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Scotiabank CEO makes public push for more pipelines

Bank of Nova Scotia chief executive officer Brian Porter has come out strongly in favour of new pipelines and infrastructure to help get Canadian energy to market.

In a speech at the bank’s annual general meeting, Porter called Canada’s inability to export meaningful quantities of energy efficiently a “significant constraint” on the price of Canadian energy exports and the growth of the economy.

“Without the ports and pipelines needed to deliver Canada’s energy products globally, importing nations will source their energy supply elsewhere. This lack of sufficient energy infrastructure creates significant opportunity costs. We risk seeing investors shift their capital – as well as the job creation and economic growth that comes with it – to other markets,” said Porter. “Gaps in our infrastructure will have long-term consequences for our economy and for all Canadians.”

Without new pipeline capacity, Porter warns tax and royalty revenue from energy and energy-related businesses will be negatively impacted, regardless of commodity prices.

“Virtually all of our exported oil and natural gas goes to one market – the United States. And the U.S. is quickly becoming energy self-sufficient.”

ENDORSING ENERGY EAST

Porter pointed to the example of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline project as a ‘game-changer’ for several provinces.

“Tens of thousands of jobs would be created over the course of its development, construction, and operation. These are good, high-paying jobs – at a time when our national economy needs this type of job creation. And these new jobs and economic benefits would be spread widely, from New Brunswick to Alberta,” said Porter, noting the findings of a study that concludes the largest share of job creation from Energy East would be in Ontario.

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