Marine shipping critical to Canada’s economic recovery

Tanker traffic rise from Trans Mountain Expansion will significantly boost economy: Analysts

By Deborah Jaremko
Harbour Master Capt. Shri Madiwal in the operations centre at the Port of Vancouver. Supplied for Canadian Energy Centre

Marine shipping activity in Canada — including oil and petroleum products exports from the Trans Mountain Pipeline — is more important than ever as the country considers its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Without marine shipping, Canada would be a different place economically, says Paul Blomerus, executive director of the Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping.

“The national economic impact of marine shipping is equal to approximately 1.8 per cent of the Canadian economy – or about $30 billion,” he says.

“The continued safe operation of oil tankers, along with other marine traffic is therefore essential to the economic recovery from COVID-19.”

The increase in tanker traffic from the Trans Mountain Expansion will have substantial economic benefits, according to analysis by the Conference Board of Canada.

The Conference Board found that the additional tankers will generate $127 million per year of additional spending in the Vancouver metro area, or $2.5 billion over the first 20 years of operations for the project. This would support an average of 1,300 jobs per year, the vast majority of which would be located in B.C.

The Conference Board also estimated the additional tanker traffic would generate $661 million per year in government revenue, including personal income taxes, indirect taxes and corporate income taxes.

New Canadian Energy Centre research found that boosting shipments of petroleum products and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to energy-hungry global customers could spur growth in Canada’s marine trading.