When you hear “isolated provinces” you can assume I am talking about Newfoundland and Labrador, but what’s the other? Prince Edward Island, or maybe Nova Scotia? No, I am talking about Alberta. Isolation comes in many forms, and Alberta is isolated from its so desperately needed energy markets.
As Alberta, British Columbia and Ottawa face off in a conflict on pipelines, Newfoundland and Labrador should pay close attention. This is a matter of one province attempting to block another’s access to energy markets. Although we in Newfoundland and Labrador are lucky to be surrounded by tide water to ship our products anywhere in the world, we have also been restricted to energy markets by other provinces.
The Upper Churchill Project still holds repercussions for us here. Quebec acted in its best interests, but Newfoundland and Labrador suffered for it. Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador sells power to Quebec at a loss from the Upper Churchill. Muskrat Falls, which includes a multibillion-dollar bypass of Quebec, will send our domestic energy prices sky high. That’s what happens when provinces can take advantage of each other by holding power over access to markets.
So, what should we tell Alberta? There is no way around, and if there was we just learned that ways around get expensive quickly.
Newfoundland and Labrador has to stand with Alberta in this standoff. We know every meaning of the word isolation.
If we don’t support other provinces in their time of isolation, we clearly have not learned from our past mistakes.