The recent federal budget left a lot to be desired for Canada’s struggling energy sector, the industry association said.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has lamented that even though the government has recognized the problems facing Canadian energy, the government has failed to provide any help.
“They’re recognizing that the investment levels are down, they’re recognizing that prices are down and that unemployment is up, and yet they’re not really taking any meaningful action to support our industry,” said CAPP vice-president Ben Brunnen.
“The reality is when we see those indicators all facing down, from an oil and gas perspective, and no recognition from the government of a willingness to support our industry, it’s a pretty strong message towards our industry that we’re not a priority for this government, and that’s disappointing.”
CAPP says that the country is missing out on about $14 billion in investment per year since the oil price crash in 2014.
Canadian oil still suffers from low prices due to high global production and a lack access to markets.
Under the Trudeau government, multiple pipeline projects which would have given Canadian oil and gas new markets to sell too have been cancelled with others up in the air.
CAPP President Tim McMillan says that this reality was not recognized by this year’s budget.
“The budget has not addressed the systemic issues facing the industry, nor did it offer any solutions to the growing competitiveness gap,” he said.
“In fact, it seems like it removed the oil and natural gas industry from its narrative altogether.”
David Yurdiga, MP of Fort McMurray-Cold Lake, says his riding, which is known for its energy sector has suffered greatly from the decline of its main industry.
“We see things not going as well as we’d like them to be in a lot of different sectors. Just look at retail or the restaurant industry. Go into a restaurant in Fort McMurray and there’s not always a lot of people.”
Despite other budget promises which will help some Canadians, Yurdiga believes that the only solution for Fort McMurray is to bring good-paying energy sector jobs back.
”Everything else is putting a Band-Aid on the problem. We need jobs. Nothing more, nothing less.”