • Sir John A., fueled by endless cans of Coke? At least the booze brought out MacDonald’s wit.

      • Well the Coke brings out harper’s gut.

  2. The pipeline will be built because it makes sense.

     The environmental argument against this project makes no sense as does that squeaky ”  voice in the scrum ”  belonging to you know who.
    It must be heartening for Liberals to see some of their MP`s distancing themselves from the non-sensical positions taken by the dippers.
    It must be discouraging for Liberals to see the pro-ndp stance ( the enemy of my enemy is my friend ? )  taken by many Liberals surrounding this blog. That`s a losing position–one that will guarantee the extinction of the Liberal Party.

    • LOL so now you’ve managed to work a decision by the US state dept to postpone Keystone for further study …into the demise of the Canadian Liberal party?

      • The US state dep`t has the wisdom to know that the pipeline makes sense.

        The demise of the Liberal Party will be achieved by those lacking in common sense who applaud the non-sensical actions of the dippers. That would be people like yourself and your friend, Wherry.

        • It may make sense to you, it doesn’t make sense to others….like the people of Nebraska for example
          PS….I’m not a Lib or a Dipper, and I doubt Wherry is either.

    • Here is a partial list of pipeline leaks and other accidents, for your education:


      My favourites are the 1,000,000 barrel spill into the Kalamazoo River watershed (last year) and the ~40,000 barrel spill into the Yellowstone river (also last year).

  3. The Keystone Initiative is medical training that prevents hospital/nursing-home nosocomial infections.  So yes, when you lower corporate taxes you get more staph infections.  Kane makes a biofilm dissolving product and medonyx makes gelFAST.  Not being promoted by Cabinet.

    Trans Canada has a market cap of $30B, and a revenue/employee of $2M.  Employs 4200.  I’m not sure how much revenue or book value Keystone would add.  At a price to tangible book value of 2.4, a $7B pipeline, if added right to book free, adds $16.8B in market cap (empirically flawed given trading range on news but suggest better).  Employ about 2400 not counting construction jobs.  A federal election cost $300M.  I’d guess payroll is a solid 40% of costs, if not much more.  That is $120M.  Salary is way lower, I’d guess $40000.  Is 3000 jobs.  Calling an election every year would create more jobs without the famines/floods/droughts/wars.  Industry just isn’t that labour intensive.  Coal is.  Cough.

    • Now there’s no need to talk down to us.

      • …is easier to do jobs math based on revenue but IDK my tar-revenue economics at all.  Some in USA are suggesting 1000000 jobs would be created, suggesting an AB population via existing pipelines of 5M or more.  The Pipeline is like a credit card given to everyone in AB and they have to spend a bit, the transfer payments, in other Provinces.  Payments are put off for twenty years, at which point you get the above four events in the (presently) 3rd world instead of personal bills.  The payments due get larger and larger until you get a Dark Age in lieu of bankruptcy.

  4. No the only people who are going to suffer are people from Ontario and Quebec when the transfer payments start getting smaller because revenue is down. The only time the world will stop using oil is when it is gone, ad but true.

    • Ontario pays over $20B a year into equalization, so stop fantasizing.

      Same deal with oil….you live in a dream world.

  5. Taliban Jack,   Moonbeam Megan,   let me know how it turns out … in twenty years ..

  6. I will never understand the Canadian compulsion of selling prized national resources at a fractional rate to a neighbour so that they may in turn sell us finished goods. Wood, food, oil, energy and water all shipped at discount prices south of the border.
    At times I wonder if there’s not a national self esteem problem that we feel the need to sell out ourselves so whimsically.
    If this were about Canadian jobs, we would be better off making and selling the finished product at a “fair” price.
    After all, commodities are only valuable to us until they are gone. ( Coal and steel should have taught us that.)

    • I don’t understand it either….we are willing to sell everything we have for a song…and we’ve always done so.

      Probaby sold the original beaver skins at half-off.

      • Are you in favour of supply management then? Yesterday or the day before you wanted to end it immediately for agricultural products. Or do you see natural resources as a different case in which we should manage the market?

        (I’m asking sincerely, because I don’t see the difference. I would personally defend supply management for agricultural products for food security reasons and natural resources for several other reasons)

        • No I’m not in favour of supply management. It enriches the few at the expense of the many.  We have imposed an artificial shortage on ourselves for the sake of  political vote-buying schemes.

          As to natural resources in general…something we don’t have a shortage of, real or imposed….of course we should sell them.

          And as with anything else, at fair market value, and after ensuring we have enough for ourselves.

          • But oil and gas from Canada sells at the level established by world markets, which you characterize as selling resources for “a song.” I’m asking what mechanism you would use to prevent that.

          • Yes, the price is set elsewhere….but how much does Alberta get out of it?  They have a deficit. They are also using the money on a daily basis to run things instead of putting it aside or investing it in diversification and building for the future.

    • It`s more of a foreign ownership problem than a national self-esteem problem, IMO.

    • A national self esteem problem, try our current PM who claims that Canada is a second-rate failed experiment…

  7. Typical conservative ringing the bell for his REAL bosses: the oil companies.  Joe Oliver is a disgrace for trying to lie to Canadians by suggesting that Keystone would add any further money to pay for government services.  Oil royalties in Alberta (when the cons bother to collect them at all) are set based on the number of barrels taken out of the ground, not on the price collected per barrel.  So this project will not add any more money to Alberta government coffers.  It will however, add a great deal more money to oil CEO coffers… wait a minute… same thing?

    • So if oil goes to $500/barrel, of course other revenues would rise, but the AB royalty structures stays the same in the name of preserving investment stability?  Wonder how SK works.  Too bad Ontario doesn’t have federal support for their wind initiatives, likewise for NS/PEI/MB green power.  Have the women AB.  I have my atheist soul.

    • Oil royalties in Alberta (when the cons bother to collect them at all) are set based on the number of barrels taken out of the ground, not on the price collected per barrel.
      Wrong. Oil royalties for oil sands producers were reset a few years ago by the Stelmach Gov’t. They are on a sliding scale (ie 25% royalty at $50/barrel, rising up to say 40% @$125/barrel – you have to check the actual rates and I’m too lazy to look).

      So, rising oil prices helps the Alberta gov’t coffers two ways – higher percentage of production, and higher price per barrel.

      In addition, higher revenue means more taxes for both the Feds and Prov gov’ts through personal and corporate income taxes, as well as general higher levels of economic activity.


      • http://www.energy.alberta.ca/Org/pdfs/OILRoyaltyFormulas2010.pdf
        If this is the correct document, the highest bracket is at $63/barrel.  CPC didn’t kill the oil capital depreciation subsidy until this year.  I’m guessing AB’s natural gas will accrue all early profits when/if prices rise, to the companies instead of healthcare costs.  The main problem is AB hasn’t mastered the ability to save money in a Trust Fund, or some other alternative investment.  In 2007, they did not have nearly the diversification of Ont, who has maintained financial sector strength but lost automotive ground over the years.  22nd century won’t use carbon unless 10 digit population or very advanced chemical or mechanical or bio capabilities.  When oil spikes, for at least an election cycle fraction in AB, saving for future health is sacrificed to petro profits.  I want cutting edge PPE to be bought.  GE and Baxter ahead of TransCanada and Cdn Oil Sands.

  8. Mr. Speaker, can Joe Oliver please explain to the House why he opposes creating value-added products in Canada, and would prefer to ship raw resources to Texas to create jobs there?

    • If the capital costs of building the facilities in Alberta were lower, the upgrading more than likely would be done there. It is because the oil sands development is out of control (in my opinion) with too many projects underway, why the costs have gone through the roof. Control this development (inflation/costs), and you’d probably see the upgrading/refinery jobs locate in Alberta.

      • So long as we don’t include future 1,000,000 barrel leaks into the Kalamazoo River (for example) in the costing equations, you may be correct.

  9. I saw a quick graphic of the proposed reroute of the pipeline through Nebraska (eastward towards the existing pipeline).   I was struck by what appears to be a poorly engineered route that was originally proposed.  It does not speak well to TransCanada’s competence that they even proposed the original route in the first place.    

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