We Canadians are so blessed to have the world's third-largest oil reserves.
We should be proud to be the world's most environmentally responsible major producers of oil and gas, with the highest labor, human rights, and environmental standards of any major oil producer. That raises the question: Why is it then that we are importing a growing amount of foreign oil, about half of which is from OPEC countries?
A report out today indicates that in 2016 we saw significant growth in the amount of foreign oil imported to Canada. American oil is shrinking as a share of the foreign oil imports. In fact, Saudi Arabia is responsible for over 10% of the oil that we import into Canada. This new report indicates that last year we bought 759,000 barrels of foreign oil per day. That's the equivalent of about $35 million a day or nearly $13 billion a year, and 87,000 barrels per day from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This represents about $1.5 billion Canadian dollars that went to the Royal House of Saud in Saudi Arabia, rather than staying here in Canada to buy Canadian oil. It doesn't make any sense.
That's why TransCanada pipeline has proposed the Energy East pipeline route, which would take ethical Western Canadian oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan and ship it down East. It would reverse pipelines and twin some pre-existing pipelines to get this Western oil to refineries in Central and Eastern Canada so that Quebec, Atlantic Canada, and parts of Ontario would no longer have to spend money importing oil from OPEC countries like Saudi Arabia. This makes so much sense.
So why is it then that people like Montreal Mayor Denis Conderre continue to stand in the way, to be opposed to allowing Eastern Canadians to purchase Western Canadian oil, especially when we Albertans and Westerners have been so generous over the years in equalization and other transfer payments? Tens of billions of dollars have flown from Alberta and Western Canada to Quebec and Eastern Canada. The very least that our friends in Eastern Canada can do is to work with us to ensure the rapid approval of the Energy East pipeline route so that we can reduce, hopefully, one day to zero the 759,000 barrels of foreign oil that we import and the 12 and a half billion dollars that we send overseas. That money belongs here in Canada, money that could help to build hospitals and schools and roads and improve our standard of living, while eliminating Eastern Canadians' dependence on foreign conflict oil.