Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The most irrational, damaging or downright dumb beliefs of 2017

By: Gwyn Morgan - Columnist, Troy Media

          A look back at 2017 shows far too many instances in Canada where we got it all wrong

      For my first column of the New Year, I've dipped into my collection of irrational, damaging or downright dumb happenings in 2017. 
      The year saw major breakthroughs in the use of genetically-modified human cells to treat diseases, including retinal dystrophy and blood cancer. Human genetic re-engineering is an emerging science but there has been little public concern. 
      By contrast, baseless fear-mongering by activists opposed to genetically-modified organisms has turned GMO food into a public pariah. 
      In reality, genetically-modified foods, such as Canadian canola oil, have been consumed by humans for more than two decades without a single substantiated case of harm. 
      How can it be that people are OK with GMO being injected directly into our bodies, while eating plants derived from the same technology is feared? 
      Environmentalists escalated their campaigns to end British Columbia's important salmon farming industry. Yet virtually all credible scientists, including those with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, have found no evidence that fish farms harm wild salmon. 
      Even though 70 per cent of salmon consumption comes from farms, the wild population remains under pressure from over-fishing. Removing farmed salmon supplies would increase that pressure dramatically. 
      Environmentalists, Indigenous tribes and Quebec politicians united to kill TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline project, which would have moved Canadian oil to eastern refineries and international markets. 
      Instead, foreign-flagged tankers continue to make their way up the St. Lawrence Seaway and billions of Canadian dollars continue to flow to countries with appalling environmental and human rights records. 
      Meanwhile, economically-beleaguered Alberta continues to help fund Quebec's annual $10-billion equalization grant. 
     After Prime Minster Justin Trudeau tells Albertans that the fossil fuel industry must be phased out, a 2017 International Energy Agency report predicts daily global oil demand will increase by 10 million barrels to 104 million barrels by 2040.
    Meanwhile, Canada pursues unilateral decarbonisation, an ideologically driven form of economic hara-kiri that hands the market for our most economically important industry to others.
    Ironically, the biggest 'other' is the United States, which is expected to supply a substantial portion of the growing global demand despite possessing smaller oil reserves than Canada.
    A Fraser Institute report finds that federal, provincial and municipal government employees earn an average of 11 per cent more than comparable private sector workers whose taxes pay the cost. On top of that, public sector workers enjoy much more generous pension and retirement benefits.
    Another Fraser Institute study finds the average Canadian family will pay more than $35,000 in taxes in 2017, more than they spend on housing , food and clothing combined.
    Despite Canada's escalating taxes, Trudeau is on track to increase the country's national debt by more than any other prime minister who didn't face a world war or major economic recession.
    Personal income tax rate increases lifted top combined federal/provincial rates to more than 50 per cent in seven of 10 provinces, higher than other developed countries.
    While in Canadian politicians tout advanced technological innovation as key to our country's economic future, these tax escalations made Canada uncompetitive in attracting and retaining the best and brightest workers needed to accomplish that.  
     Then, in the closing days of 2017, U.S. legislators passed a tax bill that further widened the rate gap for highly mobile skilled workers. 
     In response to challenges Canadian entrepreneurs have long faced in attracting venture capital investment, the federal government announced a new $400-million fund. 
     Then came an announcement that seemed too farcical to be true. The struggling entrepreneurs who the plan is supposed to help will now have to demonstrate how their strategies will "advance the objective of achieving gender balance" in the Canadian startup scene. 
     Hence, fund allocations were transformed from supporting the highest potential ideas to a $400-million political correctness fund. 
     The final weeks of 2017 saw dangerously cold weather in much of Canada and the United States. I can't help but wonder what all those who advocate replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar are thinking as tens of millions suffer through the deep freeze with only fossil fuels keeping them safe and warm. 
     It's time for those green power disciples to prove faith in their rhetoric. I propose that utilities offer customers the option of no fossil fuels green power service. It would be interesting to see how many of the loudest phase-out-fossil-fuel set would subscribe. 

                                                                 Happy New Year!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Stand up for Canada

By: Rod Garland

As Albertans, we know that we live in one of the most beautiful provinces in one of the best countries in the world. From the spectacular Rocky Mountains, through the foothills, the boreal forests and into the grasslands of the prairies, we have it all, except a coast line of course.

We are blessed with impressive natural resources that are the envy of many, that provide, through development and export, a great bounty for all Canadians. It should be no surprise that the 3 provinces that contribute substantially through equalization payments to the rest of the other provinces and territories of Canada are Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan, all with a high natural resource economic profile.

There are challenges however living, working and playing in northern latitudes due to the extremes in weather conditions and difficulty to access those resources for portions of the year, but with a population that is small, relative to the vast expanse that is Canada, we have become leaders in inventing and developing technologies, techniques and equipment to deliver these resources to consumers to improve their way and value of life.

Increasingly over time, public support for natural resource development in Canada has diminished, not in a small part due to the influence from activists, protestors and obstructionists, many funded by foreign interests, who stand to benefit financially from our inability to fully develop and deliver our own resource projects to completion.  These activists have many stripes, are well organized and will use any and all means to swing the public approval meter to their side and as an industry, we have so far, largely been reactive rather than proactive in recognizing and responding to the threat.

It’s time for resource companies to change their approach and start genuine communication with real people in the communities, by winning the war of trust and respect and by appealing to their emotions, beliefs and values.

People generally form their own opinions on facts, right or wrong, from early experiences, education and direction from parents, teachers, mentors and media and yes; there are alternate facts, fake news, and biases. We have to acknowledge this and find ways to prove that future projects are in the highest standards of public interest and in-line with the values shared by the middle majority. There will always be radical believers at either end of the environmental argument so a genuine approach showing how these concerns will be addressed is paramount. It should never be the economy versus the environment, both should have equally high standing.

A bond of trust has to be established directly with the public, they don’t particularly care what you know, they do however want to know that you care, and at present this trust has yet to be won by our industry leaders.

In our current system political approval is necessary to bring projects to completion and our politicians tend to reflect wherever public sentiment is residing, as that is where they gain and secure power every 4 or 5 years or so, regardless of the project viability. We can’t rely on, or expect meaningful political support for natural resource development until and unless the public is first supportive and aware of the specific benefit to them.

My hope for 2018 and beyond is that Canada, now 150 years in the making, comes to realize that it is more than just a collection of competing Provinces and Territories, more than a collection of competing Urban and Rural interests and more than any existing divides between the ethnic variety and aboriginal peoples that are Canada.

From Wikipedia

The name of Canada has been in use since the founding of the French colony of Canada in the 16th century. The name originates from a Saint-Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata (or canada) for "settlement", "village", or "land"

It is time for us to put Canada first and demonstrate the pride we feel about working in the many natural resource industries that provide and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. The real environmental champions are those that live, work and play in the environment and we must continue to strive to respect the environment and use all means possible to improve and pass these treasures on to future generations.

Canada and Canadians need to stand up and be counted in support of all of our industries that are shadowed by our biggest trading partner to the south, which is also our biggest competitor.

At the moment political turmoil and intrigue in the US resembles a plot from a James Bond movie, “From Russia with Love”, or “GoldenHair”, with Bond girls, action, fighting, back stabbing and more as they struggle for power, taking on all comers in an attempt to achieve world domination.

There is an immediate imperative to get our act together and get necessary resource projects built and delivered, particularly pipelines from our resource rich areas to tidewater so that we can effectively compete.

The CAGC strongly supports The Canadian Association of Drilling Contractors (CAODC) which has championed the Oil Respect Campaign that reaches out to all stakeholders across Canada with information, stories, facts, videos and organizes events. Their website is a great resource for promoting Oil & Gas projects.

Oil Respect is a campaign to stand-up for Canada’s oil and gas industry, one of the most regulated and technologically advanced industries in the world. Each year our industry safely produces, refines, transports, and distributes products from jet fuel to fertilizer while providing well-paying jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenues for all Canadians. Yet, despite these facts, government policy and popular sentiment seem increasingly intent on marginalizing the sector and divesting from resource development.

ResourceEd is a fantastic educational toolbox of information, techniques and advice to enable industry leaders to take on the challenge to meaningfully connect with, and improve relationships with the public.  With more than 30 years of natural resource operations and management leadership under his belt, Steve Simons founded Beyond.Action Strategy Consulting, and created ResourcEd, an online and classroom training program, for natural resource people and their organizations.

Introducing game changing perspectives and insights on gaining and sustaining public confidence for natural resource industries. Let's face it, natural resource industries in Canada (and elsewhere) are facing challenges unlike any other industry on the planet! Public confidence has been rocked, and it shows up as polarized, politicized and positional, economy versus environment, standoffs. Protest after protest are dividing communities, causing strife and damaging relationships. Projects killed. jobs lost. It's not normal. ResourcEd is dedicated to teaching natural resource organizations, industries and communities what they need to know to stand up and be heard”.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Our review of energy cost inputs - Trudeau & Trump's diverging energy policies

By: Canadians for Affordable Energy

Canada-United States energy policies are rapidly diverging. Donald Trump was supposed to be a White House train wreck. But as 2017 ends, the U.S. president is scoring wins that will boost the U.S. economy, create good-paying jobs, and advance his administration’s ambition of American energy dominance.

Former presidents focused on “energy independence,” which was neither sensible nor necessary government policy when friendly neighbours – like Canada and Mexico – can help meet rising U.S. energy demand. In contrast, President Trump wants his country to export energy, use its natural resources to fuel domestic economic growth, and advance U.S. foreign policy by providing energy security to its allies, thereby weakening Russia and hostile countries in the Middle East.

To increase U.S. output of oil, natural gas and coal, Trump signed an executive order approving Alberta’s Keystone XL pipeline soon after entering the White House, lifted a moratorium on new coal leasing on federal land, abandoned the Paris climate agreement, promised to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling (now done), and cut job-killing and investment-killing red tape. As the Weekly Standard reported, “The government has added an average of 13,000 new restrictions annually for the past 20 years. Under Trump, the number of new regulations is near zero.” Near Zero! That’s an impressive accomplishment by any measure.

And that was just the warm up act. This week, before leaving for its Christmas recess, Congress passed the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years. This sweeping tax bill will dramatically lower the U.S. business tax rate from 35% to 21%. Canada just lost its tax advantage – the average Canadian federal-provincial combined tax is now one point higher than the combined U.S. federal-state rate.

U.S. tax relief isn’t being slowly phased in over a decade, it will happen overnight – effective January 1, 2018. Tax expert Jack Mintz writes in the Financial Post, “Canada’s competitive position is about to get rocked, making it harder for Canadian governments to push costs onto businesses through higher levies and regulations. Federal and provincial authorities will need to change course. If politicians sit on their hands, the private sector won’t: Canadians will see investment, jobs and profits flowing to the States.”

There is more: U.S. energy companies, which traditionally have a higher marginal tax burden than other large companies, are the “tax overhaul’s biggest winner,” according to Forbes magazine. Energy is a capital-intensive business. “Under current tax law, [capital] expenditures can't be deducted in the year they are incurred. But the new law allows capital expenditures to be deducted in the year of their occurrence. This change will further lower the tax burden for the energy sector while encouraging more capital spending.”
And what’s happening in Canada?
Justin Trudeau is also motoring ahead on his own energy policy. Only our Prime Minister is less forthcoming than President Trump about the Liberal government’s objective, which is to shackle Canada’s hydrocarbon energy industry.

Like Trump, Prime Minister Trudeau wasted no time pursuing his agenda when he assumed office by cancelling the Northern Gateway pipeline project from Alberta to British Columbia. The Energy East pipeline to New Brunswick was killed this year after Ottawa signalled it wanted the National Energy Board to add layers of regulations on “upstream and downstream” CO2 emissions. It didn’t matter that the rules were being changed after Energy East had started the review process. Tellingly, the same “upstream and downstream” public review of Bombardier and Ford operations wasn’t done before these companies received massive government subsidies.

The effects of these deliberate policy changes combined with rising taxes on carbon dioxide emissions mean less investment in Canada’s oil sector, lost employment opportunity, and higher energy prices at home. The next hit on business and consumers will be the federal government’s soon-to-be unveiled Clean Fuels Standard regulations. It will add layers of red tape while steadily increasing the price of all forms of hydrocarbon fuels in Canada – including gasoline or diesel to fill your car, and natural gas, home heating oil or wood to heat your home.

In January 2017, the Prime Minister said at a town hall, “We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels but it’s going to take time and in the meantime we have to manage that transition.” Trudeau quickly backpedalled, said he “misspoke” and told Canadians, “I said something the way I shouldn’t have said it.” But it was a revealing political gaffe. As the political commentator, journalist and Vanity Fair columnist Michael Kinsley has said, a gaffe reveals some truth that a politician did not intend to admit.

Today, RBC Dominion Securities warns “Canadian oilsands producers face rising price discounts as growing production ‘materially exceeds’ export pipeline capacity to the United States in the first quarter of 2018.” Translation: Canada cannot get its oil to international sellers and is forced to sell its product at a lower price to the few buyers it can reach. Because our oil is unable to reach either the Pacific or Atlantic oceans, we are left with one foreign buyer – the United States – which sets the discount price.

Reuters warns: Canada oil producers exhaust options as pipelines, railroads fill. Oil companies have left Canada to invest instead in the U.S. – a more agreeable and profitable location – and in 2017 sold over US$23-billion in Canadian assets. Reuters also reports that output from Canada’s oilsands will grow, “but only as projects under construction are completed and smaller expansions come online.” Energy companies aren’t building new large projects. Why? Prices aren’t high enough and higher returns are realized elsewhere in North America.

Take a bow Mr. Kinsley: Prime Minister Trudeau's vow to “phase out” the oilsands was prophetic. Only it’s happening far faster than anyone expected.
When Canada and the U.S. has had broadly aligned energy policy, which is the historical norm, the outcome has led to aligned prices for consumers. Divergent policies will lead to dramatically different prices – at a cost to Canadians at home and at work.

Canadians for Affordable Energy
Canadians for Affordable Energy · Canada

Friday, 8 December 2017

First jobs tough to get in Alberta last year

Published: The Owl
By: ATB Financial's Economics & Research Team

It may have been selling corn dogs at the summer fair or clearing tables at a local restaurant--all of us will vividly remember our first real jobs. Entry-level employment is rarely glamorous or high paying, but those first jobs are critical for gaining valuable work experience.
Statistics Canada, in a report titled “Getting your foot in the door: A look at entry-level job vacancies in Canada” profiles the kinds of jobs offered to new workers. It explores topics such as: How many entry-level job vacancies are available? What are their characteristics? Which occupations offer entry-level positions?

It also profiles the unemployment rates among entry-level workers by province. The chart below shows the 2016 jobless rate for entry-level jobs compared to the overall job market. For most provinces, the unemployment rate for entry-level jobs (the blue bar) was lower than was the overall rate (the yellow bar), suggesting that it was easier for people just entering the job market to find work than those who were established in their careers.

However, in Alberta the unemployment rate for entry-level work was actually higher than the overall unemployment rate--it was nine per cent, almost 8/10th of a percentage point greater than the overall rate. (This was also the case in Manitoba and Ontario, although the differences here were smaller.)
So while 2016 was tough for established workers in Alberta, it was even more difficult for young workers or new Canadians looking for their first work experiences. Those corn dog sellers and table clearers may have been quite happy to find the jobs they did.

Monday, 27 November 2017

The strange geopolitics of rising oil prices

By: H.T.
Published: The Economist

Why oil is at a two-year high

A STRANGE paradox underpins the recent rise in the price of oil to around $60 a barrel, its highest level in two years. On the one hand, it partly reflects optimism that when producers from the OPEC cartel meet in Vienna on November 30th they will extend an agreement with non-OPEC producers such as Russia to keep output under restraint until late next year. On the other hand, it partly reflects the fear that regional tensions between Saudi Arabia and fellow OPEC members Iran and Qatar could degenerate to such a degree that they disrupt supply from the world’s biggest oil-producing region. Such are the tensions within OPEC, according to Reuters, that Gulf oil officials have stopped using a WhatsApp chat group that used to be a useful co-ordination tool. So is it feasible to imagine that people who cannot bear talking to each other via social media can still agree to onerous production cuts that are vital to keeping prices high?

The short answer is yes. Throughout its history, OPEC has awkwardly held together despite intense internal squabbles and even conflicts, such as Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait (both OPEC countries) in 1990. Indeed, one reason for the growing confidence about an extension of the deal due to expire next March is that compliance levels were 96% last month. That is remarkable considering the rising tensions between Sunni Saudis and their Shia foes. Even at the best of times in the past, participants have usually started cheating when oil prices have risen.

Besides OPEC and geopolitics, there are other reasons oil prices are on a roll. A synchronous upswing in the global economy means that demand for oil is rising. The International Energy Agency, a global forecaster, recently spooked the market by saying that higher prices were likely to dent consumption of crude next year. That is possible, but with prices still at less than half their peak of 2008, consumers, such as drivers, show no sign yet of jamming on the brakes. Rising global demand and falling OPEC supply may yet flush out more American shale production, which is the main bugbear of oil bulls. Martijn Rats of Morgan Stanley says that to keep the market roughly in balance, shale-producers will have to raise output from 5.8m barrels a day (b/d) to 6.8m b/d over the next 12 months, a 17% increase. However, he notes that a bottom-up analysis of listed shale-producers suggests their production is only growing at about 5% a year, which is not enough to fill the gap. Rather than continuing to pump as fast as they can, they are now focusing on pumping more profitably.

With Brent crude above $60 a barrel, and America’s West Texas Intermediate drawing close, much of this may be baked into the price. Bullish hedge-fund investment in oil futures is close to record highs. If OPEC and the other petro-states disappoint in Vienna this week, there is the risk of a sharp sell-off. But for the first time in several years, the interests of the biggest producers in keeping output under control may be aligned. Saudi Arabia wants high prices to achieve a generous valuation when it part-privatises Aramco, the state oil company. Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, wants them to keep the economy—and hence his regime—stable. And shale producers want them because their investors are demanding higher returns, rather than higher volumes. No paradoxes there.

Friday, 17 November 2017

A Look Back to Looking Forward

By Rod Garland

100 years ago in October and November of 1917, four divisions of the Canadian Corps took turns assaulting Passchendaele ridge in Belgium during WW1. After separate attacks, they succeeded in capturing it and the ruins of Passchendaele village from exhausted German defenders.

The battle that had dragged on for months was one of the deadliest in terms of losses on both sides, but showed the rest of the world how Canadian resolve, spirit and resourcefulness could get the job done.

This week the World Energy Outlook 2017 (WEO-2017) was released by the International Energy Agency (IEA). It is the annual update of energy demand and supply projections to the year 2040, with reports under different scenarios, and their consequences for energy security, economic prosperity, efficiency, investment, air quality and climate change.

The highlights are that the global energy landscape is changing and the rate of change will likely vary over the coming decades.

On the World’s current path, by 2040, global energy demand is expected to grow by 30% with increasing electrification expected to meet this demand and as the cost of renewables decline, clean energy technologies are expected to meet 40% of the growth.

Solar power is expected to be the cheapest form of new electricity in many countries, with third world developing regions leading the growth. A third of energy demand growth is expected from India with China adopting a new economic strategy on a cleaner growth path to reduce pollution.

China is projected to become a world leader in wind, solar, nuclear and electric vehicles and the source of more than a quarter of projected growth in natural gas consumption.

The USA is expected to be the largest exporter of LNG by the mid 2020’s and a net oil exporter by 2030 and the shale oil and gas revolution in the United States continues thanks to the remarkable ability of producers to unlock new resources in cost-effective ways.

Globally, cars are expected to double to 2 billion, but oil for those cars is expected to peak as efficiencies are realized with fuels and with sales of more electric cars, especially in Asian markets.

Oil demand is expected to rise to 105million barrels per day due to commercial transportation, aviation, shipping and petrochemicals and global energy related CO2 emissions are expected to rise slightly.

Severe climate impacts are expected, and commitments to reach limits established by the Paris accord are encouraged.

Definitely not the end of the Oil era

With the United States accounting for 80% of the increase in global oil supply to 2025 and maintaining near-term downward pressure on prices, it is definitely not the end of the Oil era.

Change in global oil demand by sector in the NPS

Once US tight oil production flattens in the late 2020s and non-OPEC production as a whole falls back, the market becomes increasingly reliant on the Middle East to balance the market.

There is a continued large-scale need for investment to develop a total of 670 billion barrels of new resources to 2040, mostly to make up for declines in existing fields.

As the world’s fifth-largest oil producer and a significant gas producer, Canada is well positioned to meet the demand from other countries. Including from oil sands expansion, oil output is expected to grow from 4.5 million barrels per day to 6.2 million.

Will Canada miss the boat?

Canada’s competitiveness with the USA and other producing countries will be based on its ability to build new oil and gas infrastructure and construct pipelines in all directions. Recent failures in getting large projects beyond the planning stages is a disincentive to investors and producers alike, that has seen investment dollars go elsewhere and some producers scale down operations or leave.

Providing the certainty of a regulatory process that works for industry and that is acceptable to all stakeholders is desperately required. This will need strong, committed political leadership of the energy sector before investment will return.

The rest of the world is watching, we need to re-kindle the will and spirit of our brave men who played such a big part in Passchendaele and get the job done.

The IEA has released outlooks yearly and these projections and predictions are published and available on the IEA website for review. Many of the outlooks, in particular the longer term predictions have not always, if ever, met published expectations, mostly for geopolitical reasons, and more recently with rapid advances in new technologies such as deployed with the development of shale gas & oil.

Rod Garland

Rod has recently joined the CAGC in a member services role. He has been involved in the seismic industry since 1975, notably in the survey and line clearing sectors. He has served as a Board member for both Enform (now Energy Safety Canada) and the CAGC and has also represented industry on numerous environmental & safety committees for both the CAGC and the CSEG. He conceived the concept for Seismic-In-Motion which showcases seismic field technologies and is an editor and contributor of “the Source” magazine. He would be happy to meet with any companies or individuals who support the seismic industry and who would benefit from membership with the CAGC.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Red tape chasing investors away from Alberta's energy industry

By Kenneth P. Green, Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Stedman - The Fraser Institute
Published: Fort Nelson News

         TransCanada Corp. recently pulled the plug on Energy East, its proposed 1.1-million-barrel-per-day oil pipeline between Alberta and New Brunswick, a month after the company said it would conduct a "careful review" of the cost impacts of changes in National Energy Board regulations.
         It was the latest in a chain of bad news for Canada's energy industry, and further evidence that Canada's growing regulatory barriers may be damaging our investment climate.
         Plunging oil prices and the approval of competing pipelines such as Keystone XL certainly contributed to the cancellation of Energy East.
         But governments, by continuing to pile on new taxes and create unclear regulations, are killing existing projects and driving investment away from Canada.
         A 2016 Fraser Institute survey of energy executives and managers found that Alberta has become significantly less attractive to investment over the past few years. In 2014, Alberta ranked in the top 15 most attractive jurisdictions worldwide, but tumbled to 25th in  2015 and continued its downward slide to 43rd in 2016. This ranking is based on a policy perception index score, which measures the extent to which policy deters oil and gas investment.
         So what policies are driving capital and companies out of Alberta?
         Simply put, regulatory hurdles and poor policy decisions by the provincial and federal governments. Alberta's carbon tax, higher corporate and personal income taxes, a cap on greenhouse gas emissions from oilsands production all contribute to a poor investment climate.
         And while Alberta has become less attractive for investment, U.S. jurisdictions such as Texas, North Dakota and Oklahoma have remained amoung the most attractive in the world. The survey showed that in 2016, eight American states were in the top 10 most attractive jurisdictions in the world. Saskatchewan was Canada's only top-performing jurisdiction.
        And Alberta's investment attractiveness will likely continue to fall behind its American counterparts as a new U.S. policy changes, driven by President Donald Trump, favour the energy sector. Trump is simply making it easier to develop oil and gas resources, opening additional lands, suspending onerous regulations, dropping international greenhouse gas obligations, allowing oil exportation and, perhaps, cutting taxes on business.
        Yet in Canada, we have a difficult time getting shovels in the ground for major energy infrastructure projects - at a high cost for Canadians and the economy.
        Studies show that if Canada exported one million barrels of conventional heavy oil and oilsands bitumen a day to world markets at US$60 a barrel, additional industry revenues would reach $4.2 billion annually. And if access to international markets garnered Canadian producers a price boost, the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments could see oil royalties increase by more than C$1 billion annually, assuming oil reaches US$60/barrel.
        That would mean more Canadian (and Albertan) jobs and billions of dollars in revenue for governments, which could be used on vital services such as health care, education and infrastructure.
        But regulatory hurdles and poor policy decisions have crippled Canada's attempts to access new energy markets.
       TransCanada's abandonment of Energy Easts appears to be the latest example of investment walking out the door, leaving Canadian jobs and economic opportunities behind.
            Kenneth P. Green is a senior director, and Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Stedman are analysts at the think-tank Fraser Institute.