Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is attending the East Coast Energy Conference this week, where he said: “Canada is emerging as a 21st century energy superpower – unmatched in reliability, responsibility and potential.” His comments bring Canada’s attempt to situate itself at the centre of North American energy security to the forefront.
The statement was made while addressing relations between Canada and the U.S., the world’s largest trade partnership exchanging $700 billion annually, according to a press release put out by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
“As the global middle class grows, so too will global energy demand. Canada can meet that demand: we have solid economic fundamentals and unprecedented energy wealth,” Oliver said.
Mark Jaccard, professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management, says the title “energy superpower” means little more than Canada’s reliance on fossil fuel exports.
“Presumably it means that a country receives significant revenues from energy exports,” he told DeSmog Canada. “Linking this reality to the word ‘superpower’ might best be described by adjectives such as hubris and hype.”
Jaccard added that Canada’s rush to become an energy superpower “is like trying to become a major exporter of…social harms” because fossil fuels are the “primary cause of catastrophic climate change.”