Canada urges US, Canada to take further steps to resolve Line 5 dispute

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General view of the Imperial Oil refinery, located near the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered to shut down in May 2021 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, March 20, 2021. Photograph taken through a fence by the REUTERS Carlos Osorio Photo On Thursday, the Canadian politicians called leaders of Michigan to take further steps to solve a dispute between Enbridge Inc and the United States and Canada over the oil pipeline from Interstate 5. Ohio Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered the Calgary-based Enbridge to shut down a 4 mile section of the 540,000 barrel-per day pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac in the Great Lakes by May 12 because of concerns that it could leak.

Enbridge has challenged Whitmer's order in U.S. courts: Following weeks of hearings from ministers, unions and industry associations, a multi-party committee of Canadian parliamentarians published their recommendations in a report that said shutting Line 5 could lead to fuel shortages and job losses on both sides of the border.

The Special Committee believes that the continued engagement between Canada and the United States is critically important to the continuing operation of Line 5, said the report.

It has recommended Prime Minister Joe Biden and his ministers pursue weekly and direct dialogue on Line 5 with U.S. President Justin Trudeau and his administration to help resolve the dispute diplomatically as soon as possible.

If Canada fails to intervene in the federal court case between Enbridge and Michigan, the committee said, although it was best that a negotiated settlement between the two parties could be taken.

The report comes a day before Enbridge and Michigan begin mediation, as ordered by a judge.

We agree fully with the findings of the report, particularly on the need to resolve the current dispute by executive action and state-to-state negotiation, said Vern Yu, Enbridge's executive vice president of liquids pipelines.

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