Ronald Reagan once said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
His quote aptly describes the typical inefficiency of government. Where government fails, private industry, more often than not, will prosper. In order for prosperity to have a fighting chance, it requires an atmosphere that is free of market manipulation and over regulation.
Examples of over regulation and government manipulation are currently on display across Canada. Governments across this country have bogged down pipelines for generations. They are attempting to remedy that with; you guessed it, a higher level of government involvement!
The Trans Mountain Pipeline project is a shining example of how government can over regulate and allow objections to halt a project and make it no longer viable for private investors to pursue. Although it’s important to protect the environment, land owner rights and ensure companies are accountable for their actions, there has to be reasonable limits to how far those actions can go.
Both the Alberta and Federal governments have failed to prioritize the importance of the energy industries contribution to the Canadian economy. Now, average Canadians are beginning to feel the negative effects of government overreach. If Alberta and Canada are going to climb out of the self imposed regulatory purgatory, a vastly different approach needs to be taken.
The difficulties investors in Canadian energy have encountered have had inevitable negative consequences for the Canadian economy. 2018 has seen the unprecedented exodus of investment dollars to other locations throughout the world. It appears that this will continue in 2019.
The Canadian energy industry dilemma has accomplished only one thing, self imposed hardship. Consumers of the energy products that have been the foundation of our economic success in the global market depend on a consistent and reliable supply of those products. Canadian energy policies are now creating an impression that our supply is unreliable and inconsistent.
While government plays a vital role in protecting Canadians and their assets from harm, in recent years they have grossly overstepped their role in our lives. Time and again we are seeing corporations that meet requirements to engage in their line of production, effectively blocked from moving forward by endless regulations that add unbudgeted costs and delays.
Nowhere are the words by Ronald Reagan exemplified better than right here in Alberta. Overarching Government regulations have been at the root of most, if not all, of the province’s current economic woes.
If this government truly would like to help move industry and Albertans forward, their best course of action would be to create and stick to a reasonable set of regulations that allow our industries to fairly compete in the global market.