20+ Quotes Showing Canada’s Competitiveness Problem

Canada’s competitiveness on a global scale is becoming a bigger concern as the months go by for organizations, CEOs and industry leaders across the board.

Some people may say that these quotes are simply anecdotal and as a result shouldn’t be concerning. But given the multitude of executives and leaders in Canada all sounding the same alarm, that Canada is losing its competitiveness, what they are saying should matter to all Canadians.

These quotes aren’t an anomaly either. They’ve been consistent, coming from leaders doing business in all provinces and industries across Canada.

Here’s the latest 20+ quotes that should have everyone in Canada worried and be asking themselves: what needs to change?

Martha Hall Findlay – President & CEO of Canada West Foundation

Martha Hall Findlay on Northern Gateway Pipeline

I think one of the biggest mistakes the federal government has made in Canadian history… [was] to say no to Northern Gateway [which] will prove to have been disastrous.

Sean Fraser – Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Environment & Climate Change

A carbon tax on “trade exposed industries” would see jobs leave and have no impact on emissions.

Steve Laut – Executive Vice President of Canadian Natural Resourced Limited

… the U.K. and offshore Africa look much better than Canada for investments… You’re seeing massive outflows of capital from Canada to the U.S. – and you’re actually seeing capital from the world, globally, leave Canada and go elsewhere. We’re just not competitive.

Brian Porter – CEO of Scotia Bank

Canada has a productivity issue and it has a competitiveness issue.

Doug Suttles – CEO of Encana

Government policy is making Canada an uncompetitive place to drill for oil and gas.

Tim McMillan – President & CEO of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Tim McMillan - Cancellation of Northern Gateway QuoteThe cancellation of Northern Gateway was the most damaging thing that’s been done to our economy.

Rachel Notley – Premier of Alberta

Make no mistake – the [oil] price gap is a real and present danger to the Canadian economy.

Steve Williams – CEO of Suncor Energy

The cumulative impact of regulation and higher taxation than other jurisdictions is making Canada a more difficult jurisdiction to allocate capital in.

Dave McKay, President & CEO of Royal Bank of Canada

In real-time, we’re seeing capital and investment flow out of the country.

Rafi Tahmazian – Direction & Senior Portfolio Manager, Canoe Financial

Global companies are expanding capital, expanding production. In Canada, we are declining capital and declining production, shutting in production. This is an embarrassment.

Alex Pourbaix – CEO of Cenovus Energy

“We have a political and regulatory failure” to get the best price for our oil.

Jim Davidson – Retired Vice-Chair of GMP FirstEnergyGMP FirstEnergy Jim Davidson Quote

Capital flight [is the] worst I’ve ever seen.

Don Walker – CEO of Magna International Inc.

I get very frustrated when I see the decisions being made that put undue administrative costs and inefficiencies on our plants, specifically here in Ontario, because we have to compete… We’re not going to get business if we’re forced to be uncompetitive.

… if we have two equal projects — ‘jurisdiction a’ and ‘jurisdiction b’ — and in ‘jurisdiction b’ I get more after-tax dollars, that’s where we’re going start to allocate more dollars… we have to think about what the tax burden is on companies operating in Canada.

Jack Mintz – President’s Fellow at the University of Calgary ‘s School of Public Policy

Our regulatory environment is becoming infamous for its unpredictability and hostility to new projects. We are slow in approving new infrastructure. We have let environmental policies choke off resource development. We cannot get our most valuable export to tidewater. And this is all happening, with fresh snafus every few days, just as the U.S. is enthusiastically dismantling investment-killing regulations in energy, finance, agriculture and other sectors.

The first step to fixing Canada’s competitiveness problem is admitting that we have one. Many businesses are already in the process of relocating capital and functions out of Canada and into the United States. If we insist on sitting on our hands in denial, a low dollar and sinking salaries will end up being all the competitiveness we can offer.

Susan Johns - U.K.-based fund manager

[It is] hard for me to watch such a vibrant industry being strangled by regulation, carbon taxes and the inability of producers to get their product to world markets.

Susan Johns Fund Manager from the U.K. on Canada's Energy Industry

Moving forward, I hope your government will start to recognize the numerous issues that are affecting Canada's energy sector, and do everything in its power to support an industry which has benefited Canadian prosperity for a long period of time.

Darren Peers - Analyst & Investor at L.A.-based Capital Group Inc.

...energy investments are increasingly shifting to other jurisdictions and that is likely to continue without strong government action. I hope that your [Canadian] government will be even more proactive in securing market access [for oil] which will assure the competitiveness of Canadian energy companies.

Business Council of Canada Survey

64% of CEOs say Canada’s Investment climate worsened in [the] last five years.

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Downshift in small business sentiment continues (2nd lowest in 10 years).

Economist Magazine

Failure of the Trans Mountain expansion … may alienate foreign investors who are already pulling back from Canada.

Canada Needs Change

These are just a few of Canada’s industry leaders and organizations sounding the alarm on our nation’s competitiveness.

If you’re concerned also, there’s a few things you can do to support Canada’s economic future and prosperity!

3 Things You Can Do to Take Action for Canada’s Future

Access to World Markets is Necessary for Canada's Resources