Alberta oil sands to benefit Canada’s total economy: report

Alberta’s oil sands will positively affect all Canadian provinces and will lead to billions of dollars of jobs and investment across the country, says a Conference Board of Canada report released Wednesday.

Nearly one-third of the economic benefits of oil sands investment between 2012 and 2035 will occur in provinces other than Alberta, says the think-tank report, which assesses the impact of an estimated $364 billion investment in Canada’s industry sectors over the next two decades.

Ontario and British Columbia will be the two main winners, says the report, while it highlights that the cumulative investment in Canada’s oil sands has already surpassed $100 billion in the last decade.

“The development of Canada’s oil sands deposits constitutes one of the largest development projects in the country’s history. It is so large that it will rival massive public works projects in scale, such as the building of the Interstate Highway System in the United States,” said Michael Burt, Board Director, Industrial Economic Trends.

The report, Fuel for Thought: The Economic Benefit of Oil Sands Investment for Canada’s Regions, also states that Alberta’s oil sands will be responsible for creating 880,000 person-years of employment.

Beyond the employment impacts, oil sands-related investment is expected to generate government revenues of $79.4 billion ($45.3 billion in federal revenues and $34.1 for provinces) between 2012 and 2035, on an inflation-adjusted basis. This includes the effects of personal income taxes, corporate profit taxes, and indirect taxes (such as sales taxes and taxes on fuel).

The study also notes that a significant amount of oil patch workers don’t come from Alberta, which is bound to have benefits in those workers’ home provinces, being Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia and Saskatchewan the main source for these employees.

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