Throne Speech Must Consider Importance of Canadian Resource Workers, Families, and Communities
September 22, 2020
With the arrival of the federal government’s speech from the throne, Canada Action and its supporters are hopeful that we will all remember the 1.8 million Canadians from coast to coast who rely on our natural resource sector. These industries are critical in helping them provide for their families and their Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities every day.
While the country copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to working together to keep families and communities safe. The fact is we’re in awe of our front-line workers and everyone in our supply chain who have kept us fed, mobile and safe through the last several months.
But the pandemic isn’t over, and so we have to continue to work as a team - all of us - on the country’s COVID health and economic recovery plan. Clearly, we hope the Speech from the Throne keeps that point in mind.
It’s worth mentioning that two recent polls conducted earlier this month by Ipsos show that Canadians support an inclusive approach to economic recovery. The first, for the Business Council of Alberta, found 75 percent of Canadians polled want the natural resource sector to play an integral role in our economic recovery from COVID-19, while continuing to protect the environment.
The second Ipsos poll, from the Montreal Economic Institute, found 71 percent of Quebecers polled would prefer to source their oil from Western Canada over a foreign supplier.
We hope our representatives in Ottawa understand that global demand for energy is growing, and that we should support our home-grown, innovative, highly responsible resource industries to meet not just domestic demand, but future global demand for oil and gas. We are a leader in wind, solar, hydro and bio-fuels, which we should continue to support while we also support nuclear power generation innovation, and our oil and gas industry.
Let’s all remember that Canada’s oil and gas sector contributed more than $350 billion to Canadian governments between 2000 and 2018. A pillar of Canada’s economy, oil and gas is also the largest investor in clean technology and environmental protection in the country.
We simply can’t leave our energy workers out of the nation’s economic recovery from COVID-19, and that means including our responsible oil and gas industry. We should look to Norway as they continue to support both their oil and gas industry and their renewable sectors. This is not about choosing one or the other.
Norway’s example shows a country can do both – and indeed they must. We know oil and gas will continue to be an important part of the global energy mix for decades to come. After viewing all three energy outlook scenarios released by BP this past week in its annual outlook report, we know oil and gas demand will eventually peak years from now. But massive investment is still required in all scenarios to maintain the supply we all depend on.
Canadians would be making a mistake to hand that golden opportunity over to other countries. If we were to take up the challenge as a nation, we’d support Canadian families and communities while we continue to invest in clean technology, renewables and environmental protection. That’s what prosperity can do for a country. Norway understands it. Canadian resource players should be given the opportunity to join these global markets.
Canada Action and it’s supporters, like so many other Canadians across this resource-rich country, urge our representatives to include oil and gas, mining, forestry and agriculture with our renewable and clean technology sector in Canada’s crucial post-COVID economic recovery.
Canadian resource workers, families and communities will be the winners.