Consider piping Alberta oil to Thunder Bay and on to market via Seaway

The Chem Norma, carrying petroleum products near Morrisburg. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

by Garfield Marks

Thunder Bay, Ontario, the largest Canadian port of the St. Lawrence Seaway located on the west end of Lake Superior, 1850 km from Hardisty, Alberta. A forgotten jewel.

So what, you may ask?

They used to ship grain from Thunder Bay in huge tankers to ports all over the world. Why not oil?

We could run oil tankers to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick, bypassing the controversial pipeline running through eastern Ontario and Quebec.

The pipeline, if that was the transport model chosen, would only need to run through parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. As previously stated, the pipeline would only be 1850 km long.

The other great thing about Thunder Bay is the abundance of rail lines. Transportation for such things as grain and forestry products from western Canada. If you can’t run pipeline from Hardisty, through to Thunder Bay, use the railroad.
Why Hardisty, you may ask?

Hardisty, according to Wikipedia,  is mainly known as a pivotal petroleum industry hub where petroleum products such as Western Canada Select blended crude oil and Hardisty heavy oil are produced and traded. The Town of Hardisty owes its existence to the Canadian Pacific Railway. About 1904 the surveyors began to survey the railroad from the east and decided to locate a divisional point at Hardisty because of the good water supply from the river.

Hardisty, Alberta, has the railroad and has the product, and the Alberta government is investing $3.7 billion in rail cars for hauling oil while Thunder Bay has the railroad and an under-utilized port at the head of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Economics are there along with opportunity; employment would be created and the east coast could end its dependency on imported oil.

Do we have the vision or willingness to consider another option? I am just asking for all avenues to be considered.

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