Calgary Sun | 29 May | Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne reassured a Calgary business crowd Friday that Alberta’s natural gas will be welcome in her province and that new pipelines carrying oilsands crude have a potential path forward.
Wynne spoke at a Calgary Chamber of Commerce luncheon attended by prominent CEOs, including TransCanada Corp.’s Russ Girling, Enbridge’s Al Monaco, Imperial Oil’s Rich Kruger, TransAlta’s Dawn Farrell and AltaLink’s Scott Thon, following a business roundtable that included the corporate leaders.
She told reporters she had a “pretty collegial conversation” with the executives after she told them her Liberal government did not intend to phase out the use natural gas in Ontario as part of its pending climate change plan.
“I made it clear natural gas is part of our long-term plan,” said Wynne, who provided few other details.
A cabinet document leaked to the Globe and Mail last week suggested Ontario was planning to end the use of natural gas for heating in new homes and small buildings by 2030. Natural gas is currently the primary heating source for Ontario homes.
In her speech to about 150 people at the Hyatt Regency, Wynne said she is “keenly aware” of Alberta’s need to get its energy resources to market.
“The proposed Energy East pipeline represents one such option,” Wynne said of the proposed TransCanada project that would ship oilsands crude cross-country — including through Ontario — to refineries in New Brunswick.
“It would bring benefits to Albertans and to our national economy. At the same time, we must ensure that a project of this size and scope meets the highest environmental and safety standards — and that it fulfils our collective responsibility to First Nation communities and to future generations.”
Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, thanked Wynne when she concluded her remarks.
“Your acts over the last few days clarifying the role of natural gas in Ontario’s future has been something that is very well-received,” he said.
Chamber president Adam Legge also welcomed the Ontario leader’s comments on natural gas.
He also said Wynne’s comments that Alberta’s action on climate change could help pave the path for a pipeline is “a big step for Alberta.”
Much of Wynne’s speech was devoted to Ontario’s climate change plan, which includes a cap-and-trade system on greenhouse gas emissions and significant investments in renewable energy, and has already eliminated coal-fired electricity.
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As printed in the Calgary Sun, By James Wood, Postmedia, Friday, May 27, 2016 08:50 PM MDT, at http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/05/27/wynne-soothes-calgary-chamber-of-commerce-crowd-and-industry-leaders