This is a letter from the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada to the Special Committee on the Economic Relationship between Canada and the United States on the Line 5 pipeline.
Dear committee members,
I am reaching out on behalf of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) whose member companies employ thousands of skilled construction workers that build major infrastructure projects across Canada, including pipelines.
We know that the value of the Line 5 pipeline from Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ont., goes beyond creating and supporting thousands of well-paying jobs. That’s why we have joined many like-minded organizations, from chambers of commerce to manufacturing and agricultural groups, in urging your government to do everything possible to ensure that another Canadian pipeline is not arbitrarily written off.
Canada is a leader in pipeline construction. We built one of the world’s first oil pipelines in 1862, stretching from Petrolia to Sarnia. Since then, our country and economy have been built on a network of more than 840,000 kilometres of pipelines, including Line 5; a critical piece of energy infrastructure that is vital to Canada’s economic recovery and growth.
Line 5 is an economic artery, the benefits of which cannot be easily dismissed. It supplies nearly half of the oil used by Ontario and Quebec, more than half of Michigan’s propane needs and jet fuel for Pearson International Airport through 10 regional refineries, on both sides of the border.
Affordable, reliable energy is the lynchpin of any modern economy. For more than six decades, Line 5 has ensured energy security for both of our countries. Without it, there will be shortfalls of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel. That leaves an energy rich country like Canada in a position where we are no longer energy secure.
Pipelines are by far the safest means of transporting oil and gas; safer than marine, tanker trucks or rail. The reality is that there is no plan B if Line 5 is shut down. There aren’t enough drivers or trucks. The infrastructure currently does not exist to deliver the thousands of barrels of oil that move safely and efficiently through Line 5 each day.
We are asking that the Government of Canada support Enbridge in the U.S. Federal Court (Western District of Michigan) process, including by filing an amicus brief laying out the negative impacts a Line 5 closure would have on Canada and raising the existence and application of the 1977 Transit Pipelines Treaty.
Paul de Jong,
Progressive Contractors Association of Canada