For years our Federal Government boasted that Canada was an energy super power. Faced with the reality of low oil prices, the Government has abandoned this language, but its “energy super power” policies basically remain unchanged.
The fossil fuel industry, on which Provincial Governments counted for jobs and revenue to finance education, health care and infrastructure, is suspending tens of billions of dollars of development projects. The fossil fuel boom on which these Governments depended on is not “bust” but is seriously deflated.
Andrew Nikiforuk regards these recent developments as “perfectly predictable”. He categorized Canada as a “petrostate” – one where government policy was allied to the interests of the oil industry.
The lesson to be learned is reasonably clear: Canada must reduce its reliance on fossil fuel revenues and lessen its financial stake in fossil fuel infrastructure. To do so, Canada needs a realistic assessment of the future of the fossil fuel industry.
Jeff Rubin and David Suzuki have provided that assessment in their Globe and Mail article “Canada’s carbon moment has arrived”.
The Federal Conservatives claim that they are the best party to manage our economy. Rubin and Suzuki counter that claim: “It makes no sense for any government focused on the economy to ignore the accelerating issue of climate change.”
The Federal Conservatives have promoted pipelines to take tar sands oil to world markets. To which Rubin and Suzuki say: “. . . the reality is that an oversupplied world oil market doesn’t need Canada’s high-cost fuel.”
Rubin and Suzuki observe that today’s prices signal a dire need for production cutbacks.
What about tomorrow’s prices? They predict these prices “can only amplify that message, as the ever-pressing need to limit emissions-driven climate change forces the world to combat less, not more, fossil fuels in the near future. “
They conclude: “Mr. Harper’s carbon-fuelled energy agenda hasn’t worked out and that has put Canadian economy in precarious state.”