- The Washington Times - Monday, September 5, 2005

TORONTO (AP) — Vice President Dick Cheney has postponed a visit to Canada this week in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, officials announced.

Mr. Cheney had planned to visit Alberta on Thursday and Friday, stopping first in Calgary, then visiting Fort McMurray and touring the tar sands projects there.

Marisa Etmanski, spokeswoman for Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, said the White House contacted Mr. Klein’s office on Friday and canceled the visit because of deadly Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. No new date was proposed for the visit.

Canada is the largest supplier of crude and refined oil to the United States, having provided 2.1 million barrels per day in 2004, according to the federal government. Canada provides 17 percent of U.S. oil imports and 10 percent of American oil consumption.

Its remote Northwest Territories are rich in tar sands and oil deposits.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says on its Web site (www.capp.ca) that tar sands account for about 31 percent of Canada’s total oil output. By 2010, they are expected to account for more than 60 percent of the output in western Canada.

Washington is eager to remain a chief market for that oil, particularly as China invests heavily in Canada’s energy markets.

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