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For the vast majority of the world, the COVID-19 global pandemic has been an unprecedented and often distressing experience. Planes have stopped flying, cars have stopped driving, and businesses across North America have been forced to close as stay-at-home orders were implemented to combat the spread. The sacrifices made to fight the virus have caused hardship for many. Over 3 million Canadians have lost their jobs and millions more are working reduced hours. The pandemic and resulting economic fallout has caused historic shocks in oil markets, with global demand for oil dropping nearly 35 million barrels per day and prices going negative for the first time in history. The economic devastation is unparalleled.
Our country has been through a lot in the past few months. The unemployment rate has soared to 13 per cent, compared to 7.8 per cent in March, and many businesses have closed their doors forever. Action has been taken by the Federal government to help preserve jobs, but in the long run, Canada will need a strong natural resource industry to create jobs that support a strong economy. A strong natural resource industry requires the ability for products to be easily exported to customers all over the globe.
In the past week prominent political leaders staunchly declared that ‘oil is dead'. Now, we have three influential anti-development groups: Environmental Defence, San Francisco based Stand.Earth, and Équiterre who have released a poorly researched report that came to the absurd conclusion that “the oil sands are no longer in our national interest”. Here is our response: