Chambers state support for Gateway

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Author: Northern Gateway
Dated: 5 September 2012

In Letters of Comment to the JRP, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Centre Edmonton indicated their support for Gateway:

“We view this project as an exercise in nation-building, as was the St. Lawrence Seaway project which successfully opened the entire country to international trade routes and markets,” writes Ken Barry, volunteer chair of the Edmonton Chamber’s board of directors. “It is imperative to expand access to crude oil markets beyond just one customer. This expansion is crucial in order to sustain economic growth in Canada and avoid a land-locked glut of Canadian crude oil.”

With the support of nearly 3,000 members, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest chamber.

Northern Gateway’s economic case demonstrates the profound positive impacts the project will bring to the Canadian economy—a 2012 update to the study found:

  • almost $312 billion added to Canadian GDP, or an average annual gain of $9.2 billion;
  • an increase of $70 billion in Canadian labour income, or an average annual increase of $2.1 billion; and
  • a gain of $98 billion in government revenues, or an average annual increase of $2.9 billion.

This presents a staggering positive impact for the Canadian economy that also translates into significant benefits for right-of-way communities and other local economies that also benefit from Canada’s immense oil resources.

The World Trade Centre Edmonton, which is the international arm of the chamber, has a membership of over 9,000 businesses belonging to chambers of commerce from northern Alberta (including Edmonton and Red Deer), northern British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. They write:

“Canada has a small window of opportunity to take advantage of its position of having the largest, secure source of oil reserves. If we aren’t able to get those reserves to market in a timely fashion, the Canadian economy will lose out to other nations who are more nimble.”

In a separate Letter of Comment to the JRP, the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce also announced their support for the Gateway project:

“Northern BC is in desperate need of new investments and new opportunities for its residents to earn a living. Northern Gateway will help bring economic security and hope to the region. BC alone seeks to benefit from about 3000 jobs during construction and about 560 long term jobs. Projected BC tax revenue from the Project is $1.2 billion which can go to support education, health care and training. In terms of local goods and services alone, the BC Coast would benefit from about $318 million in local goods and services, the central coast would benefit from $400 million and North East BC would benefit from about $112 million, all this in the absence of a collaborative agreement with Alberta.”

Established in 1951, the BC Chamber now represents over 32,000 businesses over every size, sector and regions in the province.

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