natural resources

Oil is a blessing for Alberta—not a curse

The real “resource curse” is the way successive Alberta governments squandered revenues from resource development.

Greater clarity needed on Aboriginal title and B.C.’s trillion dollar LNG plan

Last summer, I wrote that the Supreme Court’s Tsilhqot’in decision, which for the first time granted Aboriginal title outside an Indian reserve, was going to be a real game changer and would “increase uncertainty in Canada’s natural resource sectors in areas lacking treaties with First Nations.”

Nova Scotia opts for high taxes rather than fracking

From the fur trade to fisheries and forests, Canada was built on the toil and sweat of those who wanted to prosper. But these days, it’s harder to create opportunity. And sometimes, government is to blame. The latest example comes from Nova Scotia.

Don't let mythical thinking on taxes mess up Alberta

As Albertans approach another provincial budget, the usual fables about Alberta’s finances often crop up. To inoculate ourselves in advance, let’s ponder two myths.

Myth Number One: “Alberta’s wealth is a result of luck.”

This tall tale assumes that the existence of natural resources automatically results in wealth creation, jobs, and a higher standard of living. That’s hardly the case. Plenty of jurisdictions have little in the way of natural resources but prosper, while others have plentiful natural resources yet flounder.

Afghanistan's Rare Earth Element Bonanza

After more than a decade of war and nation building, members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan are heading for the exits. Although what ISAF will leave behind is better than what was there in 2001, Afghanistan remains a battered land. However, the resources Afghanistan’s land holds — copper, cobalt, iron, barite, sulfur, lead, silver, zinc, niobium, and 1.4 million metric tons of rare-earth elements (REEs) — may be a silver lining.

Green Dream is a Nightmare for La Belle Province

Quebec’s political leaders seem to have fallen for the Great Green Dream of economic prosperity without energy or natural resource production. It’s a magical vision of a world powered by unicorns and rainbows, where consumer goods are somehow conjured out of thin air rather than being manufactured with resources extracted from the ground. But experience in Europe as well as in Ontario show that chasing the green dream is a path to financial ruin, not utopia.