David Staples: Canada should retaliate on Keystone by building its own new pipeline

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The hardest truth in Monday’s debate came from Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs, who noted the United States isn’t just our largest customer for oil and gas, it’s our largest competitor. This is why it’s not remotely surprising that the U.S. cancelled Keystone, Stubbs said. “This decision is perfectly aligned with the best interests of the United States.”

Former president Barak Obama cancelled Keystone once before, while lifting the ban on the export of American oil and helping the U.S. become the world’s biggest oil producer and exporter, Stubbs said. “What is blindingly clear … is that Canada must urgently get new export pipelines to new markets beyond the United States.”

Blindingly clear indeed.

Without such export capacity to Asia or Europe, we’re doomed to having to whine and beg for a slice of the U.S. market.

Stubbs pointed out the danger of the Americans now going through with their threat to shut down Enbridge Line 5, which moves Canadian oil through Michigan to six Ontario refineries. Derek Burney, Canada’s former ambassador to the U.S., suggests we should counter this threat by building a Canadian pipeline north of Lake Superior to Sarnia.

During the emergency debate, the Liberals were asked if they would support a new cross-Canada pipeline to the East.

“If there was an application to come back on that process and it made sense from a financial and environmental perspective, absolutely,” said Liberal MP Kody Blois.

This is easy to say given the near impossibility of a private company building such a pipeline with our current logjam of uncertain politics and over-regulation.

But how about Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives call the Liberal bluff and push hard for the Canadian government, with a major Indigenous ownership stake, to build such a pipeline?

Asking Biden to reconsider his decision, as O’Toole and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney are now doing, isn’t going anywhere.

But a cross-Canada pipeline goes right where we need it, securing the Canadian market and sticking it to the U.S.A.

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