By Brad Tennant
On the gridiron of North American economic competitiveness, the United States is driving hard toward the goal line. The question is: where is Canada’s defence?
Americans are doing seemingly everything within their legislative and policy power to lure foreign investment and convince American corporations to bring their money and jobs back home. Regardless of your personal opinion of President Trump, he is aggressively clearing the way for unprecedented levels of private sector investment in the United States - particularly in the energy sector.
This U.S. tax plan should be yet another wake-up call for Canada’s legislators and policymakers. The United States had already shifted from being Canada’s best energy customer to being our fiercest energy competitor before Trump set foot in the Oval Office.
Now it appears Trump’s America is going for the knockout punch by asserting their energy dominance once and for all.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers highlighted this widening competitive deficit between Canada and the United States in a report released this summer. The report showed 13 Canadian companies have diverted investment away from Canada in favour of the United States in recent years and that new tax regulations introduced at both the provincial and federal levels will cost the industry $2.1 billion in investment over the next six years.
In the report, CAPP provided a number of policy changes and recommendations that it estimated would create 24,000 new energy sector jobs and grow the economy by $5 billion over the next three years alone.
We have to remember that the world still needs Canadian energy. The US Energy Information Administration projected last week that global energy demand will increase 28% by 2040, with oil and gas remaining by far the dominant driver of that growth.
The question Canada faces is this: Do we want to be the supplier the world buys their energy from and the benefactor of all that new investment? Or do we want to cede that ground to the United States and watch them reap all the rewards?
I think the answer is pretty clear. And, as always, Canada’s Energy Citizens have a role to play in pushing us in the right direction.
We need to speak up and to be heard. Sign our petition in favour of new Canadian pipelines. Write to your MLA and your MP and tell them that it’s time for Canada to get off the bench and get into the game.
It’s time for Canada to compete.