Under the influence of radical environmental activists and American left-wing foundations, the Trudeau government has done everything it can to stifle the growth of Canada’s oil industry by preventing it from transporting and selling its products.
With Bill C-48, the Liberals imposed a ban on oil tanker traffic on the north coast of British Columbia, which brought the cancellation of the Northern Gateway and Eagle Spirit pipeline projects. After years of legal uncertainty, investors pulled out of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and sold it to the federal government for $4.5 billion. It is still uncertain when it will be completed.
Unrealistic environmental requirements from the National Energy Board also killed the Energy East pipeline. Finally, Bill C-69 makes the process of building pipelines and other major energy projects so complex and difficult that it could prevent any new investment. Among other things, that bill requires projects to be analyzed based on “the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors.”
Because of these constraints, capital investments in the oil and gas industry have collapsed, from $81 billion in 2014 to $37 billion in 2019. Our overdependence on the American market for exports also costs the Canadians economy billions of dollars in foregone revenues every year. Alberta’s economy has suffered a major setback, with tens of thousands of jobs disappearing in the oil patch and many more in local communities that depend on this industry.
Researcher Vivian Krause has spent years documenting a well-organized campaign to landlock Canada’s oil, funded by American foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Tides Foundation. Almost all the groups involved in various types of campaigns and court cases against pipeline construction received money from them.
Despite the emergence of alternative sources of energy, global demand for oil is expected to keep rising for several decades. Canada has the third-largest oil reserves in the world and is well placed to answer this demand.
If this oil doesn’t come from Alberta and Saskatchewan, it will come from elsewhere, mostly countries with poor environmental or human rights standards such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. And if it is not transported by pipelines, it will be transported by rail, a much more dangerous method for both the environment and humans, as we saw with the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.
Our tax system is overly complicated. Canadians spend $7 billion each year to comply with our tax laws, or about $500 per household on average.
The oil and gas industry has been for decades a major source of employment, government revenues, and economic well-being for all of Canada. It should be allowed to grow, export its products, and bring prosperity to our country.