Regina Mayor Michael Fougere expects the Energy East pipeline to be one of many issues on the agenda at the upcoming big city mayors’ caucus in Ottawa.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre publicly rejected the TransCanada pipeline project, saying that the environmental risks far outweigh the economic benefits.
Speaking to the CJME Morning Show Tuesday, Regina’s mayor says he and other western city mayors will speak with Coderre about the need for the pipeline.
“To tone down the rhetoric and to be careful how we talk about that issue because really, this is about nation building, it’s about sustainability,” Fougere said. “It’s about our energy economy here in Western Canada, and it’s about having more Canadian oil, versus foreign oil in Canada. It makes sense.”
Leaders from cities and towns across Saskatchewan are united in the message to support approval of the Energy East pipeline.
On Tuesday afternoon, delegates at the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) convention quickly passed a resolution to send a letter of support for the project to the federal transport minister.
“As long as these pipelines meet regulatory requirements, environmental and otherwise, there’s no need to say no to the pipeline to the east,” said Fougere, who stood up in support of the resolution.
“If the government wants a shovel-ready project, this is the one. It’s already two-thirds constructed. There’s no downside to it.”
The mayor will head to Ottawa to meet with big city mayors across Canada, after wrapping up at the SUMA convention in Regina this week.
Fougere said he wasn’t surprised to hear the premier’s announcement Monday that the province will run a deficit. He said the promise that revenue sharing will remain the same is foundational. He said he took it as a good sign that the premier said the issue of deficits should be short-term.
“It’s just indicative of our economy flattening out, but notwithstanding that, the fundamentals of our economy are much stronger than we’ll say Alberta’s,” Fougere said.
He said for the short-term, a deficit is a much better way to handle the problem of revenue shortfalls than raising taxes.