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Ignatieff on energy policy

Jane Taber reported in the Globe and Mail this past Saturday that Alex Himelfarb, who several years ago “spoke quietly to a reporter about building a west-east energy corridor that would not only be good for business but also unite the country in the same way that the railroad knitted Canada together,” is rumoured to become Michael Ignatieff’s chief of staff.

This article is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090328.NOTEBOOK28ART2211/TPStory/Comment

On March 21, the Globe and Mail also reported that, “Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff continued his courtship of Western Canada yesterday, promising a Winnipeg business audience that a Liberal government would build a new energy grid to ship more of Manitoba’s ample hydroelectric power to Canadian markets.”

The article notes, “Manitoba’s NDP government has been asking for federal support to construct a power link with Ontario for years. Mr. Ignatieff became more resolute in backing its construction after meeting with Premier Gary Doer earlier this week.”

Ignatieff said, “Right now, Manitoba sends more electricity south than it does east or west. We need to build a 21st-century, west-east energy corridor.”

The article adds, “After the speech, Mr. Ignatieff said the corridor would be part of a new energy strategy that would exert more federal influence over how the provinces develop energy resources.”

Ignatieff stated, “We have left it to the provinces, in a deregulated market, to basically sell power south. We have no national strategy on this…I mean a national vision for how we want energy to develop over the next 25, 30 years.”

This article is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090321.IGNATIEFF21/TPStory/National

Mr. Igantieff was also quoted in a June 2008 Lawrence Martin column in the Globe and Mail saying, “I look at the east-west linkages that tie our country together and I do wonder whether they are strong enough to offset the north-south flows that dominate our economy. The oil, the natural gas, the hydro – it all flows south. Where is the national grid to share our power, the east-west pipeline to share our oil and to guarantee our energy security as a nation?… An east-west continental railway was recurrently feared to be economically non-viable. But without it we wouldn’t have a country.”

More on that – including Ignatieff’s comment on a Canadian strategic petroleum reserve, the NAFTA proportionality clause, and the stability of Canadian oil imports – can be read in my Integrate This! posting at http://canadians.org/integratethis/energy/2008/Jun-2.html

It must also be noted that Ignatieff has recently defended the tar sands and criticized the recent National Geographic magazine article on the tar sands which highlighted its water-use implications.