The growing spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia could impact Saskatchewan’s exports — and according to the Minister of Trade, it is the biggest example yet of why Canada needs pipelines coast-to-coast.
“We’re in a position where we have to import oil from places like Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Azerbaijan and Venezuela, it makes no sense at all,” Harrison said Wednesday by phone.
Harrison said that as of just a few months ago, Saudi Arabia shipped 200,000 barrels of oil a day to eastern Canada because there is no pipeline to transport western Canadian oil to the east.
“We could supply energy products particularly to eastern Canada but we are unable to do so because the government of Canada has mismanaged our pipeline issues across the country so poorly,” Harrison argued.
And oil isn’t the only product that may be impacted if this spat continues.
“This is going to have real-world impacts, “Harrison maintained. “We export significant amounts of barley for example to Saudi Arabia.”
Over the weekend, a diplomatic dispute prompted Saudi Arabia to freeze new trade and investment deals with Canada, expel Ottawa’s ambassador and recall its own envoy. It’s also cancelling scholarships for more than 15,000 Saudi students attending Canadian universities, which will yank away big economic benefits Canada reaps from international tuition fees.
— With files from The Canadian Press