PortandTerminal.com, May 26, 2020
In a breathtaking display of cynicism, a top Canadian official in Alberta has said that now is a “great time” to build a pipeline because coronavirus-related restrictions ban large public protests.
CALGARY, ALBERTA – Alberta’s energy minister Sonya Savage says that now is a good time to build a pipeline because COVID19 public-health restrictions limit protests against them.
Ms Savage made the comment Friday on a podcast hosted by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors. She was asked about the progress of the Trans Mountain Expansion project, a pipeline which is under construction on its route between Edmonton and Vancouver.
The pipeline is opposed by indigenous groups and environmentalists.
“Now is a great time to be building a pipeline because you can’t have protests of more than 15 people,” Ms. Savage said. “Let’s get it built.”
Unprompted, Ms. Savage went on to suggest that the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic favours pipeline construction.
The comment drew laughter from the podcast host but Ms Savage, a member of the United Conservative Party (UCP), continued: “People need jobs and those types of ideological protests that get in the way are not going to be tolerated by ordinary Canadians.”
Canada is still in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic. Travel between its provinces is restricted as are gatherings of people as Ms Savage was eager to point out. The country has had 87,155 infections of the virus and 6,655 deaths.
Ms Savage’s self-serving, callousness has struck a nerve amongst ordinary Canadians and environmental activists alike. Even the oil industry’s least favorite Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg had something to say.
Well done, Minister @sonyasavage. Your “drill, baby, drill” narrative is now international news. Do you still wonder why HSBC won’t finance oil sands pipelines, Zurich Group won’t insure them, and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is divesting from four CDN oil companies?Markham Hislop, Journalist reacting on Twitter
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