Canadian economy is not a game

James Hansen, former NASA scientist and current Columbia University professor, infamously said if oil sands development continues, “It’s game over for the climate,” a statement many credible sources have taken great issue with.

One thing’s for certain, playing with the Canadian economy is no game.

As Enbridge CEO Al Monaco told Bloomberg this week “Canada, which depended on railroads to build the nation in the 1880s, is counting on pipelines to drive future economic growth.”

The Bloomberg piece states: “Oil is the commodity driving the economy,” Roger McKnight, senior petroleum analyst at En-Pro, said in a May 16 phone interview. “We’re a commodity producing country and we can’t hide from that. Pipelines define who we are as an economy.”

More pointed were Frank McKenna’s comments to the Globe and Mail: “The value destruction in Canada is staggering,” he said. “The amount of money that we are vaporizing every day in this country is staggering.”

CEPA estimates the cost to governments to be in the order of $11 billion per year.

That’s a lot of GDP, a lot of jobs, and a lot of tax revenue, which translates into a lot of health care, education and other services Canadians count on.

As Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty said at a recent symposium “The absence of reliable tidewater access for Canadian energy is among the primary competitiveness barriers facing our economy. Raising awareness of this issue among Canadians is at the forefront of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce priorities in 2013.”

Canadians are exporters – pure and simple – and if we forget that, who or what will pay for our standard of living? To Canadians who rely on jobs and services, this is no game.