Red Deer Councillor Dianne Wyntjes is in Quebec, talking about pipelines and the need for the equitable distribution of Canadian resources. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer city councillors are on a mission to change Quebec’s stance against pipelines

Quebec City conference is allowing opportunity for discussions

Red Deer city councillors are on a mission to start conversations about the importance of “resource distribution” in Quebec — one cabbie, restaurant server and municipal official at a time.

Official and unofficial discussions about pipelines are already happening at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Quebec City that started Thursday.

Local city councillors are talking to Quebec municipal officials, as well as regular citizens, about Alberta’s fossil fuels industry.

But these conversations are really about “nation building,” said city Coun. Ken Johnston.

“We want to connect with councillors from Quebec — and B.C. — and let them know that this isn’t just an Alberta issue.

“We want to let them know it’s a Canada issue,” Johnston added. “It’s our energy.”

Most Quebecers, like many B.C. residents, are against more pipeline development in their province. This thwarts landlocked Alberta’s need to get oil and gas to Eastern Canada, as well the coast, for shipment to foreign markets.

Six Red Deer councillors heading to Quebec conference

It’s in everyone’s interest to get past the head-butting, said Red Deer Coun. Vesna Higham.

She believes having fair access to various resource markets benefits every Canadian province — whether their resource is solar power, minerals, hydro power, agricultural produce or forestry.

So far, the Red Deer councillors (all are at the FCM conference except for Mayor Tara Veer and councillors Michael Dawe and Tanya Handley) are hearing that Quebecers favour clean resource development.

Many are driving hybrid cars and looking at a future without fossil fuels.

But the central Alberta councillors are respectfully reminding them that this is still a decade or two away, as every province still relies on oil.

And isn’t it better to get this oil and gas from their own nation, rather than from foreign countries with less sterling environmental records, Coun. Dianne Wyntjes has asked.

Higham has spoken about the U.S. building 58,000 miles of pipelines over the past decade, compared to zero in Canada. In that time, America has gone from being a gas importer to an exporter, while Canada has done the reverse.

She’s wondering why Canada is not allowing itself to capitalize on one of its major resources.

As well as having these idea exchanges with Quebecers — to varying degrees of success — Higham and Wyntjes will be among the local councillors helping staff a booth for the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

They will be giving out T-shirts and information about resource distribution and why pipelines are still the safest and most environmental way of transporting oil.

Coun. Lawrence Lee, who’s running for re-election to the FCM board, said members will be voting on a resolution Sunday about the need to provide equitable distribution for all Canadian resources.

He anticipates having many “fruitful discussions” beforehand to introduce new perspectives to the argument.

“I believe the more knowledge we have, the better we can all make informed decisions.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

No charges for Alberta officer who ran over injured deer

LETHBRIDGE — A southern Alberta police officer caught on video repeatedly running… Continue reading

Alberta wants to bring back elections for nominees to fill Senate vacancies

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government plans to bring back elections for… Continue reading

Canada extends leadership of NATO training mission in Iraq to November 2020

OTTAWA — Canada will lead a NATO training mission in Iraq until… Continue reading

Trudeau off to G20 summit, hoping for global help in disputes with China

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to a… Continue reading

With a third of 2015 MPs not running, NDP turnover highest in at least 20 years

OTTAWA — When the federal election campaign gets underway in earnest, parties… Continue reading

No charges for Alberta officer who ran over injured deer

LETHBRIDGE — A southern Alberta police officer caught on video repeatedly running… Continue reading

Alberta wants to bring back elections for nominees to fill Senate vacancies

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government plans to bring back elections for… Continue reading

Canada extends leadership of NATO training mission in Iraq to November 2020

OTTAWA — Canada will lead a NATO training mission in Iraq until… Continue reading

With a third of 2015 MPs not running, NDP turnover highest in at least 20 years

OTTAWA — When the federal election campaign gets underway in earnest, parties… Continue reading

Trudeau off to G20 summit, hoping for global help in disputes with China

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to a… Continue reading

Ontario woman nearly dies — twice — after snake bite in Thailand

Ontario woman nearly dies — twice — after snake bite Shalabha Kalliath’s… Continue reading

Goalie Roberto Luongo retires after 19 NHL seasons

SUNRISE, Fla. — Florida goalie Roberto Luongo has decided to retire after… Continue reading

Europe, you’re up! Yankees top Blue Jays 8-7, head to London

Yankees 8 Blues Jays 7 NEW YORK — Buckingham Palace and Westminster… Continue reading

Most Read