Building Towards Economic Recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic is truly an exceptional period in human history. Economies around the world locked down to fight the spread and keep people safe. Unfortunately, these necessary measures created untold hardship as millions of Canadians lost their jobs, are working reduced hours, or had their salaries cut. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic and turn our attention to economic recovery, Canadians must have jobs to return to. Canada's upstream oil and gas industry is ready to play a critical role in developing solutions and delivering results. We are shovel ready, with the capacity to create high-paying direct jobs, including indirect jobs through our multi-billion-dollar national supply chain. Additionally, we contribute to the local, hotel, restaurant, retail and other services where our companies operate.
The industry is a major driver of B.C.'s economy. Through taxes, royalties and other payments, in 2019-2020 the industry is expected to generate $575 million for the B.C. government – revenue that supports health, education, infrastructure and social programs. The industry provides about 12,000 jobs in the province. And B.C. is part of the oil sands' huge supply chain – in 2016-2017, oil sands producers spent about $590 million in 2016-2017 to purchase goods and services from B.C. companies.
Construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is a great example of how the industry supports local and regional employment, putting people to work and generating government revenue. The project will create over 5,000 good-paying jobs at peak construction. Jobs that we will desperately need in the coming months.
The locking down of economies across the globe caused a historic drop in oil demand. Some have even used this drop to claim that Canada's oil and natural gas industry is 'dead'. Yet prior to February 2020, global oil consumption was growing to record levels and all credible forecasts predicted continued growth for decades to come. The global economic crash halted that growth and has thrown all predictions into varying states of disarray.
However, we do know that stores will open again, cars and trucks will begin to run and planes will fly. Our lives will continue – and life takes energy. Canada produces energy with some of the highest environmental and regulatory standards in the world. The sector is also the largest investor in environmental protection and clean technology in the country, to the tune of more than $3 billion annually.
As the world begins to open up the demand for energy will increase – Canadian energy should fill that demand.
A strong oil and natural gas industry can drive our recovery, rebuild our industries and help restart our lives – something the majority of Canadians are looking forward to.
Allie Blades and Jack Middleton
BC Advisors Citizen Engagement and Outreach, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
About CAPP: The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) advocates for the responsible growth of the oil and natural gas industry and support for economic competitiveness and safe, environmentally and socially responsible performance. CAPP's Canadian Energy Citizens empowers people from across the country to show their support for responsibly-produced Canadian oil and natural gas. Become an Energy Citizen at www.energycitizens.ca