Canadian Manufacturing

Much talk of economic benefits after Northern Gateway approval

Ottawa's approval of Northern Gateway will be boom for Saskatchewan, provincial energy minister said

REGINA and TORONTO—It wasn’t long after Canada’s Conservative government announced the conditional approval of the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline that claims of economic activity were floated into the ether by the public and private sectors alike.

In Regina, Saskatchewan Energy Minister Bill Boyd said the conditional approval of Enbridge Inc.’s project is good news for Saskatchewan, even though the province isn’t pumping oil into the pipeline.

Boyd said the pipeline will help address concerns his province has about overall capacity and about getting oil to international markets.

He says better international prices will lessen what is called the differential—the price gap between light and heavy oil.

The minister said Saskatchewan is losing about $300 million a year because of the differential, so the pipeline will have a big impact on the economy.

In Ontario, a company that supplies crews of skilled workers said the approval of Northern Gateway will create as many as 3,000 new construction jobs.

TDT Crews Inc. chief executive Hunter Reid said construction of the pipeline would create a huge demand for trades workers from provinces, especially Ontario’s large skilled construction workforce.

Reid said labour mobility will be critical and is urging that Canadians be hired first for the project.

But Calgary-based Enbridge said it has a long way to go before breaking ground for the controversial pipeline.

Ottawa gave the green light to the multi-billion-dollar Alberta-to-Britsh Columbia project, but it’s subject to 209 conditions recommended by a regulatory panel late last year.

Opponents of the Northern Gateway pipeline, including B.C. aboriginal groups, are vowing that the pipeline will never be built.

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