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Austin: Is American energy independence a threat to the Canadian economy?

By: /
25 January, 2013
By: Jack Austin
Former Senator from British Columbia, special advisor to Stern Partners Inc

The United States has always treated Canadian resources as a surge tank. When they need them, they draw on them. When they don’t, they give priority to domestic or other lower-cost supply. Examples abound, such as uranium and oil supply in the 1970s. NAFTA gives the United States a guaranteed supply pro rata of total Canadian oil production at a time of supply crisis, but there is no Canadian entitlement to market access under any condition.

Canada’s search for non-North American markets is a strategic requirement for price and supply stability in our resource economy. Good for the United States to have energy independence and to reduce its off take from Canada. We will find new markets and when the United States looks to us again at a future time, I believe that we will have our own market independence.

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