Justin Trudeau is campaigning in Alberta, trying to obscure the history of both his party, and the actions of his current government.
Trudeau is trying to cast himself as the friend of Albertans, and says people in the province are “tired of being taken for granted.”
That might be the one thing he is right about. But he’s not right about who takes Alberta for granted.
Alberta is one of the key economic engines of the Canadian economy. Without Alberta all Canadians would be far poorer, and our economy would be much weaker.
Unfortunately, the Trudeau Liberals take that for granted. They don’t seem to recognize the link between federal policy, and the fortunes of the energy sector.
Justin Trudeau seems to assume that no matter what he does in Ottawa, wealth and prosperity will continue to flow from Alberta into the government’s coffers. He wants to use Alberta as a piggy bank while he rapidly expands the job-crushing bureaucracy, and thinks the money will just keep coming in.
That’s not how it works.
Trudeau’s economic policies are already having a negative impact on Alberta, and Canada as a whole, and it’s likely to get worse.
While oil prices may rebound, investment in the Alberta oil sands could be put at risk due to bad federal policy. It’s already happening. In October 2016 Shell sold $1.3 billion of oil sands assets, while in December 2016 Norwegian oil giant Statoil exited the oil sands. There has been even more pullback from the sector by other investors.
If this investment was filled by Canadian companies, then reduced foreign investment wouldn’t be an issue – in fact, more Canadian-owned private sector investment in the oils sands would be a good thing. Better to have the oil sands controlled by Canadian businesses than foreign ones.
But that’s not happening. Overall investment is declining.
The reason for this is very simple: Justin Trudeau’s policies are destroying business confidence and causing investors to go elsewhere.
Trudeau’s increase in regulations – combined with his dangerous push for a carbon tax – makes Canada, and the Alberta oil sands, a much less investment-friendly environment.
Less investment means less growth, and less growth means more poverty and economic suffering in Canada.
It could get even worse when the US fully implements their regulatory cuts and business tax reductions, which will make Canada – and by extension the Alberta oil sands – far less competitive.
The investment picture will only improve when Justin Trudeau stops taking Alberta for granted – or more likely – when he is defeated and replaced by someone who is willing to get government out of the way and unleash the full potential of the Alberta oil sands.
Photo – Twitter