VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The federal government is out to the tune of at least $12-billion because there just isn’t enough pipeline capacity, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
CTF President Kris Sims said the federation has crunched the numbers, based on data released by the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and finds the lost revenue would total that much 2013 and 2023.
“Because we can’t get a lot of our oil out to international markets through our own pipeline, we are selling Canadian oil at a much lower rate than other folks — namely, the United States.”
Sims called this a big loss for families and a big financial hit for all levels of government.
“If we could have had 12-billion more dollars taken in just in federal tax revenue, what could have that paid for? That’s why we’re highlighting this, we’re pointing out that, yes, the oil and gas sector and energy sector is important to us as Canadians, but a lot of folks don’t realize the tax revenue losses to the federal government.”
To give people an idea of what the lost revenue could do, Sims explained $12-billion would pay for “several new Pattullo bridges” and even “several new St. Paul’s Hospitals.”
“I think they said something like that would pay for 25,000 new British Columbia teachers for 10 years? It;s just a staggering amount of money that’s been lost in federal tax revenue.”
Based on the analysis, the CTF finds the government is losing almost $4-million per day.
“When the B.C. government blocks pipelines, the only people who benefit are oil exporters in Russia and Saudi Arabia,” Sims added.
For those opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, Sims believes that no matter how much a person thinks they aren’t reliant on gas or oil, everyone depends on it in some way or another.
“I think what some folks seem to forget, even if they are fortunate enough to be able to live urban and ride their bikes and use very little oil and gas from their perspective, we actually use it every day,” she explained. “That bicycle was manufactured and shipped to us, all of our groceries are shipped to us on… trucks that are using oil and gas, even the grocery stores themselves, of course, are reliant on those things.
“This is just a really urgent reminder to folks that even if they personally don’t like, for some reason, the oil and gas industry, that’s fine, but it really helps run our entire society,” Sims said.
-With files from Sonia Aslam