• Energy East Cancelled - A National Failure

    October 5, 2017


    Energy East Cancelled - A National Failure

    Today we learned that TransCanada will not proceed with its proposed Energy East pipeline. The company did not provide specific reasons for the decision, but both continued low commodity prices and a slow, uncertain regulatory process have been cited by thoughtful observers. The approval process was plagued by vocal opposition from the Mayor of Montreal, environmentalists, and others. And it did not help that the federal government and the National Energy Board continually failed to provide clarity or consistency with respect to the regulatory process.
    While TransCanada made the best business decision they could for their shareholders, they never should have been in this situation in the first place. Strong national support for this project should have been clear and loud from the start. The fact that it wasn’t is a failure we all wear.
    Too often we allow the vocal minority and the Citizens Against Virtually Everything (CAVE people) to steamroll public discourse, while supportive majorities remain silent. We sit tight – silently waiting for governments to do the right thing – while small groups of people rage against development. It’s time we stop letting the destiny of our industry and our country be held hostage by those who will simply never accept any kind of natural resource development.
    That’s why, a little under two years ago, the SCA started working on a Canadian Construction Association (CCA) working group to support the development of a guide for supporting projects like Energy East. We wanted to help construction associations across the country by better equipping them to fight in favour of development and growth. Along with our partners from CCA, the BC Construction Association, and the Alberta Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, we’ve been working on this multi-part guide. It is almost done, and the final version should be available to all construction associations across Canada (and beyond) by the conclusion of the next CCA Annual Conference, in Banff next March.
    While the guide comes too late to support the fight for Energy East, it was precisely this fight that led to its creation. We cannot and should not be silent any more. It is time for the construction industry as a whole, and our associations in particular, to get into the fight and make sure that we stand for the opportunities that development provides us.
    In the mean time, if you want to get involved in this fight, I encourage you to join Energy Citizens, a grassroots effort to support energy development in Canada. You can find out more at In the coming weeks and months the SCA will be working with this group to grow their reach and support the sharing of their message. Join with us, and let’s keep fighting for Canada.

    Mark Cooper, MBA, PMP

    President and CEO
    Saskatchewan Construction Association