By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
A new report from Deloitte says the oil sands are indispensable to the future of Canadian prosperity, but decisive action from all stakeholders in a number of areas is urgently needed.
Gaining ground in the sands 2013 argues that, despite a relatively strong year for the oil sands in 2012, the U.S. Government’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and the ongoing struggle to secure approvals for Northern Gateway underscore the need for the industry and the country as a whole to pursue a much more integrated approach to energy policy in Canada. The heart of the matter, says the report, is that entrenched and opposed interests are working too much against, rather than with, each other. In the process, progress has been unnecessarily stifled on a range of important social and economic challenges.
Oil sands are a huge boon to the Canadian economy, with significant benefits from the next couple of decades of planned expansion, including $2.1 trillion in economic activity, approximately 905,000 new jobs by 2035, and some $5 billion per year in supplies and services spent outside Alberta, with concentrations in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.
Geoff Hill, leader of Deloitte’s national Oil & gas practice comments:
“We recognize that there are legitimate concerns on all sides of these issues,” he says. “But Canadians must understand that the oil sands are an indispensable economic asset that should be bringing the country together, not driving it apart. And more than anything, that’s going to take a bit of compromise among the provinces as well as other competing interests to ensure we all reap the rewards.”