The fastest way to get from Burnaby B.C. to Saint John, N.B., depends on how you want to travel and what you’re transporting. The most obvious answer for a person wishing to make the trip is to get a direct flight from one end of Canada to the other, traversing over 4,000 kms from coast to coast.
Not so for Western-based Cenovus Energy and their first tanker of crude oil that they’ve sold to Atlantic-based Irving Oil.
On Canada Day, Cenovus made a celebratory social media post to mark that the tanker Cabo de Hornos was making the rather circuitous 11,900 km trek from one end of Canada to the other via the Panama Canal.
That’s right, one Canadian company is sending their goods all the way along the Pacific coast, past the United States, past Mexico, through the Panama Canal and then all the way back up again.
This is what happens when we don’t build pipelines.
“We were pleased with the economics of this transaction for Cenovus and excited to work with another strong Canadian company like Irving Oil,” Keith Chiasson, a Cenovus executive vice-president, told Postmedia via email.
“It’s encouraging to see more Canadian-produced oil refined at a Canadian refinery. It’s a one-off shipment for now, but we believe this Canadian success story has the potential over time to create significant value for both companies and the entire country.”
That’s good news and we need all the good news we can get for Canada’s energy sector. But there is no denying that pipelines would be even better news.
Irving Oil had itself been a big supporter of the proposed and now cancelled Energy East pipeline that would have made such shipments that much easier.
On Thursday, Canadians were given another reminder that pipelines are still an important issue for Canada, as the Supreme Court of Canada announced it will not hear a new appeal from B.C. First Nations groups over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX).
While four Aboriginal communities wanted to appeal the project, the vast majority of First Nations actually support it.
This should be a sign to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who controversially had the government buy TMX, that they should get on with things as quickly as possible.