For those who have argued Canada should put its oil industry on the shelf and replace it with a push for alternative, cleaner energy sources have been getting some schooling on the problem with that assertion.
The Canadian stock market fell about 10 per cent yesterday, a bigger percentage decline than the US experienced because we are such a big energy producer. Oil stocks have been hammered too. For the first time, the Western Canadian benchmark price fell below $10 a barrel yesterday. Those are pre-OPEC numbers.
Clearly, no one is going to make any money with prices at that level, even though they are priced in US dollars and that has been rising. We can see that reality in the way our stock market has reacted – dropping more sharply than the trading floors of other nations.
What this tells us is that a good chunk of Canada’s wealth is derived from energy exports. Converting to greener sources for our consumption is not going to replace that. We consume only a tiny percentage of the energy we produce and the rest is exported. Now we know what losing that revenue stream looks like to our economy.