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OCC RAPID POLICY UPDATE: ENBRIDGE PIPELINES PROPOSING TO REVERSE LINE 9

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

OCC RAPID POLICY UPDATE: ENBRIDGE PIPELINES IS PROPOSING TO REVERSE LINE 9. WHAT IS THE PROPOSAL? WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ONTARIO AND COMMUNITIES?

What is Line 9?

Built in the mid-1970s, Line 9 is a pipeline that originally carried oil from Sarnia to Montreal. It was built to provide a secure source of energy to Ontario and Quebec refineries. This line was reversed to flow westbound in the 1990s as oil imports became more affordable. Refineries in Ontario and Quebec now rely significantly on imported crude.

Market conditions now support the reversal of the pipeline to flow from Sarnia to Montreal. Today, western Canadian oil is considerably less expensive than oil currently imported by Ontario and Quebec from the Middle East, Venezuela, Nigeria, and elsewhere.

In July 2012, the National Energy Board approved Enbridge's standalone application to reverse the segment of Line 9 between Sarnia and North Westover (Line 9A).

Enbridge is now proposing to reverse the remainder of the pipeline (Line 9B) from North Westover to Montreal to bring western Canadian and American oil to Ontario and Quebec refineries. The proposal also includes increasing the capacity of Line 9 from 240,000 barrels per day to 300,000 barrels per day.

Line 9B passes through municipalities located along Highway 401 from the Hamilton region to the Quebec border east of Cornwall. 

What are the benefits?

The reversal of Line 9 will help keep more Canadian oil revenue and jobs in Ontario and in Canada. It will support the long-term viability our refinery industry by providing access to lower-priced crude. It will also enhance the long-term security of Canada's energy supply.

Ontario is a beneficiary of the reversal of Line 9. During construction, 60% ($73 million) of the total capital costs will be spent within the province. The project will engage local construction workers and local suppliers of steel.

Over the next three decades, the project will create 3,250 person years of employment and provide $960 million in benefits to Ontario refineries. Further, more than $10 million currently flows to municipal tax revenues from the existing line.

Overall, the Line 9 reversal would support Western Canada's oil sector, which will spend an estimated $63 billion in Ontario over the next 25 years. 

Find out more and get involved

In coming weeks, Enbridge Pipelines will be consulting communities along the Line 9 route. The OCC encourages its members to find out more and get involved.

To learn more, visit www.enbridge.com/line9b.

Any questions about this issue should be directed to Arielle Baltman-Cord, Senior Policy Associate.

Visit occ.on.ca for more policy analysis from the OCC.




Bell Invest Barrie TD Canada Trust Barriston Law LLP Ontario Chamber of Commerce Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chamber Executives of Ontario