Ex-MP Stockwell Day joins “green” bitumen refinery firm

Stockwell Day | BCBusiness

Pacific Future Energy says its bitumen refinery will be the greenest on Earth

Stockwell Day is venturing into the bitumen business.

According to Pacific Future Energy Corp.—which has plans to build a $10-billion bitumen refinery on the West Coast—the former Conservative cabinet minister has taken on a handful of management roles at the firm, including senior advisor, director and chair of the company’s advisory committee.

Vancouver-based Pacific Future Energy claims its refinery will be the greenest in the world. And while that may not please oil-sands opponents, the refinery would, in part, address concerns surrounding the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipeline proposals by refining bitumen in B.C. before sending it to Asia (rather than shipping heavy oil). It would mean less environmentally disastrous spills—if, of course, a spill were to happen: a better worst-case scenario.

“We believe it is critical to Canada’s national strategic interest to gain access to international markets for Alberta’s oil,” Day said Thursday in a press release, “all the while protecting Canada’s cherished West Coast from the catastrophic effects of a possible bitumen spill.”

Before retiring from politics in 2011, Day was Conservative MP for the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding and the federal government’s treasury board president (prior to that, he served as minister of international trade and minister of public safety). He was also leader of the short-lived Canadian Alliance party prior to Stephen Harper, and served in the late ’90s as Alberta’s treasurer under Ralph Klein.