News   GLOBAL  |  Apr 02, 2020
 8.3K     0 
News   GLOBAL  |  Apr 01, 2020
 39K     0 
News   GLOBAL  |  Apr 01, 2020
 4.5K     0 

While I'm no fan of our federal government, what this chart shows is that we are fundamentally a resource country and our economy is now fundamentally different from the US. Our GDP spikes when energy prices are high because productivity is much more a function of market prices than the actual skills of the workers. I'm not saying they are not skilled but that when prices rise 20%, the workers is not the source of that value, but rather the global supply/demand.

The US has become an energy powerhouse through fracking but also has some of the largest tech and biotech companies that make up an outsized amount of growth and investment. Their investment rates are high because those are the cutting edge companies that growth through R&D. Our largest components are stable companies like financials, energy and utilities, which don't require a lot of investments. There is no magic bullet for this and the US has many things we don't have, such as the scale of their market, the education sector, and relatively lax regulatory environment. It is difficult to match that for any country of our size that prioritizes more equality and more government services. If you look at Europe, Australia, and East Asia it's very much the same story. East Asia has an industrial edge due to high labour availability and lower wages but in a couple decades that will move to South Asia/Africa. Innovation is hard and even harder when you are located next to the most innovative country on the planet. If the US had our immigration policies, their growth would be even higher.

There are things we can do though, number one in my mind is to not fall into the Europe trap and over-regulate while providing minimal incentive for innovation. Europe is stifling their economy through over-regulation (like the usb type c connector on the new iPhones, which is not bad but just unnecessary for a gov to regulate), extensive carbon pricing and restrictions while there is no global consensus and agreement on carbon pricing schemes. There will be no meaningful reduction in global emissions, while jobs and companies just move away to go emit somewhere else.

Visualization of the rise of tech in the US
I agree that fundamentally we are a resource producing country, that is our competitive advantage and that is where we should be concentrating our efforts. However, energy prices are high now and have been for the better part of the last 2 years yet we are not seeing the recovery in GDP per capita that one would expect. Why is this? Our federal government has grossly mismanaged the economy and singled to international investors that we are not open for business in key sectors as recently as last year (Germany went on to sign an LNG deal with noted human rights champion Qatar after this). The previous Chretien and Martin Liberal governments were excellent economic managers, so it is puzzling to see how this current group has completely abandoned that legacy in favour of naive interventions in the economy and desperately trying to use immigration to spur economic growth (ie: prop up the housing bubble). It's not a good situation and I fear it's going to get worse as interest rates take a bite from the housing market and the lack of business investment in recent years becomes apparent.
 
The federal government cannot force an uneconomic project on the east coast to happen. The potential for Saguenay, which could potentially of been economic (by not interacting directly with the USA NE natural gas sub-market) was quashed by the province.

Trudeau committed an ultimate gaffe: telling the truth. No one wants to sign a long term deal at high prices to justify the Nova Scotia project (reflecting its high cost base) when others are offering shorter terms at lower costs. Of course they'd love it if we offered for cheaper and shorter, but who is going to pay for that?

The oil sands boom was a really weird economic time, driven by then current technology, geopolitics and accounting rules forcing companies to add proven reserves to their books. As soon as other reserves were proven to be cheaper to hold on their books, those companies left.

The capital build out phase is done, and foreign capital flowing in boosting our GDP by raising the terms of trade. Now we're in the payoff period, where profit flows out to pay back the capital and investors and outflows are reducing our terms of trade.

When looking at the next industries that are attracting support from the federal government, we easily forget the huge investments by the federal government in the oil sands in the 70s and 80s, and the huge tax concessions made in the late 1990s. Those helped set the stage for the surge.
 
To add to this:
View attachment 518367
It isn't Trudeau that caused the arbitrage to collapse. The market just wasn't there to support Goldboro. During their initial sales period under the Harper government, the ability to make money continued to get worse (the two years after the arrow).

1699397929661.png


I suspect it is much worse than this looks for the USA NE sub-market that Goldboro would be buying from rather than Henry Hub.

There is a big point here: that it is worth it for someone to sell, doesn't mean it is worth it for a Canadian company in a particular location to do it. Other places don't have market options besides LNG for gas. Most Canadian projects would. Projects that are solely on the arbitrage game, they're also competing against all lower cost options.
 
Last edited:
 

Interesting to see Calgary rank ahead of Vancouver and Montreal. Affordability is probably a part of it, coupled with pretty diverse geography. Anyhwoooo, good news for Calgary.
 
I had to read the beginning of the article twice, but I think Calgary is in 8th place, behind Toronto (1st) and Vancouver (5th). Certainly a confusing way of presenting the rankings.
You're right, it is 8th. Without reading the full article, I saw people on Reddit commenting that it was third...but it's not third overall, but third for Canada, which makes more sense. Given the number of films done in Vancouver and Toronto, those two seem to be the go to choices.
Good on Canada to have 4 spots in the top 10 for North America.
 
Last edited:
That ranking is very encouraging. I hope we start to see more big budget productions come this way. I'm still blown away by how much of a global film hub Vancouver has become, it seems like half the shows I watch are filmed there. For a metro area of only 2.5 million to rival LA as a film production hub is impressive indeed. It shows that mid size metros can be competitive in film, and I hope Calgary can get a bigger piece of that action..
 
With some of their recent Emmy wins, the local production staff has shown they can handle complex productions, which is great for Calgary! The reason Vancouver has been so successful is they have the labour, the natural landscape, decent city infrastructure, and mild weather. The last one is hard to match for Calgary, so the available production time is shorter. Lower costs will help with some of that catchup growth.
 
Unfortunately, what will probably happen is once immigration normalizes and we see our growth is still not improving, then the government will cobble together a bunch of initiatives 5 years too late.
That is true only if the Liberals stay in power. They aren’t really concerned with Canadians anymore, nor do they really give too much thought to growing the economy, there are too many interested parties that fail to realize that Canada is a resource rich nation and the world needs what we can sell off we choose to. Heck it would actually build the country as well, get some more big investment out in the East of Canada as well for export to Europe. Canada the last 8 years are nothing but a series of massively missed opportunities. At least we get legal weed though…
 
🤫 I guess oil production and oil exports being at a record level is just not good enough.We need a cheerleader who makes us feel good, not a government with a record of successes.
I am talking about the severe lack of LNGs. Easy example is Germany wanted natural gas from Canada so of course Trudeau said no. So they signed a deal with Qatar instead. We’re just missing out on opportunities left right and centre to the U.S. on this. We could be Australia or Norway, but that makes too much sense for Canadians.
 

Back
Top