With oil prices continuing to drop, businesses in Alberta are well aware of the pinch the economy is feeling. Tens of thousands of workers are currently without employment because of this drop and the oil industry is asking what the provincial and federal government is doing to help alleviate the problem. The overall perception is that not enough is being done to move solutions forward.
Specifically, the proposed new pipeline has brought a clear dividing line between the oil industry that is trying to move forward and the politicians who some feel are dragging their feet on offering support. During a round table meeting (held February 4, 2016 and hosted by Justin Trudeau and Premier Rachel Notley), notable leaders in the energy industry aired their concerns over the direction of the industry and its long-term effect on the economy.
The recession currently being endured by Alberta is not helping boost the confidence of consumers and investors in Canada’s urgency to correct the situation. However, following last week’s meeting, there was a sense of hesitant anticipation that a solution could come to satisfy both sides of the conversation. The hope for resource workers is that this could lead to more jobs and a boost to the economy of Alberta and Canada at large.
The focus on the energy resources of Canada has exposed an underlying issue of underutilized natural assets with the potential to generate billions of dollars in revenue, to the benefit of the citizens of Canada. While the round table meeting did not end in a final solution, it did start what both sides of the issue would agree is a necessary conversation about the future of natural energies.
One thing seems clear: if an agreement is not reached soon, and a plan put into action, the government will have a bigger problem than a tense conversation over oil prices.