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TORONTO — Moratoriums and new regulations in Quebec are sending a signal to the investment community to take their business elsewhere, Françoise Bertrand, president and CEO of Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec said Wednesday.
Ms. Bertrand was in Toronto to push her 1,200 members’ pro-pipeline message as Quebec’s minority government under Premier Pauline Marois takes a tough stance on fossil fuel development. This month, the government proposed a five-year ban on fracking and has also proposed higher royalties on mining companies.
“We are very concerned with energy,” Ms. Bertrand said in an interview, noting companies are leaving the province due to high royalty and moratorium proposals being proposed by the government.
“I think she [the Premier] was sincere when she met the Alberta Premier [Alison Redford], but I think it’s more difficult than she had envisaged in terms of delivery.”
Five Quebec refineries have closed down in the past 30 years as they slowly lost their competitive edge. Shell, meanwhile, shuttered its 161,000-barrels-per-day Montreal refinery two years ago and is in the process of dismantling the facility, snuffing out any hopes of reviving the project.
To avoid a similar fate for the existing refineries, Ms. Bertrand says her chamber is is ‘unanimously’ backing Enbridge Inc and TransCanada Corp.’s eastern pipeline, to boost Quebec’s refineries and petrochemicals industry and open the way for exports.
Enbridge’s 300,000 bpd Line 9B reversal and TransCanada’s 850,000 bpd Eastern pipelines are being proposed to take Western Canadian oil to refineries in the East.
“Every necessary means must be taken to ensure that the refining industry remains competitive and active in Québec.
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