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VIEW: ‘Accueil glacial’ awaits advocates of west-to-east pipeline, says Laxer

Former long-time Council of Canadians Board member Gordon Laxer writes in the Edmonton Journal, “As B.C. opposition to oil pipelines rises, eyes turn east. …Certain advantages have been trumpeted by the likes of Derek Burney, who was chief of staff to Brian Mulroney and sits on the board of TransCanada Pipelines, and Eddie Goldenberg, who was chief of staff to Jean Chrétien. One example: the bitumen could flow over existing rights of way and have fewer regulatory hurdles.”

Laxer notes, “Burney and Goldenberg mention the pipeline bringing oil security to eastern Canadians by replacing oil imports, some of which comes from the ‘politically uncertain Middle East’. That’s a side benefit. It’s clear that for them, the west-to-east pipeline is mainly an easier route to export Alberta oilsands oil. Blocked in the south, blocked in the west, go east.”

While Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair may have endorsed a west-to-east pipeline, Laxer warns, “If you think B.C. opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline is fierce, wait until you see Quebec’s opposition to letting ‘dirty oilsands oil’ into and through their province. Quebec holds the key to such a pipeline. You can’t get through Canada to New Brunswick without passing through Quebec. …It would be best for corporate advocates of a west-to-east pipeline to brush up on the meaning of ‘accueil glacial’ — French for frosty reception.”

Laxer’s op-ed can be read in full at http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/OpEd+Shipping+Alberta+bitumen+China+very+slow+boat/7384092/story.html.