In a conference call Tuesday, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources told Sarnia his government is working hard to stop the State of Michigan’s threatened closure of Line 5, a major pipeline connecting Alberta oil fields with Sarnia refineries and other Eastern markets.
The City of Sarnia has released a summary of that call, presented here:
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021
3 :00 P.M., RE: LINE 5
Hon. Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources
Ms. Hilary Travis, Policy Advisor, Minister’s Office
Mr. Emerson Vandenberg, Policy Advisor, Minister’s Office (Ontario Region)
Mayor Mike Bradley, City of Sarnia
Mr. Chris Carter, CAO, City of Sarnia
Ms. Kelly Provost, Director of Economic Development, City of Sarnia
Minister O’Regan assured Sarnia representatives he is well aware of the importance of Line 5 to the people and households in Sarnia and the number of jobs that are on the line.
He is awaiting the official confirmation of his U.S. counterpart, Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan, to be confirmed as Energy Secretary, and the issue of Line 5 will be first on his list of discussions with her.
Hon. Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transportation, and Mr. Joe Comartin, Consul General of Canada in Detroit, are aware of the importance of Line 5 and have been involved in discussions.
Mayor Bradley noted the matter of Line 5 could have a long term negative effect on the relationship between Canada and Michigan. He does not believe Governor Whitmer understands the full impact the closing of Line 5 will have on us as trading partners and on our citizens.
Minister O’Regan reiterated his understanding the Line 5 pipeline is an essential piece of infrastructure. From the Prime Minister on down we will make this happen and we are all working hard on this issue.
Mayor Bradley noted the message needs to be sent that the closing of Line 5 will lead to increase in shipping, barge and rail traffic.
If there is anything we can be doing at the regional level to assist, please let us know.
Minister O’Regan noted he had been in discussions with affected unions and they were in turn speaking with their union members in the US. Discussions have taken place with the Quebec Caucus as the closing of Line 5 will affect hundreds of thousands of people in Quebec.
The meeting closed with Minister O’Regan advising he will let us know if there is anything that we could be doing at this level and giving his assurances he will keep the lines of communications open between his Office and Sarnia and will share information that is received. He will keep the matter before his Cabinet and Caucus.
Meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.