Pipelines play an important role in transporting the fuel and products that keep Canadians moving and thriving. But that’s not the only reason they’re important – the pipeline industry is a significant contributor to Canada’s economy.
In 2017, Canada’s transmission pipeline companies alone contributed $1.5 billion to government revenues, and every year they employ the full-time equivalent of about 34,000 people, creating about $2.9 billion in income.
Oil and gas also accounts for 22 per cent of Canada’s exports. 91 per cent of that is exported to the U.S., but we can’t rely on just one customer. In order for Canada’s energy producers to participate in the global economy, they require access to expanding international markets such as Asia.
The importance of building a more diversified export market is why economists and business experts are pushing for more pipeline capacity. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce estimates that a lack of pipeline infrastructure is costing Canada around $50 million every day – money that could be used to provide schools, healthcare, roads and other services to Canadians.
According to a Conference Board of Canada report, ‘Who Benefits? A Summary of the Economic Impacts that Result from the Trans Mountain Expansion Project’, the combined government revenue impact of the Trans Mountain expansion alone would be $46.7 billion during its first 20 years of operation. But it’s not just Alberta that would benefit. The B.C. Chamber of Commerce estimates that annual property tax payments to more than 20 local governments and more than 24 Indigenous communities along the proposed pipeline corridor would more than double to $52.4 million from $25.9 million per year.
Contributions to federal government revenues would then have a trickledown effect, driving economic growth for the entire country.
As a major contributor of fuel and raw materials to Canada’s manufacturers, the urgent need for pipeline capacity has implications for other industries as well and will play a crucial role in helping build a more balanced Canadian economy.
Canada has the world’s third largest reserves of oil and gas, after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. It is also one of the most stringently regulated oil and gas industries in the world, making Canadian oil and gas a responsible choice. The industry plays a significant role in Canada’s economic system, and in securing our place in the global economy, helping to create the high standard of living to which Canadians are accustomed.