Become a Supporter

Potter: Canada should “make it a national priority to ensure we have the capacity to export our energy products beyond the US, and specifically to Asia.” Agree?

By: /
6 February, 2012

My quick response would be first to agree with the proposition that “Canada should make it a national priority to ensure we have the capacity to export our energy products beyond the US, and specifically to Asia.” Secondly I would strongly encourage an open national discussion on the development of refining capacity in Canada. To the extent that Canada relies on raw materials exports (in this case bitumen) and importing finished products such as gasoline and jet fuel, we are condemning ourselves to a permanent place in the global periphery. Although the short-term business case for contenting ourselves with raw materials exports may be persuasive, this is very short-term thinking. Canada needs to have a national conversation on developing value-added exports. Moving our production capacity up the value chain will be essential to Canada’s long-term sustainable economic and social development. China is following this path, as are many other developing economies. Canada should start investing in refining capacity and otherwise building value-add for our energy exports.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter