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By pushing for a co-operative approach to energy strategy, Alberta Premier Alison Redford recognizes that this is a national issue, not a provincial one.
By pushing for a co-operative approach to energy strategy, Alberta Premier Alison Redford recognizes that this is a national issue, not a provincial one.
(Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe And Mail)

Why Canada needs a national energy strategy for pipelines

The provincial squabbles over the future of oil pipelines make it cyrstal clear that not much has changed in the past 40 years. The provinces are still envious and resentful of Alberta’s oil wealth, and the country still needs a national agreement on energy policy to get over it.

On the heels of a framework agreement between Alberta and British Columbia to settle their differences on pipelines to the West Coast – a deal that sets the stage for B.C. to pursue some form of payment from the energy industry in return for transporting lucrative heavy crude across the province’s land – we hear rattling of similar sabres from Ontario. A new research paper, published by the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, argues that Ontario has “good reasons” to oppose new oil pipeline proposals unless Alberta and Ottawa address the province’s economic and environmental concerns. Ontario’s government is on record as favouring pipelines in principle – so long as there is economic benefit for Ontarians.