Robyn Allan

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Robyn Allan is an independent economist with a focus on the need for a meaningful energy strategy in Canada that supports growth and sustainable development of our economy, for the benefit of Canadians. Allan was an expert witness on economics, insurance and business risk at the National Energy Board hearings on Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project and is also an intervener in the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion hearings. She has held many executive positions in the private and public sectors including President and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Vice-President Finance for Parklane Ventures Ltd. and Senior Economist for B.C. Central Credit Union. Allan has taught Money and Banking, Public Finance and Micro and Macro Economics at the university level as well as written numerous pieces for newspapers and magazines including the Tyee, Vancouver Observer, Vancouver Sun, Business in Vancouver, Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Toronto Star and Enterprise magazine. More details and copies of her reports and videos are available on her website at RobynAllan.com

4 Reasons the ‘Oil to Tidewater’ Argument is Bunk

Oil tanker

Access to world markets for Canadian oil has been available since 1956 when the Westridge dock was constructed in Burnaby, B.C., and linked to the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The dock’s export capacity has rarely been used to its full potential in more than 60 years — yet the oil industry and politicians continue to make the argument that Canada needs new pipelines to get oil to world markets. 

Here are four reasons that argument doesn’t fly.

Industry Minister James Moore Misleads, Fear Mongers to Gain Vancouver Support for Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline

James Moore oil by rail Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain

This article originally appeared on the Vancouver Observer.

Industry Minister James Moore who represents the Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam riding engaged in blatantly false fear mongering last week. He threatened a Lac Mégantic disaster if we don’t accept Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. In order to springboard from a disgusting reliance on a horrific tragedy to reach his ridiculous conclusion, he had to make stuff up.

These are desperate tactics from someone who as an elected Member of Parliament and Minister of the Crown should know better. He said, “The people of Lac Mégantic wished they had pipelines instead of rail.” If Mr. Moore and his Tory government colleagues had done their job, Lac Mégantic would not have happened. 

Instead of acting responsibly, Mr. Moore follows up his toxic logic with a distasteful chaser. “It’s very dangerous for the Lower Mainland … to have the massive spike in rail transfer of dangerous goods,” he said. Moore is reported to have pointed to the huge rail yard in the heart of Port Coquitlam claiming an increasing number of trains are arriving there carrying diluted bitumen crude that has no other way to get to foreign markets.

How Trans Mountain Pipeline Delivers Max Profits to U.S. Investors By Avoiding Paying Canadian Taxes

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain rally on Burnaby Mountain

Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based multinational that owns and operates the Trans Mountain Pipeline System, claims Trans Mountain is a significant contributor to federal and provincial income tax revenues. The company is relying on this as proof it deserves public licence to triple its pipeline capacity in Western Canada.

Pouring tax revenues into Canada is not the story Kinder Morgan tells its U.S.-based shareholders. Promoting Trans Mountain south of the border, Kinder Morgan boasts of tax refunds — two in the past five years. From 2009 to 2013, Trans Mountain's combined federal and provincial Canadian corporate tax contribution averaged just $1.5 million per year.

How could this be? The answer lies in complexities of U.S. corporate tax regulation which I will do my best to explain here.