VANCOUVER—Canada needs to explore development of a public-private energy transportation corridor to export oil and gas to the Asia-Pacific region, suggests a report by two special-interest groups.
The report suggests this transportation corridor would consist of pipelines and rail transport to Canada’s west coast that is operated by the private sector but regulated as a kind of public utility.
The report was released by a taskforce sponsored by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and the Canada West Foundation.
Some of the infrastructure exists and several companies plan to build more, but the report says there needs to be a more strategic approach.
Similar calls for a Canadian energy strategy have been made recently by Alberta’s Alison Redford and players in the energy sector, however plans to build the Gateway pipeline between Alberta and Kitimat, B.C., have been opposed by a variety of environmental and First Nations groups, resulting in months of public-hearings that are currently under way.
The federal government, led by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, has promised to speed up the regulatory approval process by eliminating duplication of efforts and creating hard deadlines for completing approvals within two years.
Kathy Sendall, Director of CGG Veritas and a co-chair of the taskforce that produced the report, said complacency in how we deal with Asia and the energy file is no longer an option.
“The window of opportunity will not be open forever, and now is the time to play our strongest card to strengthen our overall relations with the region,” Sendall said.
The other co-chairman of the task force is Kevin Lynch, a vice-chairman of the BMO Financial Group one of Canada’s largest banking companies and a major energy sector financier.