In light of Quebec’s request for an injunction against Energy East based on environmental concerns, do the people of the province agree with Coderre’s sentiment? A recent survey completed by the Montreal Economic Institute of one thousand people suggests that not all people from Quebec are on board with the opposition’s comments. In fact, the majority (59%) that took to the poll support importing Western Canadian oil over foreign imports and believe that pipelines (41%) are the safest method of transport.
Coderre himself has stated that it’s the economic benefits that simply aren’t enough and it is the environmental risks that are of concern. Pipelines are the safest method of transporting hydrocarbons and Energy East has the capacity to displace 1570 rail cars of oil per day.
By dismissing the project and being granted an injunction, Quebec’s politicians are promoting more foreign oil imports and more domestic production being transported by rail.
Even though Quebec has received just over half of total equalization payments totaling $198 billion partially funded by Canadian oil, the more important focus should be Quebec’s reliance on foreign imports. Not only are there environmental and economic benefits associated with the construction of Energy East, but there are also social benefits. And by focusing on what is quite possibly an environmental ruse, Quebec’s politicians opposing the infrastructure are putting conversations on mute that the people of Quebec should be privy to.
Energy is Quebec’s number one import, with a price tag of $20 billion. By discontinuing oil imports from foreign countries, these billions of dollars would be infiltrated back into the Canadian economy, while promoting Canada’s energy independence.
On top of this, 3,000 construction jobs and $972 million in tax dollars will be generated during the nine years of planned construction for the project in Quebec alone. Total tax revenue for the province within the first 20 years of operation will total $1.2 billion.
TransCanada also recently announced that an additional 200 jobs will be created through new manufacturing facilities that will supply energy to pump stations along the pipeline route. As a result of the opposition controlling the narrative, it seems as though the citizens of Quebec are not fully aware of these benefits.
If the recent poll is reflective of the sentiment of the informed resident in Quebec, that would mean that politicians are misrepresenting constituents and further driving the wedge between Canadians and Quebec, needlessly. After all, even the progressive minded politicians outside of Quebec like New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant, now support the project.