Booms, Busts, And Bitumen: The Economic Implications of Canadian Oilsands Developmentis available in French and English versions from: http://www.pembina.org/pub/2494
The Politics of Pipelines: Ontario’s Stake in Canada’s Pipeline Debate, was released on November 12 by University of Toronto-based Mowat Centre, taking a climate change policy perspective on the issue of pipeline development and its impact on Ontario. It says that provinces who don’t necessarily receive adequate economic benefit from the oil sands are obligated to contribute to the nationwide effort to reduce greenhouse gases, and recommends either a national carbon tax or a cap and trade policy to satisfy the “polluter pays” principle. The report does note that local and First Nations communities across Canada will likely benefit from an increase in construction, maintenance, and management jobs, as well spin-off projects near pipeline routes. However, manufacturing sectors may suffer from inflated exchange rates and Dutch Disease. In Ontario, the conversion of the Line 9 gas pipeline to oil sands bitumen would decrease the capacity of the natural gas sector and may increase the consumer cost, while taxpayers would be forced to fund equalization payments.
The federal House of Commons Committee on Natural Resources began hearings on “Market Diversification in the Energy Sector” on April 18th. (Previous hearings were on “Innovation in the Energy Sector”). On April 23, the Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union submitted its position paper to the Committee, opposing pipeline development such as Northern Gateway and Keystone XL. However, “CEP endorses that decision (i.e. approval of Enbridge’s Line 9A pipeline) and supports Enbridge’s current application for Line 9A to extend supply to the Montreal Suncor and Quebec City Ultramar refineries. CEP supports Line 9B on the basis that its 300,000 bbl/d capacity will provide just 75% of the capacity of the two Quebec refineries. CEP does not support a further expansion or a revival of the “Trailblazer” project which would have transformed Line 9 into an export line to Portland, Maine.”
In the Canadian Auto Workers submission by Jim Stanford, also submitted on April 23, the focus is on reviewing the economic debate about “Dutch disease”, or what Stanford calls “resource-driven deindustrialization”. The paper summarizes the arguments and reviews 7 previous studies, concluding that resource-driven deindustrialization does exist. He then raises (but does not answer) the questions: how large has the effect been, have the costs to manufacturing been offset by the benefits of resource expansion, and should the government and the Bank of Canada intervene?
Many others have appeared before the Committee, including representatives from the Fraser Institute, Conference Board of Canada, and Macdonald Laurier Institute. Unions have been represented by: Christopher Smillie (Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO) on April 25; Gil McGowan (President, Alberta Federation of Labour) on April 30.
CEP submission is at http://www.cep.ca/sites/cep.ca/files/docs/en/130424-Fred-NatResCmttee.pdf
CAW submission, Resource-driven Deindustrialization is at http://www.cep.ca/sites/cep.ca/files/docs/en/130424-Jim-NatResCmttee.pdf
Transcripts are available at the Committee website, by date, (in English) at http://www.parl.gc.ca/committeebusiness/CommitteeMeetings.aspx?Cmte=RNNR&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1 and (in French) at http://www.parl.gc.ca/committeebusiness/CommitteeMeetings.aspx?Cmte=RNNR&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1&Language=F