By Anthony Capkun
September 17, 2013 – Canada is failing to access world markets for its energy products, says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the situation is costing us $50 million a day!
In a report released today entitled “$50 million a day”, the chamber highlights how Canada’s lack of infrastructure is preventing us from maximizing our potential benefits in energy markets.
“Canada’s failure to diversify its energy market is leaving millions of dollars on the table every day,” said Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “We are at a critical point. What’s at stake for Canada is millions of jobs, tax revenues and other economic benefits. The cost of inaction is enormous.”
So what does $50 million a day mean to Canada? The chamber answers:
• In one day, $50 million could pay for the Saint-Laurent Sports Complex in Montreal ($43 million).
• In two days, $50 million could pay for a year’s worth of medical, laboratory and drug supplies for the Hospital for Sick Children ($72 million in 2013).
• In three days, $50 million could pay for one year of funding for the federal government’s Homelessness Partnership Program ($119 million per year).
Oil and gas, its transportation and its environmental and social impacts have become one of the most pressing policy debates of the last few years, notes the chamber, adding it is time to have a balanced discussion about what it means to be an energy nation in the 21st Century. The lack of reliable access to tidewater for oil and gas—and its attendant effects on the Canadian economy—is a key barrier to competitiveness with negative implications for the nation, says the chamber.
“Balancing the essential contribution oil and gas makes to our standard of living with environmental and social responsibility is not easy. Decisions on the future of Keystone XL, oil traffic by rail, East-West pipelines and improving our environmental performance while increasing our economic growth are just some of the difficult decisions we face. The choices we make will shape our economy for years to come,” concluded Beatty.