Making Sense of Canada’s Energy Crisis
By Roman Melzer
The year 2018 was a dizzying one full of significant news and issues. From new trade deals to global trade wars, from the emerging cannabis industry to the struggling auto industry, Canada was at the centre of several headlines that make the future economic health of our nation seem rather uncertain. However, no issue should be more important to Canadians than the significant hardships being faced by Canada’s petroleum industry. The issue is a complex one that spans many themes including infrastructure projects, climate change, equalization payments and politics. It has even pitted a hole between eastern and western Canada and unearthed separatist sentiment in the province of Alberta. In an election year, it is critical that all Canadians understand the real facts regarding this issue, what it means for our wealth and well-being, and how environmentalists and the petroleum industry must work together if we are to secure both a healthy environment and economy.
As one of the most developed and wealthy countries in the world, the well-being of all Canadians is largely a function of our country’s abundance of natural resources – at the centre of which are oil and gas. In 2017, Statistics Canada reported that the energy sector accounted for nearly 10% of Canada’s gross domestic product, contributing $175 billion. But more than just GDP, Canada’s energy sector provides many well-paying jobs and opportunities for all Canadians.