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Photo: docentjoyce/flickr
| April 7, 2015
Columnists

Riding the roller-coaster: What lower oil prices mean for Canada's economy

Photo: elston/flickr

Introduction

Canada's economy has been thrown into turmoil by the dramatic decline in oil prices over the last six months. World crude prices have plunged by half: from around $100 (US) per barrel in summer 2014, to around $50 today (see Figure 1). Worse yet, Canada's oil output receives an even lower price: our unprocessed heavy oil exports sell for only about $35 per barrel in the U.S. market (because of its lower quality and a regional supply glut).

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Public ownership of oil refineries will see Alberta through low oil prices, says AFL President Gil McGowan

Photo: Flickr/Kris Krug

Low oil and gas prices may be benefitting consumers in the short-term, but small victories at the pump come with some grave long-term effects for Canada's economy.

With oil prices 40 per cent lower than they were last year, the Conference Board of Canada predicts that national economic growth will be just 1.9 per cent in 2015, down from 2.4 per cent in 2014.

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Death of a Princess revisited

Antony Thomas. Photo: Kempton/flickr

Last week, very wisely, the New York premiere of the film The Interview was cancelled. This week, Sony Pictures cancelled the release of the film, then changed its mind and announced it will release it on Christmas Day.

Am I the only one to find an air of déjà vu in the North Korean-The Interview affair? Has everyone forgotten, or are they too young to remember, that in 1980, the British film Death of a Princess, by Antony Thomas and Gladys Ganley, provoked similar responses on the part of Saudi Arabia?

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| December 19, 2014
Columnists

A number is never just a number: Lac-Mégantic crude

Photo: Carol Von Canon/flickr

72

Number of rail cars carrying Bakken crude oil that crashed into the Quebec community of Lac-Mégantic in July 2013, killing 47 people. (Source)

85

Percentage of tank cars carrying crude oil in North America (at the time of the accident) that were outdated DOT-111 rail cars deemed unsuitable for such transportation. All 72 cars on the MM&A trains that crashed into Lac-Mégantic were old DOT-111s. (Source)

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Columnists

Experts: Halt tar sands development until environmental impacts are properly assessed

Photo: Elias Schewel/flickr

A moratorium on any new oil sands expansion is imperative given Canada's failure to properly assess the total environmental and climate impacts, Canadian and U.S. experts say in the prestigious science journal Nature.

Even with a moratorium it will be very difficult for Canada to meet its international promise to reduce CO2 emissions that are overheating the planet according to government documents as previously reported by DeSmog.

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| July 11, 2014

Jim Prentice and the oil industry

Photo: flickr/Connect 2 Canada
Harper's decision on Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project is deeply linked to the fact that Jim Prentice is now officially in the race for leader of Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party.

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