Energy East: Political Reaction to Cancelled Pipeline

Energy East: Political Reaction to Cancelled Pipeline

UPDATED October 6, 2017 9:24amET

Reaction was swift after TransCanada announced plans to abandon the Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects.

Watch the full news conferences: Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Conservative MPs Lisa Raitt and Gérard Deltell

The argument between the government and opposition continued this afternoon at question period:

Here’s the written statement by TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling announcing the end of Energy East:

After careful review of changed circumstances, we will be informing the National Energy Board that we will no longer be proceeding with our Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications. TransCanada will also notify Quebec’s Ministère du Developpement durable, de l’Environnement, et Lutte contre les changements climatiques that it is withdrawing the Energy East project from the environmental review process.

We appreciate and are thankful for the support of labour, business and manufacturing organizations, industry, our customers, Irving Oil, various governments, and the approximately 200 municipalities who passed resolutions in favour of the projects. Most of all, we thank Canadians across the country who contributed towards the development of these initiatives. 

We will continue to focus on our $24 billion near-term capital program which is expected to generate growth in earnings and cash flow to support an expected annual dividend growth rate at the upper end of an eight to 10 per cent range through 2020.

TransCanada claimed the 4,600-kilometre pipeline route would deliver 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day to eastern Canada and the Port of Saint John, N.B., with 14,000 full-time jobs and 1,500 fewer rail cars carrying oil each day.

The project required the conversion of about 3,000 of existing pipeline, with 1,600 kilometres of new construction Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.

The plan faced stiff opposition, though, from environmental groups concerned about oilsands extraction and pipeline construction, to customers concerned about the switch of existing pipeline from natural gas, to First Nations along the proposed route.

Opponents included Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who reacted on Twitter this morning:

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant expressed his “disappointment” in the decision, pointing to market conditions in the energy sector:

From Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, another backer of Energy East:

And from Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, question about western Canada’s future in Confederation:

-Andrew Thomson

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: The now-cancelled Energy East pipeline proposed route is pictured as TransCanada officials speak during a 2013 news conference in Calgary. The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh