News Release: 11/30/2016 Provincial Chamber Applauds Pipeline Approval

November 30, 2016
Media Release
For immediate release—November 30, 2016
Provincial Chamber Applauds Pipeline Approval
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is pleased that the federal government approved the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines, however the organization is disappointed with Ottawa’s decision to reject the Northern Gateway pipeline and maintain a tanker ban off B.C.'s North Coast.
 “As one of Canada’s landlocked provinces, the Saskatchewan Chamber understands the vital importance pipelines play in exporting our oil and gas,” said Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan. “Increased pipeline capacity will reduce the amount of oil being transported by rail, freeing up valuable transportation space for our other exports like grain, potash, and manufactured goods.”
The Saskatchewan Chamber has consistently supported well-regulated pipeline expansion; the organization is particularly pleased that the Line 3 Replacement Program was approved by the federal government. The Chamber recognizes the benefit such an expansion will offer the oil and gas sector but also the numerous immediate opportunities for companies (equipment suppliers and construction companies) that participate in the building of the pipeline, as well as those businesses which support the workers as they build it (hotels, restaurants).
“Our economy has slowed recently, projects like this will help get people back to work,” continued McLellan.
Although celebrating the federal government’s decision, the Saskatchewan Chamber knows that these two projects may still face hurdles including potential court challenges by environmental groups and First Nations Communities.
“Organizations such as ours need to do more to educate the public on the facts around pipelines as well as the benefits they offer. It is also important we make sure these benefits are shared with all Canadians, particularly First Nations,” continued McLellan. “The ability to send more oil to Pacific markets, and the rebuilt, increased capacity on the Line 3 pipeline to the U.S., will let Canadian oil access markets with greater ease and reduced costs, therefore improving the returns to our country.”
The Saskatchewan Chamber also believes pipeline expansion can exist alongside carbon emission reduction efforts. “The business community knows we need to reduce carbon emissions. A host of efforts are being undertaken, the investment in greener and cleaner technologies is increasing, and our businesses are getting smarter and more efficient,” concluded McLellan. “It is a balancing act between improving performance and eliminating vital chunks of the economy, we are pleased the federal government seems to recognize this with its approvals.”
Steve McLellan, CEO
(306) 352-2671