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Powering up Canadian prosperity: Growing the energy-sector value chain

Friday, July 30, 2010

In mid-July, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce released Powering up Canadian prosperity: Growing the energy-sector value chain, the second in a series of reports calling for ways that the energy sector can bolster Canadian prosperity.
 
Below, you will find an At A Glance summarizing the report and highlighting the Canadian Chamber’s position on energy.  To dowload the full report, please feel free to click here.
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At A Glance | Powering up Canadian prosperity: Growing the energy-sector value chain

Background
Energy is one of Canada’s greatest resources and it is vital to the economy in every part of the country—in 2008, the energy sector employed 360,000 people, two per cent of Canada’s workforce, and accounted for 6.8 per cent of Canada’s GDP.  Real opportunities remain to create even more value for Canada than it already gets from the energy sector—more jobs, more investment and more tax revenues.  The extraction and the production of energy could be the basis for an entire value chain of products and services.
 
Canada has long supported the idea of value-added manufacturing, of making products from our natural resources in addition to exporting those resources to other countries for processing. At all stages of the value chain—research, development, processing, manufacturing and distribution—jobs are created, local firms gain new business and communities increase their tax base. Growing our energy value chain will continue to be one of Canada’s best opportunities for a competitive advantage in the global economy.
 
Position
Canada needs a sustainable energy strategy that will ensure Canadians have access to a stable, secure and flexible supply of affordable energy while protecting the environment. To fully maximize the value of our energy resources, this strategy must look beyond energy production to include the entire energy value chain. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce believes that a long-range, inclusive Canadian sustainable energy strategy would allow the energy sector to develop sustainable industries—including chemical manufacturing, carbon capture and storage, resource upgrading, advanced nuclear manufacturing and the manufacturing of energy production parts and equipment—farther up the value chain.
 
Key messages
In Powering up Canadian prosperity: Growing the energy-sector value chain, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce explores actions that would help to enable growth in the entire energy value chain.  Specifically, we recommend that the federal goverment:

  • Expand access to the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance to include major projects that add further value to our energy resources such as energy-related advanced manufacturing, carbon capture and storage and resource upgrading and refining and extend it for a minimum of five years. 
  • Achieve harmonization or mutual recognition of regulations and assessments among governments in Canada and, in the long term, among governments in North America, so that investments in the energy sector are not hampered by excessive red tape. The goal must be “one project, one assessment.” 
  • Continue to provide financing and incentives for the research, development and commercialization of new energy technologies. 
  • Invest in smart electricity infrastructure across Canada and improve the east–west linkages across Canada. 
  • Encourage the development of energy-sector clusters and ensure that cluster areas have adequate community infrastructure (schools, roads, etc.) to support their growth. 
  • Develop a cross-Canada agreement to recognize credentials for skilled workers. 
  • Provide advice and assistance to potential investors in the energy sector—particularly SMEs—to help them collaborate on large projects. 
  • Consider the entire energy-sector value chain when developing policies, including the development of an overall national strategy.

What this means for Canadian business
Energy is Canada’s strategic advantage and encouraging the development of the energy sector and its entire value chain will leverage its vast resource base, providing even greater benefits for all Canadians—more jobs, more investment and more tax revenues that can be used to pay for Canadian social programs and other government priorities.

 




Bell Invest Barrie TD Canada Trust Barriston Law LLP Ontario Chamber of Commerce Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chamber Executives of Ontario