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Cold Lake hopes Line 5 debate becomes a lesson on pipelines’ importance

The City of Cold Lake says it is concerned that the future operation of a critical piece of energy infrastructure remains uncertain with less than one week before a deadline to shut down.

The Governor of Michigan has ordered the Line 5 pipeline be shut down by May 12. In a letter written to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Member of Parliament for Banff-Airdrie Blake Richards confirms through the Ministry of Natural Resources that the pipeline supplies 53 percent of Ontario’s crude and 66 percent of Quebec’s crude. The MP’s letter also requests an emergency debate in the House of Commons on the matter.

“The fact that our country is having a discussion about such a crucial piece of infrastructure with less than a week before a potential shutdown is deeply concerning,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “This infrastructure is critical for Canada’s economy, as well as people’s lives and livelihoods. Discussions about how to properly supply our country with the energy we need to sustain ourselves and support a viable economy should not need to be forced on the government by its opposition once we are in an emergency. One would hope that Canada has a clear, long-term plan for energy supply and energy independence.”

Cold Lake City Council has consistently voiced its support for existing and new pipeline infrastructure as a means to safely transport Alberta crude to international markets and to refineries throughout North America.

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“Our carbon tax has bought us higher energy prices with no social licence while the federal government’s lack of support for the energy industry has brought uncertainty instead of pipelines,” Copeland said. “In Canada, with the debt and deficits we are seeing now, any push to a green economy will require stable, affordable energy in the meantime, not to mention the wealth that Canada’s energy industry creates, the innovation that it has shown throughout its history, and the tax revenues it has provided to our governments at all levels, helping them to provide the services they do.”

Copeland noted that the lack of public knowledge about Line 5 and minimal media coverage of the impacts of a potential shutdown are concerning, and supported the call for an emergency debate.

“If Canadians see the importance of the Line 5 pipeline, and what its shutdown can cost us, they will begin to get a sense of what our country has lost from the pipelines that have been planned but forgotten,” he said. “People in Ontario and Quebec may look at the importance of this pipeline and think the shutdown will never happen: ‘How can something so crucial to our livelihoods be taken away?’ Well, people in Alberta thought the same about several pipelines in the past.”

From a City of Cold Lake Press Release

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