Oilsands benefits to Quebec centred around Montreal: study

The area with some of Quebec’s strongest opposition to the proposed Energy East oilsands pipeline is also where the province sees the most significant benefits from the industry, according to a new study commissioned by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

The study, prepared by AppEco, says that over 12 months in 2014-2015 the oilsands industry provided Quebecers with 16,200 jobs, $1.25 billion in GDP and $215 million in government revenues.

In total, 371 Quebec companies earned $1.2 billion in business contracts.

More than $585 million was awarded to companies located on the Island of Montreal, and $402 million in the North and South shores of Montreal. Of the approximately 16,200 jobs “created or maintained” by oilsands producers expenditures in Quebec, more than 7,500 were on the Island of Montreal, the study says.

In January 2016, the mayors that make up the Montreal Metropolitan Community—led by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre—announced their official opposition to the Energy East project, which would transport 1.1 million bbls/d from Alberta and through Quebec to Eastern Canada refineries and an export terminal in New Brunswick.

Coderre told reporters that the mayors were against the project because it represents significant environmental risk and provides too few economic opportunities for greater Montreal.

CAPP communications vice-president Jeff Gaulin said in a statement that Quebec is an important partner in oilsands development, adding that “the innovations of Quebec suppliers will help Canada's oilsands become a cleaner energy source for tomorrow."

CAPP singled out Montreal-based aerospace company GHGSat as an example.

In June 2016 Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance launched GHGSat technology into space to investigate its use for more accurate GHG emissions reporting from tailings ponds and mine faces. Results of that work are expected to be released this year.

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