ST. JOHN'S, Sept. 18, 2011 /CNW/ - Canada risks losing the opportunity
to position itself as an energy superpower unless it acts quickly to
take advantage of a rapidly changing global energy market, Shell
Canada's President & Country Chair, Lorraine Mitchelmore, warned today.
In a speech to the annual general meeting of the Canadian Chamber of
Commerce in St. John's, Newfoundland, Ms. Mitchelmore said every major
energy-producing country in the world is going after the growing Asian
market - except Canada.
"We are the only major oil and gas producer in the world that does not
have access to a global market. All our eggs are in one basket - the
US," she said.
However, added Ms. Mitchelmore, US demand for Canada's energy products
is not growing and unless Canada diversifies its market, it could be in
trouble down the road.
"Right now, Asia is setting up its energy supply points and Canada is
not one of them," she warned.
Ms. Mitchelmore urged the Chamber to use the influence of the 192,000
businesses represented by its affiliates to support a more competitive
energy framework for Canada, one that includes a streamlined regulatory
system where the rules of engagement are clear.
"Canada needs your help," she told delegates. "This should be a time of
great opportunity for Canada, but it's not - or at least not yet. We
need to diversify our customer base for energy products and create
access to the global growth markets. If we mess this up, Canada will
miss an opportunity to sell oil and gas to Asia, which is the world's
fastest growing energy market."
Ms. Mitchelmore said the next step towards an energy framework is to
build on the action plans identified at the Energy and Mines Ministers'
Conference in Kananaskis in July.
"You can help by talking to your MPs and to the media. Let them know
that you want to see significant progress before the 2012 Ministers'
conference on Prince Edward Island," she urged delegates.
There should also be more cooperation between groups that have an
interest in energy based on recognition that Canada's energy resources
are very important to its national future.
Ms. Mitchelmore said if anyone asks "what's in it for me?" the answer is
simple: Canada's economic future.
"Every Canadian business and every Canadian citizen will be better off
if we can sell our oil and gas on the global market. It will generate
jobs and create the national wealth we need to continue providing the
services and infrastructure that Canadians need to prosper and live
She said government revenue generated by the energy industry translates
into funding for public services for ordinary Canadians across the
"Like healthcare where we spend around $190 billion, and education,
which takes another $80 billion every year. I think it is easy to see
that energy is the key to Canada's wealth and well-being."
Quoting energy economist Peter Tertzakian, Ms. Mitchelmore said
Canadians are losing about $50 million a day of revenue because Canada
does not have access to global energy markets.
"It adds up to $18 billion every year of which $4 billion would be the
government's take. In other words, that's $4 billion that could be used
to provide services for Canadians," she said.
Notes to Editors
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