The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) recently released a vision for Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery, highlighting the role of Canada’s natural gas and oil industry in driving the creation of jobs, investment and government revenues, all within the context of industry’s environmental leadership and collaborative innovation to reduce per-barrel carbon emissions.
That bold vision rests on four key principles for economic recovery:
- Create and retain good jobs in Canada
- Generate pan-Canadian benefits, especially focused on prosperity for Indigenous communities
- Advance environmental leadership at home and abroad
- Build wealth and value while shrinking Canada’s debt.
Realizing the vision and the economic benefits that will arise from rebuilding Canada’s energy industry will require collaboration between industry and government, to create a strategic plan to help grow investment and investor confidence in Canada. Federal government policy choices that coincide with the projected global rebound in energy demand could enable Canada’s natural gas and oil industry to drive a strong recovery, creating opportunity and building value by employing Canadians while shrinking the country’s deficit.
Part of that collaboration is embodied in the “Create the Path Table” — a Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN)-led initiative that brings senior officials from multiple government departments together with natural gas and oil industry leaders to determine a recovery strategy that considers goals related to economic growth, job creation, attracting investment, as well as Canada’s clean technology and export ambitions.
This group of industry and government experts is undertaking structured discussions on different aspects important to Canada’s recovery, including:
- Lessons from re-opening and how to navigate a second wave of the pandemic.
- Competitiveness of Canada’s economy and how industry and government can work together to build global investor confidence.
- Stimulating innovation and continuing Canada’s environmental leadership, including opportunities to commercialize emissions-reduction technologies.
- Climate change and the opportunities for industry to contribute to Canada’s climate change ambitions including the Paris Agreement.
- Regional recovery and growth strategies for the hard-hit natural gas and oil producing provinces in Atlantic and Western Canada, including Indigenous prosperity opportunities, and job preservation and creation.
- Canada and United States relations, navigating and strengthening the complex relationship with our largest energy trading partner.
Such industry / government interaction is nothing new. In 2018, a similar group called the Joint Working Group (JWG) examined benefits that could arise from a thriving natural gas and oil industry. The JWG published a report determining that the right policy environment would result in annual incremental impact through 2030 of $20 billion a year in investments, 120,000 additional permanent jobs, $45 billion increase in GDP, and $7.5 billion per year increase in government revenue.
Canadians already support the natural gas and oil industry as an economic driver that can help pull Canada back on the path to economic prosperity. A recent survey indicates the majority of Canadians support the upstream energy industry and understand how vital Canada’s oil and natural gas are to daily quality of life. Survey data shows nearly two-thirds of Canadians (64 per cent) say natural gas and oil must be part of Canada’s recovery, and more than half (55 per cent) believe supporting jobs in Canadian natural gas and oil is more important than ever to kick-start the economy.
In addition, a strong oil and natural gas sector can help advance the federal government’s objectives related to climate change. Canada’s oil and natural gas industry is well positioned to provide expertise in both science and technology to reduce emissions at home and around the world — Canada can take a leading role in reducing overall global emissions, enabling this country to maximize our unique expertise, innovation and technology to contribute to global emissions reduction.