03/03/2016 18:47 EST | Updated 03/04/2017 00:12 EST

Chamber CEO says both sides of Energy East need to start talking

SASKATOON — The head of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce says politicians on both sides of the Energy East pipeline debate need to stop shouting and start talking.

Perrin Beatty told the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce that Canada is the only oil producer that doesn't ship by pipeline to major seaports.

Beatty says the United States is becoming less dependent on Canadian oil, and as a consequence Canada needs to be able to ship its oil to other parts of the world that need it.

Beatty says the Energy East pipeline, which would stretch from Alberta to New Brunswick, would create billions of dollars in benefits.

Quebec's government is planning legal action against TransCanada Pipelines over the proposed line, but Beatty says they need to come to a conclusion on how they can get the pipeline built.

Beatty calls Canadian oil in landlocked Alberta and Saskatchewan a "stranded resource" whose value diminishes if it can't reach the global market.

"We have a stranded resource here way in excess of what we could ever use in Canada and it means that the value of the resource then declines immeasurable, and living standards are affected as a result," Beatty told the Saskatoon audience on Thursday.

Quebec says TransCanada was advised in 2014 that the pipeline project must be submitted to a provincial environmental assessment.

The province says it got no response, so it will ask for an injunction to force TransCanada to follow provincial rules.



The Canadian Press