National Newswatch

Alberta places $7B bet on Keystone XL

Apr 1 2020 — Chris Varcoe — You can’t say Jason Kenney is afraid of placing big, bold bets on the energy front. His government’s decision to invest in the Keystone XL pipeline project is a momentous step. Not only will the UCP government make a $1.5-billion equity investment in a private-sector project — giving the province a stake in Keystone XL […]

Former PM Stephen Harper joins Alberta’s new 12-member economic recovery council

Mar 21 2020 — Chris Varcoe — The province has unveiled a new advisory council on economic recovery for Alberta, a high-powered group that includes former prime minister Stephen Harper. The 12-member panel, led by economist Jack Mintz, will be advising Premier Jason Kenney on issues surrounding the province’s economic recovery as it grapples with a severe downturn caused by the COVID-19 […]

Pipeline progress fuels optimism for future of energy industry

Feb 5 2020 — Chris Varcoe — Finally, the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is no longer an oncoming train. It’s daylight. On Tuesday, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed an attempt by several First Nations in British Columbia to overturn the Trudeau government’s approval of the project. The court unanimously rejected […]

PM’s envoy listens to fears of West, as Encana OK’s moving HQ south

Jan 15 2020 — Chris Varcoe — On the same bitterly cold morning that shareholders in one of the country’s largest petroleum producers officially voted to shift its headquarters to the United States, the prime minister’s special representative for the Prairies stopped in Calgary. It comes after the federal Liberal government was shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan in October’s election. If […]

Rising tide isn’t lifting all boats in Canada’s oilpatch in 2019

Aug 8 2019 — Chris Varcoe — Many of Canada’s largest petroleum producers are pumping out higher second-quarter profits and improved cash flow levels, yet more money isn’t coursing through the veins of the entire oilpatch. Canada’s oilfield service firms witnessed a significant drop in activity during the first six months of 2019, and are tempering expectations for the back half of […]

Canadians believe a pipeline ‘crisis’ has arrived and say Ottawa needs to do more: poll

Jan 16 2019 — Chris Varcoe — Premier Rachel Notley regularly needles Ottawa these days to “step up” and improve oil transportation in Canada, turning the Trudeau government into Alberta’s pipeline pincushion. There’s a reason for the frequent digs. Albertans overwhelmingly believe the federal government isn’t doing enough to ensure pipelines get built — along with half of all Canadians — even […]

Great stakes and low expectations ahead of Sunday’s pipeline summit

Apr 14 2018 — Chris Varcoe — No compromise. No surrender. It’s unlikely a quick settlement in the Trans Mountain imbroglio will happen Sunday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits down with Premiers Rachel Notley and John Horgan to discuss the pipeline deadlock. Expectations are low a resolution will result from the three-way talks in Ottawa. Not low like one-in-a-million odds — […]

Oilsands renaissance seen as sector hits middle age

Feb 23 2017 — Chris Varcoe — At the ripe old age of 50, have the Canadian oilsands finally peaked, progressing into middle age and the slow toboggan ride down the hill? Don’t count Cenovus Energy chief executive Brian Ferguson in this camp. He believes the oilsands are entering a “renaissance” that will see costs come down and production go up as […]