Victor Dodig is chief executive officer of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Canada’s energy sector is our country’s “family business.” Even if we don’t work in it, we benefit from it economically and socially – and have for generations. The industry supports more than 800,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country, as well as vital social services such as health care and education.
In 2018 alone, the sector contributed $167-billion to Canada’s GDP; that’s more than the financial services and insurance industries combined. Today, we have a chance to build on this legacy and compete globally to support our country’s future prosperity.
Yet, it can feel as though we’re competing with ourselves. The family business has fallen on tough times, and it’s hurting all Canadians. As with any family, we must come together to find a solution. Let’s begin with two important truths.
Canada must do its part to address climate change. Demand for energy continues to grow and is expected to increase for years to come. While renewables are the fastest growing source of energy in the world, the reality is that fossil fuels will remain an important part of the global energy mix for decades.
What the world needs is greater access to responsible energy production. Access to energy is helping to lift people out of poverty. Living standards are improving. The middle class around the world is growing, and as a result, consumer demand is rising.