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Roadblocks and protests adding value to existing pipelines, says Enbridge CEO

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CALGARY — The CEO of Enbridge Inc. says the company’s ongoing battles with opponents over two of its U.S. oil pipelines will eventually be recognized in higher valuations for those assets as North American energy demand inevitably increases.

Al Monaco, speaking on Day 2 of the virtual 2021 Scotiabank CAPP Energy Symposium, says regulatory and political obstacles to building pipelines are expected to continue to make new pipelines hard to build, which should make “pipe in the ground” more valuable for investors.

He says he’s optimistic that Enbridge’s $9.3-billion Line 3 pipeline replacement project will be placed in service as scheduled in the fourth quarter of this year, despite ongoing protests and legal challenges.

Meanwhile, the company continues to fight in court an order from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to shut down its Line 5 pipeline through the Great Lakes, arguing the state doesn’t have that jurisdiction and that the conduit is vital to U.S and Canadian customers.

Enbridge, Monaco says, is ahead of its competitors on the global energy transition thanks to businesses it has added to its core oil transport operations, along with its goals to cut its energy intensity by 35 per cent by 2030 and get to net-zero emissions by 2050.

He says his oil shipper customers remain cautious after prices crashed last year amid a global price war and low demand due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. The Enbridge Mainline system accounts for about 70 per cent of Canadian oil exports into the United States.

“My sense is that industry is still cautious and, I gotta tell you, that’s a good thing. We haven’t really seen yet any change from the new mantra of discipline around returns and return of capital,” Monaco said.

“What’s different now, I think, is that everybody is paying attention to the global supply and demand balance and prices.”

The Line 3 project is expected to add about 370,000 barrels per day of export capacity from Western Canada into the U.S.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ENB)

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Alberta

Gustavsson leads AHL Senators in 4-2 win over Heat

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CALGARY — Filip Gustavsson stopped 30 shots as the Belleville Senators doubled up the Stockton Heat 4-2 on Wednesday in American Hockey League play.

Lassi Thomson, Egor Sokolov, Mark Kastelic and Parker Kelly scored to help the Senators (8-12-1) halt a three-game slide.

Matthew Phillips and Zac Leslie replied for the Heat (10-12-1).

Garret Sparks stopped 28-of-31 shots for Stockton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

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Alberta

Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

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CALGARY — The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks.

Alberta Education said Wednesday that it approved requests from public and Catholic schools in the city to make the move to online learning.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said in a release that some school boards are dealing with operational pressures due to rising COVID-19 cases.

“The safety of students and staff is my top priority, which is why I am responding to the boards’ requests and respecting their autonomy,” she said.

“By having a clear process in place, we are giving them flexibility to move to at-home learning when necessary.”

The province said it has not closed any schools for health reasons, and any decision to move a portion of a school to at-home learning is at the discretion of each school board.

About 19 per cent of schools have COVID-19 alerts or outbreaks. Nine schools are currently doing online learning.

Marilyn Dennis, board chair with the Calgary Board of Education, said in the release that the greatest impacts of COVID-19 have been in schools with higher grades.

Alberta’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, also said there has been a sharp rise in cases among school-aged Albertans.

The province, with 15,569 active infections, currently has the highest rate of active cases in Canada.

On Wednesday, the province reported 1,412 new cases of COVID-19 and eight additional deaths due to the virus. There were 420 people in hospital due to COVID-19, with 92 in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

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