MEDICINE HAT, AB -- Medicine Hat's Chamber of Commerce joined the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) Wednesday afternoon to talk about the need for pipelines.
The federation brought a visual representation of their message, a clock showing the revenue lost from the lack of pipelines in Canada.
The federation is currently on a cross country tour with the clock.
“We’re on a cross-country tour to show all Canadians why they should care about pipelines,” says Franco Terrazzano, Alberta director for CTF. “Canadian taxpayers are losing out on billions of dollars because we can’t get pipelines built and we’re not receiving full value for our oil.”
The clock tracks how much additional revenue the federal government would collect if the price differential was lower, and Canadian oil sales received full value compared to US prices.
“The pipeline deficit is costing Canadian taxpayers over six billion dollars since 2013, and that number is going up by over three million dollars every single day,” says Terrazzano.
According to Terrazzano, the money lost could benefit Medicine Hat hugely.
“If we did have enough pipeline capacity to get full value for oil between 2013 and 2023, we would have enough money to get nearly 50 new healthcare facilities based on the cost of Medicine Hat’s regional hospital, or to fully fund over 21 thousand new teaching positions in Alberta for ten years or we could even exempt all residents of Medicine Hat from paying federal taxes for around 17 years.”
The event was hosted at Iron Horse Energy. Chief operating officer Brendon Hamilton agrees with the message, saying pipelines are important to the whole country, not just Alberta.
“When energy services are successful, so is the whole country. So this is not only for Alberta, this is for coast to coast,” says Hamilton. “It’s very important to us and it should be to every other person in this country to get things done, to employ people, allow us to sell our products elsewhere in the world, those items should be important to every single person in this country.”
He says it’s especially important for Medicine Hat, which has a struggling oil and gas industry.
“Medicine Hat is becoming less and less of an oil and gas city because of the slowdown in the market, it’s harder to get workers to want to be part of the oilfield because it’s such a moving target and it’s not busy all the time so it works in waves,” he says. “It’s very tough to employ people full-time.”
The federation has been on a cross-country tour with the clock since May, with the last stop in Alberta.
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