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Policy Briefing: Energy: Oil Sands

Hard questions about petro-state economics

The Conservatives claim they are good economic stewards, but facts show they have mismanaged resource development and are failing to innovate.
It will require a long-term national strategy that recognizes the importance of achieving buy-in from all stakeholders. That is because no one level of government, industry sector, or our education and training institutions can solve this challenge alone. It will require cooperation and goodwill from all to achieve success.
Canada’s oilsands will continue to provide significant benefits to Canadians in terms of jobs and royalties for provinces—but we must stop ignoring the real challenges we face. Canada’s long-term economic growth and environmental health are dependent on us getting this equation right.
However, no activity is without risk and, as the Lac-Mégantic tragedy reminds us, we must constantly strive for improvement, learning all we can from accidents and continuing to achieve the best possible safety outcomes.
Feds say NAFTA’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation doesn’t have the mandate to investigate, cites pending court decision in Alberta.
The Calgary-based company has decided to further expand its Horizon oilsands operation by adding another $400-million to its initially planned $2.5-billion investment in the project.
With soaring capital and labour costs, environmental activism and pipeline problems, Alberta’s oilsands industry faces numerous challenges to its expansion plans and may have overshot its forecasts.

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