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Canada’s Energy Advantage – Let Us Count the Ways

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Cody Battershill

How will Canada move from a supplier country with restricted access to global energy markets, to an energy powerhouse known worldwide as the market leader in responsibly-produced oil, natural gas, uranium, wind and hydro power?

It’s going to take continued hard work. But make no mistake, we have most of the pieces already lined up. What we’re missing is the policy framework that allows the sector to get across the goal line.

When you look at the existing pieces, the picture is encouraging. Let’s review.

Canada has an abundance of energy resources, including large reserves of oil and natural gas, vast amounts of uranium and biofuels, and significant potential for additional hydro and wind – all of which serves to lower CO2 emissions and to provide the needed energy to power a modern society, here and abroad.

Our land area and relatively sparse population distribution means we have a unique opportunity to extract the resources and to provide vital energy products not only to Canada but to the world, should we choose to do so.

What’s more, our strong Canadian institutions provide the skilled workforce to drive the sector forward, the continually-evolving technological innovations that ensure the lowest possible environmental impacts and best uses of our natural resources, and the governing bodies that oversee the sector and ensure high standards of environmental stewardship and human health and safety.

Next, Canada has a willing and able labour pool, populated by employees, contractors and suppliers who work tirelessly to ensure the prosperity of their families, communities, the sector and the economy at large. We can all take real pride in that workforce.

In addition, nobody should ever underestimate the economic aspirations of Indigenous communities who say daily in Canadian media coverage that they want to participate in Canada’s energy and natural resources economy. Far from presenting a challenge, this ambitious approach to partnership among Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties is a huge opportunity for every Canadian.

Our own energy needs figure into the equation as well, given cold winters and hot summers that make fossil- and non-fossil based heating and cooling essential in many parts of Canada, as well as the long distances we travel for work and recreation that point to a need for transportation fuels. And consider the important chemical inputs we require for our agricultural sector, and many other areas where fossil fuel resources are crucial to our society in the same way that renewables are also necessary.

Long-time readers will know – and most Canadians now realize – that the world benefits when more Canadian energy and other natural resource products, not less, are traded on the world market.

That’s why Canada’s global leadership position in a strong energy future is so encouraging. We just need the public policy to help make it happen.

Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder / spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer-initiated group that supports the Canadian natural resources sector and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.

 

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