Canada once had a vibrant manufacturing sector, growing economy and about 20 oil tankers per year passing through Burrard Inlet in B.C., mostly delivering refined products to coastal communities. Today, Canada has a declining manufacturing sector, growing unemployment, and over 70 crude oil tankers per year transiting Burrard Inlet. What happened?
The tar sands happened. Canada took the lure of globalization and raw resource export. Over a decade ago, the world's largest oil companies decided to exploit the black bitumen tar buried under Alberta's boreal forest, and to ship it from Canada with minimal local economic benefit.