A New Brunswick Liberal MP is sounding the alarm over comments made by the leader of the Federal Conservative Party.
Andrew Scheer has suggested blocking Saudi Arabia oil imports to Canada as one way the country could show its disapproval following the murder of a Saudi journalist.
Saint John’s Irving Oil refinery is Canada’s largest at 320,000 barrel a day. A National Energy Board report says in 2017 it received forty per cent of it’s crude oil from Saudi Arabia.
Scheer’s December comments haven’t been given proper attention here according to Wayne Long.
“I call foul on that,” said Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long.
Long says such a move could kill jobs in the port city.
“That could have a major impact on industry in Saint John-Rothesay and there’s been little said about it by industry, by our Chamber (of Commerce) and by local media,” said Long
“I’m simply calling attention to that. I think it’s an issue.”
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There’s been no indication by the Trudeau government that is leaning in that direction.
The Conservatives, both nationally and provincially, are leaning in the direction of reviving the Energy East pipeline. That currently abandoned project would have seen a million barrels a day of Alberta crude pipelined to Saint John.
The Tories say that doesn’t mean abandoning foreign oil all together.
“What (Scheer) has said is he would like more opportunities to have Canadian oil here at this refinery and throughout Canada,” said Rob Moore, Official Opposition Shadow Minister for Atlantic Canada.
Long says that wouldn’t eliminate the need for foreign oil sources.
“If we’re ever lucky enough to have Energy East come here the refinery has said that they would probably just use about 100,00 to 125,000 barrels a day,” added Long. “That’s about one-third of their production.”
Canada’s energy future will be a likely issue on the campaign trail in 2019 with Canadians heading to the polls in October.
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