CALGARY – Former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice says Canada has been complacent when it comes to making the most of its resource wealth.
Prentice, currently a CIBC executive, says Canada hasn’t been playing the global energy game with much skill, foresight or cohesiveness.
He told a summit on Alberta’s economy that relying on the U.S. as a customer for energy exports used to be a nuisance but now it’s an enormous vulnerability for Canada and Alberta alike.
Prentice says he’s confident the Keystone XL pipeline between the oilsands and the U.S. Gulf Coast will go ahead.
But he cautions it’s not going to solve the problem since demand growth is in Asia, not south of the border.
He says until recently former Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel was the only public figure making a sustained push for West Coast pipeline access and now it’s time for everyone to pull together to that end.
Prentice says First Nations — some of the most vocal critics to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline — need to play a central role in the discussion.