End of the line for the Energy East pipeline?

by chuynh on October 5, 2017 - 7:24pm

Over the past few years Canada has become extremely reliant almost to a debatable point of being overly-reliant on natural resource extraction and falling into a staples economy trap where we have to think "what would happen to the economy if we run out of natural resources or natural resource prices drop?" . This is evident in the proposal’s of many resource transportation pipelines such as the East pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline purposed by transCanada . The purpose of these pipelines was to transfer natural resources such as natural gasses and oil down from Saskatchewan and Alberta to other locations such as east cost Canada or to US markets.


So why exactly have I brought up the this big topic? Well after what has been several years of the government continually attempting to add into Canadian economies through staple resources, disputes between the Canadian government , companies, first nations, environmentalist and other stakeholders , and a constant push to move the plan forward , we finally a break through in terms of dealing with the conflict of values, and interest of all stakeholders in a way we were not expecting. As of October 5th of 2017 TransCanada has stated that they are unplugging and ending their plans for the Energy East pipeline after five years of work, money, and resources that was planned to be built from Hardisty ,Alberta all the way to Saint John, New brunswick according to the CBC news article “TransCanada pulls plug on Energy East pipeline”  that summarizes the viewpoints and reasoning behind such actions and the reactions that came with it. 



So why is this great for some Canadians? A major concern for many First Nations is the fact that according to section 35 of the Commandant the government (a.k.a the crown) must consult Aboriginals when regarding and involving their lands which even with many Aboriginals refusing to agree to the governments plans they government still pushed forward. Now that the plan for the East pipeline is thrown into the water many Aboriginal people felt vindicated and as stated in the CBC news article “TransCanada pulls plug on Energy East pipeline” that “Both the Northern Gateway fight and this Energy East one show that when First Nations stand together, supported by non-Indigenous allies, we win," said Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake.”


Other people concerned with possible environmental activities and disruptions caused by the project can now breath easy as these risk will not exist any more , but whatever has been done can’t be undone.


For those who were pro pipeline due to the job opportunities and money that ran with the project it appears they will just have to learn to invest their resources in other places.


The most interesting part of this plan in my opinion and when reasoning the article as a concluding statement would be that according to the CBC article is that the reason that the conflict between the government , pipeline company, investors, aboriginal people, environmentalist, and other stakeholders was resolved was not because both sides now share the same values and interest, it just happens that the pro pipeline stakeholders who have a lot of power in the project lost interest because the value they would get from this project diminished as stated the article regarding the lack of money that would come out of the project due to drops in crude oil.





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Canada was actually built on a staples economy. The British used Canada for their resources and only colonized to extract resources more easily. Resource extraction can be quite damaging to the environment and to those who depend on nature as a part of their livelihoods. Although oil can create many jobs for people it is more often then not that these people are not locals, who need the jobs.

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