Why the Tar Sands are a Net Job Loser for Canada


Read this piece in the Huffington Post Canada which makes the case for why, despite all the rhetoric about jobs from the Tar Sands, Canada’s oil economy actually costs us more jobs in other areas. (Jan. 5, 2011)

Just because something is a bit complicated, it doesn’t mean you can ignore it, especially when it’s hurting you.

And yet, this appears to be the case with the loss of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the past several years — 627,000 by one measure — mostly in Ontario and Quebec where these jobs have historically existed.

The phenomenon even has a name already: “Dutch Disease.” Canada now has a bad case of it, yet you won’t hear the government in Ottawa talk about it, since that would run counter to its blinkered agenda of accelerating the strip mining of Northern Alberta to push more oil through pipelines to China and America.

The term “Dutch Disease” was coined in the 1970s after the Netherlands discovered a large natural gas field. The country’s exchange rate became tied to the rising price of natural gas, pricing its manufacturing goods out of international markets and leading to job losses.

In 2011, the Canadian dollar traded on average above the U.S. dollar for the first time since 1976. This puts an extra burden on Canadian companies who export, since it makes their products less competitive versus products from other countries.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/matt-price/canadian-oil_b_1180255.html