What is competitiveness and why is it important?

What is competitiveness? As a national industry association, when we at the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) think of ‘competitiveness’, it boils down to how easy it is to do business in our country. More specifically, at an industry and national level, competitiveness is the ability of the nation and its businesses to be successful against foreign competitors.

What influences competitiveness?


Understandable and consistent regulatory systems are among a country’s most important competitive advantages. A recent study on Regulatory Competitiveness in Canada’s Pipeline Industry by Ernst and Young (EY) found that lack of certainty and clarity in Canada’s regulatory systems are eroding our competitiveness as an industry. And that will ultimately impact Canada’s standing as an attractive place to invest. The EY study, which was commissioned by CEPA and released in April 2019, pointed out several areas of concern, including: the length of time spent in ‘regulatory limbo’; uncertainty of process and outcomes; and avenues for endless judicial challenges. See the EY report for more.


Why is competitiveness important to me?


Our energy resource sector accounts for tens of thousands of high-quality jobs across the country and contributes roughly 11 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). The energy industry is a significant contributor to the high standard of living enjoyed by Canadians, including access to quality healthcare and education, as well as many other public services and infrastructure we rely on every day.

Although Canada is well-positioned to meet the growing global energy demand, investors are choosing to put their money into countries they perceive to be ‘safer’ investments. Lack of pipeline space to transport the products our customers want also means it costs more to move oil and gas to markets, and that lowers the price we can get for our resources.

Declining competitiveness puts Canada’s energy industry at a disadvantage. And, because energy is such an important industry to our economic health as a nation, all Canadians feel the consequences.


What can we do to improve Canada’s competitiveness?


Responding to the findings of the EY Report, CEPA made seven important recommendations to improve the competitiveness our pipeline industry.

But that’s just a start. Canada’s energy industry is bigger than pipelines.

We go to great lengths to build knowledge about our industry by making sure factual information is widely available. We encourage all Canadians to stand up for the energy industry by thinking about how you use energy in your daily lives… by asking questions of organizations like CEPA and your elected representatives… and by building your own energy knowledge.

We invite you to send us your questions about Canada’s transmission pipeline industry at www.aboutpipelines.com/your-questions