A pipeline construction project that helps build communities

Tax revenue from Line 3 Replacement Program will bolster social programs, schools, hospitals and more

Roads. Bridges. Schools. Hospitals. Social services.

Tax revenue supports it all, and few people know it like Tyler Lawrason.

The chief administrative officer (CAO) for the Municipal District of Provost, in east-central Alberta, Lawrason knows who pays the freight from a tax-base perspective, and is looking forward to the benefits that Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Program will bring with it.

“We have a significant amount of pipeline infrastructure within the MD. It’s a vast portion of our tax base,” says Lawrason, who’s spent more than eight years in his role as CAO for the MD of Provost.

The L3RP, he adds, “is a huge benefit to the local economy. It’s a benefit to landowners. And it’s a benefit to our tax base, as well—which flows back to benefit the rest of the ratepayers in the form of infrastructure, in the form of community spending, in the form of business support.

“It’s a complete holistic benefit to the region, in my opinion,” says Lawrason.

Last week, Enbridge kicked off construction on the Line 3 Replacement Program in parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan. With a targeted completion date of 2019, the Line 3 Replacement Program will fully replace 1,660 kilometres (1,031 miles) of Line 3—one of the primary conduits in our Mainline crude oil network—between Hardisty and Superior, Wisconsin.

The project involves replacing the existing pipe with modern pipe materials, using modern construction methods, and will improve overall safety and reliability of our crude oil and liquids pipeline network.

In Canada, this $5.3-billion project will create thousands of jobs, generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, and contribute billions to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Canada.

Economic modelling suggests that the L3RP will create more than $514 million in tax revenue for Canadian federal, provincial and local governments—including $216.5 million in Alberta, $183.9 million in Saskatchewan, and $108.2 million in Manitoba.

Between 2014 and 2016, property tax paid by Enbridge to communities along our Mainline pipeline system right-of-way amounted to:

Once construction is complete, starting with its first full year of service, Line 3 will provide extra property tax revenue to communities along the right-of-way totaling:

  • About $1.2 million per year in Saskatchewan;
  • About $257,000 per year in Manitoba; and
  • About $3.6 million per year in Alberta.

Like many communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Provost was built on an agricultural foundation, with the energy industry running a close second in terms of economic importance.

“As a municipal government, we tend to be a catch basin for public opinion, and . . . I can say with great certainty that the opinion here around the Line 3 project is positive,” says Lawrason.

“Energy built this country. Energy keeps this country going. Energy is paving the economic way for the future of our children,” he adds. “The benefits are completely manifest, and I don’t think there is a sector of Canadian society that is not touched in a positive way by the energy industry.”