In the past week prominent political leaders staunchly declared that ‘oil is dead’. Now, we have three influential anti-development groups: Environmental Defence, San Francisco based Stand.Earth, and Équiterre who have released a poorly researched report that came to the absurd conclusion that “the oil sands are no longer in our national interest”.
Here is our response:
To state that the continued development of Canada’s oil sands is no longer in ‘our national interest’ is to deliberately ignore that oil and natural gas development are Canada’s largest export industries, responsible for ten per cent of our country’s GDP. It deliberately ignores that Canada’s oil sands support over 500,000 jobs in nearly every region of the country. And it deliberately ignores that Canada’s oil sands is expected to provide over $17 billion in royalties and taxes to government over the next decade – supporting the construction of new schools, roads and hospitals.
We are not surprised that these organizations released a report concluding that continued development of Canada’s largest industry is ‘no longer in the national interest’. These groups have been attempting to end Canadian oil and natural gas development for well over a decade! Environmental Defence and Stand.earth (formerly Forest Ethics) are two of the founding members of the secretive ‘Tar Sands Campaign’. The campaign infamously used American money to target Canadian jobs, workers and companies. For years these groups have sought to ‘raise the negatives’ and ‘increase the costs’ of oil and natural gas development in Canada – often with devastating results. They fight against every major resource project and are often successful. When these organizations succeed – Canada fails. Since 2014, due to groups like Environmental Defence, Équiterre, and Stand.Earth over $200 billion in natural resource projects have been canceled and tens of thousands of good-paying jobs have been lost.
While these organizations celebrate their wins Canada is losing. If there is anything that is no longer in the national interest of Canadians, it is the increasingly dangerous influence of anti-development groups like Stand.earth, Environmental Defence and Équiterre. As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 global health pandemic we will need jobs and opportunity. The responsible and sustainable development of Canada’s natural resources can provide both. So let’s ignore the activists and join together in standing up for t our natural resources. Together we can emerge from the crisis a stronger and more resilient country.
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