Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Alberta’s Finance Minister Joe Ceci adjusts his glasses as he waits to participate in an interview following meetings with his provincial and territorial counterparts in Ottawa, Monday.

Quebec premier doesn’t understand Alberta’s energy industry: Ceci

OTTAWA — Quebec’s resistance to a pipeline carrying western Canadian oil across its territory shows the provincial premier’s lack of understanding about the Alberta energy industry, the Albertan finance minister says.

Speaking ahead of a federal-provincial finance ministers’ meeting Monday in Ottawa, Joe Ceci argued Alberta has been reducing the amount of carbon in the oil it produces.

The entire national economy will benefit if Alberta can transport its oil to international markets beyond the United States, he said, insisting pipelines are the safest way to get crude to coastal ports.

Ceci’s remarks came a few days after Quebec Premier Francois Legault said there’s no “social acceptability” for a pipeline that would carry what he called “dirty energy” through his province.

“He clearly doesn’t understand what is happening in the energy sector in Alberta at this point in time,” Ceci said when asked by reporter Monday about Legault’s comment. “We have been innovators in removing carbon from the barrel — we are going to continue to be innovators … So I don’t think the premier of Quebec understands at this point that Alberta’s energy sector is leading in terms of the enhancements of the carbon molecule.”

Ceci later said: “We need to start operating as one country, as opposed to many provinces who are looking out for their own individual interests.”

TransCanada Corporation had proposed a $15.7-billion pipeline called Energy East, to carry western crude through Quebec to New Brunswick for shipment overseas — but the company abandoned the project more than a year ago, citing market changes and red tape.

Last Friday after the premiers’ meeting in Montreal, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs remained optimistic that, someday, a pipeline would be built to bring western crude oil to ports in his region.

The challenges of moving crude out of the oilpatch to foreign markets has been a major concern for Alberta.

The energy-producing province has been struggling with the economic consequences of an oil-price collapse as well as a deep discount on the price of western Canadian crude caused by transportation constraints.

With a shortage of pipeline capacity, Alberta recently announced it will buy rail cars to ship another 120,000 barrels of oil a day. The province has been seeking help from the federal government, but Ottawa has been reluctant to offer financial support.

Ceci said on Monday that he intended to continue urging his federal counterpart, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, to pitch in.

Asked about rail cars on his way into Monday’s meeting, Morneau said he believes the most important thing Ottawa can do is focus on long-term solutions such as its purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline. The goal is to get it expanded and carry more Alberta oil to the British Columbia coast.

“The discussion around rail is one that Alberta’s brought forward,” Morneau said. “We believe that that’s something that we should be at least listening to, but we’ve certainly not gotten in to any conclusions on where the federal government should be.”

Despite Alberta’s difficulties, numbers released Sunday show it continues to be a so-called “have” province under the federal equalization program. Equalization is designed to help poorer provincial governments provide public services that are reasonably comparable to those in other provinces.

Just Posted

Poll suggests Canadian trust in science falling, scientists thought ‘elitist’

A survey suggests that the trust Canadians place in science may be… Continue reading

Court hears disclosure arguments in Meng Wanzhou case

VANCOUVER — Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s case is scheduled to return to… Continue reading

Red Deer woman lives 102 years with humour, ‘gentle strength’ — and porridge

Minnie Deibert was surrounded by family and friends at her birthday party Sunday

Boy escapes serious injury after falling from third-storey window

SURREY, B.C. — A little boy is very lucky to have escaped… Continue reading

Harmonic singing for young women will be taught at a fall workshop in Red Deer

The Hearts of Harmony Chorus is presenting the Nov. 16 session

Your community calendar

Tuesday Bower Place Community Association Seniors Card and Coffee party at 1:30… Continue reading

Liberals pitch middle-class savings as second full week of campaign beckons

OTTAWA — The Liberals tried to turn the page on Justin Trudeau’s… Continue reading

Democrats blast latest Trump crisis. But what will they do?

WASHINGTON — A whistleblower’s complaint over President Donald Trump’s interactions with a… Continue reading

Face transplant recipient’s donor face now failing

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A woman who was severely burned in a domestic… Continue reading

Charity boat with 182 migrants waits to dock in Europe

A non-profit-run ship carrying 182 migrants rescued on the Mediterranean Sea sailed… Continue reading

Singh-Trudeau meeting will be private, say Liberals, but no time set yet

OTTAWA — The Liberal Party pledged Saturday to keep private the details… Continue reading

Glen Assoun calls for reform in how Ottawa considers cases of wrongful conviction

HALIFAX — Tethered to an ankle monitor and alone in a British… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Saturday nights $9 million Lotto 649 jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $9 million jackpot… Continue reading

Most Read