A taxpayer advocacy group is going from coast to coast to inform Canadians on how much money has been lost due to lack of pipeline development and the low price of oil.
The non-profit Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is travelling the country to draw attention to an economic loss it pegs at $6.2 billion. This number, gleaned from an analysis conducted from 2013 to 2018, is based on Canadian oil being sold under its full value. CTF contends the number is growing daily by $3.6 million.
“Canadian taxpayers are losing out on billions of dollars because we can’t get pipelines built and we aren’t receiving full value for our oil,” said Franco Terrazzano, the Alberta director for the group.
The full report also indicates that the lost revenue from 2019 to 2023 will be $6.6 billion. The analysis was conducted using statistics acquired through the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
Currently, pipeline development in Canada is at a standstill. The federal government has indicated there’s no guarantee that a decision on the Trans Mountain Expansion will happen before the 2019 election, despite paying $4.5 billion in taxpayer money for the contract.
However, a recent majority ruling in the British Columbia Court of Appeal has ruled that the BC provincial government does not have the constitutional right to restrict oil shipments from Alberta, paving the way for potential future development.
Since being sworn in as Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney has promised to do everything within his power to pressure the federal government to make progress on the Trans Mountain pipeline.
According to the CTF, the cost of the pipeline also has wide-reaching implications for infrastructure and development within the country. Among the losses, the funds could have been used to build a new hospital in every single province in Canada or fully fund nearly 25,000 teaching positions throughout the country.
“You would think they would be aggressively supporting these projects, rather than drafting legislation that actually makes it harder for pipelines to get built,” said Aaron Wudrick, CTF’s federal director.
The CTF hopes to travel to every province in Canada during its tour.