For years, oil ensured Canada’s healthy trade balance. Now that’s changing — with major consequences – by Jesse Snyder (National Post – October 10, 2020)

A new geopolitical order is taking shape. The globe is rapidly realigning under American and Chinese spheres of influence and the pandemic has only raised the stakes. How can Canada finally get serious about its internal stability and external security so it can effectively play a role as a middle power? Today, Jesse Snyder examines the worrying trend in our exports.

Back in summer 2006, former prime minister Stephen Harper laid out his ambitions to dramatically expand Canadian oil exports.

Economic growth in China and Africa would propel the oil sands to new heights, Harper told a business crowd in London, England, and set the stage for a mega-sized Canadian industry that would rival the “building of the Pyramids or China’s Great Wall.”

In the following years, tens of billions in foreign capital flowed into northern Alberta as the global economy ran red hot, creating a prolonged period of export growth in the region. But the Harper vision was never fully realized.

Today, years after a collapse in oil markets in mid-2014, investment in the fossil fuel sector has slumped. Legal and regulatory hurdles have continued to choke off major pipeline projects, scaring off would-be investors.

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