Canadian Energy Minister says pandemic is a ‘great time’ to build controversial oil pipelines as people are unable to protest and are less likely to rebel due to the economic crisis
- Alberta’s energy minister, Sonya Savage, said on Friday that the pandemic is a “ great time ” to build oil pipelines because major protests can’t gather because of the virus
- She shared the statements during a podcast recording on Friday hosted by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors
- “People will not have the tolerance and patience for protests that get in the way of people,” she said
- Several pipeline projects – including the Trans Mountain and the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline – have experienced major backlash and protests this year
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Canadian energy officials say the coronavirus pandemic is an appropriate time to build oil pipelines, as protests by large groups are prohibited to prevent the spread of the virus.
Alberta’s energy minister, Sonya Savage, said on Friday during a podcast recording organized by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors that this is the best time to build a pipeline because people are back to work and large groups are are unlikely to collect due to coronavirus limitations.
“It’s a good time to build a pipeline because you can’t protest more than 15 people,” Savage said, making her interviewer laugh.
Alberta’s energy minister, Sonya Savage, said on Friday that the pandemic is a “great time” to build oil pipelines, as major protests cannot mount due to the virus. Shown in June 2019
She said the economic crisis caused by the pandemic means that “people will not have the tolerance and patience for protests that get in the way of people.”
The Trans Mountain Expansion project, which is building a pipeline between Edmonton and Vancouver, is currently under construction in Alberta.
After her strong statements, Savage’s spokesman said, “We respect the right to legitimate protests.”
“I would like to note that the limitations of public gatherings … have not benefited anyone – including project advocates and opposition groups,” he added.
Both Alberta and British Columbia have increased the outdoor meeting limit to 50 people.
Several pipeline projects launched by the Alberta government – including the Trans Mountain, the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline, and the expansion of the Coastal GasLink pipeline – have experienced major backlash and protests over the past year. The Trans Mountain oil pipeline in Acheson, Alberta above in December 2019
Several pipeline projects introduced by the Alberta government have experienced major backlash and protests over the past year. Some projects include the Trans Mountain, the extension of the Keystone XL pipeline and the extension of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
On the podcast, Savage said the opponents of the pipelines have been able to postpone projects because they outsmarted the industry.
“The activists have been so effective because the industry has been so ineffective. They outsmarted the entire industry … they were ahead of everyone else, ”Savage said.
“Wait, she said the real part out loud – they literally use COVID to cover pipelines because they know protest is impossible,” environmentalist Bill McKibben tweeted shocked Monday about Savage’s interview
In February, the government introduced legislation to impose fines and possible prison terms on protesters who damage or interfere with the operation of energy infrastructure that is already illegal.
Environmentalists have outraged her statements.
“Wait, she said the real part out loud – they literally use COVID to cover pipelines because they know protest is impossible,” environmentalist Bill McKibben tweeted Monday.
“This is absolutely disgusting. To say that a pipeline needs to be built faster during a global pandemic because protesters and the voices of indigenous peoples can be suppressed is embarrassing, “said another Twitter user.