TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Stephen Harper has completely misled
Canadians with his comments about the oil industry last week in Calgary and
again during the leaders' debate.
Mr. Harper said that to enforce greenhouse gas reduction, Canada must
prohibit the export of bitumen to any country with lesser targets, such as
"There are no pipelines to China, and no oil exports to China," says the
president of Canada's largest energy union. "Our bitumen pipelines are all to
the United States."
Dave Coles made the point in an address today to the University of
Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies.
Mr. Coles also pointed out that there are no pipelines on Canadian soil
to Ontario, Quebec or the Atlantic provinces, which import 90% of their oil
from foreign sources.
"No one that I know of - except the US State Department - has been
worried about exporting bitumen to China," he said. "However, my union, the
Alberta Federation of Labour, the Council of Canadians and some Native Groups
all stood before the National Energy Board to oppose the export of bitumen to
the US down the Keystone and Alberta Clipper pipelines.
"In the same announcement, Mr. Coles told the gathering that Mr. Harper
said he would not agree that NAFTA requires that Canada must export our fresh
water to the US.
"What has this got to do with Mr. Harper's other misinformed statement?
"When you export that oil, you are exporting our fresh water," said
Mr. Coles, noting that it takes about 4 to 5 barrels of fresh water to make a
barrel of oil in the tar sands.
Dave Coles was invited to speak at the Munk Centre to comment on a new
research paper by David Israelson for the Program on Water Issues.
On the expansion of the oil sands and the pipelines to the US Midwest,
many of which are in the Great Lakes Basin, Mr. Israelson writes: "the
combination of tar sands oil, new pipelines and increased refining capacity
might be thought of as a new pollution delivery system for North America..."
"Yes, that is one way of looking at this," said Mr. Coles. "But you could
also describe the new pipelines as a continental hard-wiring of North America
to make Canada's energy resources serve the national security interests of the
For further information:
For further information: Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628