Canada’s economic health has always been strongly tied to its trade partner to the South. The shifting paradigm of the U.S. politically and economically in 2017 meant the federal government had to re-tool its priorities to ensure infrastructure is in place for what is becoming more apparent as a need to shift away from reliance on the U.S. as Canada’s best customer.
2017 was a year of considerable re-calibration for Canadians.
The aggressive protectionist policies of the Trump administration in the U.S. has begun to impact Canada’s competitiveness in relation to exports:
The Port of Vancouver became a point of contention to ensure the health of the economy in B.C.’s interior and Alberta—in particular, related to the Transmountain Pipeline which was approved in late 2016 by Prime Minister Trudeau, with much discussion around opening up oil export to Asia.
BC’s new NDP coalition government announced in September 2017 that the Transmountain Pipeline was not in the best interest of British Columbia, despite federal approval of the project. The province of British Columbia has secured legal counsel and is proceeding with legal action against that federal approval.
That fight met with much pushback from the slowly rebounding oil and natural resources sector, along with economists.
Opposition leader Rich Coleman said in a release that the NDP “continues to drive the message home to investors that our province is not open for business or investment of any kind and is willing to forfeit an almost $20 billion increase to our GDP.”
This project would create thousands of jobs, the BC NDP is telling those workers they won’t have a job.
“British Columbians should be rightly concerned that their government is spending tax dollars to stop a project that will not only boost our local economies but also benefit the rest of our country,”
“It’s another example – like opposing LNG and looking for ways to cancel Site C – that illustrates the BC NDP has a no jobs plan agenda.”
In December, the BC NDP pulled back from its hard stance in opposition of infrastructure projects started under the former Liberal government, approving the Site C Dam construction.
By the end of the year, jobs, infrastructure, and ensuring the upgrade of systems became priority #1.
In the Conversation That Matters with David Dodge this week, he reveals how critical a role that infrastructure plays in allowing Canadian cities and regions, as well as nation-wide, the agility to make necessary shifts to keep our economy strong as sentiment and policy shifts around the globe.
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