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Political will needed for Canada to help Europe’s energy woes

Prince Geoerge-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer Credit: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer

BY BOB ZIMMER

Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP

Canada currently sits ranked in fifth place globally for natural gas production while our allies in Germany, Italy, Poland, and Japan have long desired a secured source of energy that does not hold them hostage. In 2015, global natural gas consumption was expected to increase 37 per cent by2030 and long-term demand will be driven by emerging market energy needs and European imports. 

Canada has the reserves to be one of the largest producers in the world but without a commitment from both the government and private sectors, combined with under investment and delays in decisions from the current federal government, it will be difficult for Canada to offset any loss of Russian oil and gas globally.   

Eighteen LNG export facilities have been proposed in Canada – 13 in British Columbia, two in Quebec and three in Nova Scotia. According to a Conference Board of Canada report, if the industry produces 30 million tonnes per year (equivalent to four billion cubic feet of natural gas per day) of LNG, Canada’s economy would grow by $7.4 billion a year over 30 years and national employment could increase by 65,000 jobs. Russia has been able to utilize their oil and gas politically to their gain, just look at Yamal LNG in northern Russia. According to the company website for Yamal LNG, “the unique location of the Yamal Peninsula offers an opportunity for flexible and competitive logistics enabling year-round supplies of LNG to the Asia Pacific and European markets.” 

Meanwhile, Canada’s Trudeau Liberal government has a history of hesitation and constant policy changes which are delaying projects, causing needless red tape and the cancellation of countless LNG projects on the west coast due to uncertainty.  

Canada has the energy reserves the world needs. However, when Europe needs ethical energy, Trudeau is effectively making sure that Canada will not, or cannot, meet those demands. The Liberal government is spelling the end for Canada’s environmentally and socially responsible energy sector and giving way to other global market producers like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. 

Canada does have a role to play here. Our northern Canadian communities can be the leaders and should be taking up more space in the market in securing Canada’s own future energy needs as well as supplying much needed energy to our allies who are eager to open our Arctic trade route. It is going to take a commitment from all levels of government to get our safe, reliable, resources to market. When will this prime minister wake up and realize Canada’s leadership role in the world with energy? 

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