If there’s one thing an investor likes before committing to a project, it’s stability. They want to know that things won’t change unexpectedly, making their investments painful. This is especially true for foreign investors who deposit their capital in countries they cannot control. As such, they tend to be more sly and close their wallets at signs of political instability or lack of credibility within government.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland pointed out how Canada struggles to attract foreign investment in testimony to the emergency law inquiry. She came so close to flying right over her target that she missed with an almost audible hiss, as she blamed investors’ low confidence in the truckers’ Freedom Convoy protests. .
There is no doubt that the protests have cost Canada economic losses. The closure of two major border crossings for weeks has hurt businesses on both sides of the border that depend on a steady flow of goods. And while thousands of protesters camped in the country’s capital, the hapless prime minister could do nothing but foment the problem by insulting and dismissing the protests. It looked like
Freeland testified that the CEO of a Canadian bank was told by a prospective investor during a trip to the United States:
These are some powerful words and business leaders should be careful when using them. Banana republics are typically characterized by intimidating and often corrupt governments, and the risk of civil unrest can make them a precarious place to invest. But it’s more a reflection of weak governance than the protesters, and it takes more than a few months to build such a reputation.
Foreign investors are looking to the long-term. They fund large capital projects whose timelines are measured in decades rather than months or years. The motorcade protests were economically devastating, but as far as big investors were concerned, they were only momentary. The protests showed restlessness and dissatisfaction among citizens that could affect future investment, but it is the result of years of weak governance.
Expressing his understanding of the issue, Freeland said: Our business investment rate is not high enough. “
She refuses to admit that both the cause and the solution to the reputational problems of Canadian investment are in the hands of the government.
The implementation of Bill C-69 has cooled investment in Canadian resources. It’s called the “No More Pipeline” bill, but it’s much broader than that. The bill created a cumbersome regulatory scheme for large capital projects, whether mining or energy, making Canada’s resources uncompetitive to develop.Former Liberal MP and head of the Canada West Foundation while the bill was being debated martha hall findlay “The comments from investors — domestic, foreign, current and potential — are overwhelming. They say, ‘If this goes through, we’ll go elsewhere.'”
she was right While the world is starving for energy sources, 15 of her LNG projects stuck on the block in Canada are stalling, and new large-scale energy projects are nowhere to be seen. Canada may have the product the world needs, but can investors blame them for not trusting their money to the country?
Prime Minister Trudeau shut down the Northern Gateway pipeline after Enbridge invested millions of dollars and years to meet its 2009 terms. Energy East was fully regulated and the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion had to be purchased after the federal government kicked Kinder his Morgan out of the project. The coastal gas link pipeline has been hopelessly delayed by illegal protests that the government is unwilling to address, and Prime Minister Trudeau was largely silent when President Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline.
Trudeau’s ban on West Coast tankers will help keep new conventional oil and gas development hindered as well.
German Chancellor Scholz came on his knees in search of energy products, only to be told by Trudeau, strangely enough, that there was no business case for exporting natural gas. How can you say that when you are there?
Yes, Freeland is right when she says Canada is becoming an investment pariah, hurting the economy. It has nothing to do with convoys of truck drivers and more to do with governments trying to get big capital projects off the ground. Canada is not a safe place to invest.
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.