The City of Lloydminster is standing in solidarity with other Alberta communities in their call for the federal government to do more to aid the oil pipelines in the West.
City council approved several motions in support of Cold Lake’s letter writing campaign at the regular meeting on February 16 in response to the U.S. government’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion. Council will be sending a letter to U.S. politicians who plan to present legislation reversing President Joe Biden’s decision on the pipeline as well as a letter to TC Energy asking them to keep the current infrastructure in place in case the project is able to restart.
City officials will also be contacting federal and provincial leaders urging them to take action on protectionist foreign policy impacting the Canadian oil and gas sector. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the industry surrounds the community and plays an important role in both the local and national economy.
“You [can] drive into the industrial park and see the number of empty businesses and properties that don’t have businesses there anymore. You can drive by the lots for used drilling rigs, service rigs and tank trailers that aren’t working. I had a chance to show Premier Moe that in February when he was here before COVID and he got a pretty clear message.”
A letter will also go out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario calling for a move to support an “Ontario east” pipeline that connects the Canadian portion of Keystone to refineries in southern Ontario. Aalbers points out oil shipments coming out of the Keystone XL hasn’t changed in the past 50 years.
“Just this past year, the Irving Oil refineries sent one of their tankers through the Panama Canal picked up oil from the Trans Mountain pipeline. This is in 2020 instead of 1973 where they did it again. We still don’t have a pipeline that connects the country from coast to coast.”
Aalbers says they are reaching out to municipal leaders in Quebec and Ontario through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to emphasize the need for an energy corridor that connects the country.
“There’s discussion I’ve had with some of the folks there already and they understand it from the electrical side. We’re saying it works both ways and we want to send you some oil and natural gas but I think there’s been some disconnects in communication that have happened in the past. I think conversation from municipal leaders will help clear some of that up and set a different tone.”
Another letter will be sent to the prime minister and the Premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan asking for support of the Eagle Spirit Pipeline and changes to the tanker ban. The letter addressed to Trudeau also calls on him to make a clear and impassioned opposition to the Keystone XL situation.