All of the oil sands expansion the Harper government has gone to such effort to clear the way for might not even happen because of dropping oil prices. Oops.
Canadian oil producers are already struggling with rising operating costs and low profit margins. While Mr. Madani says that there is no definitive answer to the question of how far oil prices would have to fall before development plans get shelved, the threshold may be close. New oil sands mines require oil prices of about $80 a barrel to break even, while even low-cost projects require $60 oil. 
“The upshot is that the darkening global outlook and sharp decline in oil prices have thrown a spanner in the works of oil sands producers, which casts more doubt over Canada’s business investment outlook,” he said. “Should oil prices fall much further from where they are now, this would surely put at jeopardy the overall outlook for the domestic economy.”