No "social acceptability" for oil in Quebec? Really?

December 12, 2018

Premier Francois Legault

Honoré-Mercier Building, 3rd Floor 835, boul. René-Lévesque East Quebec (Quebec) G1A 1B4

Dear Mr. Legault,


I am writing regarding your comment at the First Ministers’ Meeting that “there is no social acceptability for a pipeline that would pass through Quebec territory”, essentially vetoing TransCanada Corporation’s ability to construct the Energy East pipeline that other provinces would like built. I find this comment peculiar considering that Quebec is already importing oil through pipelines from the USA. Perhaps you and your fellow Quebecers forgot or are unaware of this fact.


Building pipelines across this country is symbolic of our solidarity. Much like the equalization payments that your province benefits from handsomely, paid for in part by the “dirty oil” that you don’t want transported through your province.


You likely already know all of this; however, there’s value in repeating a few facts until the message is heard.

  • Quebec is the second largest consumer of oil products in Canada, consuming 355,000 barrels/ day. 56% of this oil is non-Canadian.

  • Source countries of imports of oil and equivalents to Canada in 2017 were: United States, 61%; Saudi Arabia, 12%; Azerbaijan, 6%; Norway, 5%; Nigeria, 4%.

  • The oil sands account for 9.9% of Canada’s total GHG emissions and 0.1% of global emissions.

  • The Government of Alberta requires that companies remediate and reclaim 100% of the land after the oil sands have been extracted, meaning that it is returned to a self-sustaining ecosystem with local vegetation and wildlife.

  • Canada exported 3.3 million barrels per day to the U.S. in 2017, 99% of all Canadian crude oil and equivalent exports. Being limited to one market impacts our country’s competitiveness.

  • Further information on the above is available on the Natural Resources Canada website.

  • Since equalization was created, Quebec has received $221 billion, or 51% of all payments.

  • Quebec received $11.1 billion in equalization payments in 2018.

  • Those payments will increase by 18% to $13.1 billion dollars in 2019, which is more than all the other provinces combined will receive.

I understand that you are very supportive of hydro power projects because it is a form of “clean”, inexpensive energy. If you have flown over the desert outside Las Vegas, you can clearly see the destruction to the land caused by the Hoover Dam. Closer to home, the Site C dam in BC will flood 55 square kilometres of river valley, negatively effecting wildlife, agricultural land and First Nations' communities. I don’t think those whose homes and livelihoods are impacted would consider the energy “clean” or “inexpensive”. And I won’t even get into the continued cost overruns on many hydro projects.


As James Freeman Clark said, “The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman thinks about the next generation.” It’s time to be a statesman and not a politician looking out for your own personal gain.


Sincerely,

Deidra Garyk

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