Mining Company Withdraws From $20B Oil Sands Project — Citing Trudeau’s Environmental Policies

From The Daily Caller

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

February 24, 2020 10:23 AM ET

Canada’s Teck Resources Ltd. has withdrew its application for a $20.6 billion Alberta oil sands project because the Trudeau government’s environmental and climate change policies lack “clarity.”

In an open letter to Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change posted on the firm’s website Sunday night, the company president and CEO Don Lindsay explained, “I  want to make clear that we are not merely shying away from controversy. The nature of our business dictates that a vocal minority will almost inevitably oppose specific developments.”

The oil sands, located northeast of Edmonton, are considered to be the third largest petroleum reserves in the world.

The news comes just as the Ontario Provincial Police ordered environmental extremists to remove a barricade near Belleville, Ontario Monday that had brought railway traffic to a standstill for the past three weeks. After sustained criticism and with shortages of fuel and food looming, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that “the barricades need to come down.” (RELATED: Trudeau Has No Plan To Deal With Crisis As Natives Block Two Bridges To US)

But for Lindsay and Teck Resources, it wasn’t just about the latest protest. “We are prepared to face that sort of opposition.” It was the “broader debate over climate change and Canada’s role in addressing it” that convinced the century-old mining company to pull out.

Lindsay cautioned that the oil sands project demanded clear direction from the federal government on what sort of resource exploration it would be willing to tolerate given the current level of climate change activism. (RELATED: Counter-Protesters In Alberta Tear Down Anti-Pipeline Barricade As Trudeau Contemplates Action)

“Without clarity on this critical question, the situation … will be faced by future projects and it will be very difficult to attract future investment, either domestic or foreign,” the letter says.

The company said it will take a $1.13-billion loss on the project that could have created 9,500 jobs in the Canadian oil and gas sector from construction to petroleum extraction. The federal government was expecting more than $70 billion in revenue from the project.

Their decisions to move on was made only hour after the Alberta government announced that two First Nations, originally opposed to the project, had agreed to allow the work to begin.

The Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations were concerned about potential danger to bison and caribou habitats.

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Andre Lauzon
February 25, 2020 10:09 pm

This week I saw a cartoon that had the following caption………… ” I liked my Canada when the village idiot an the Prime Minister were two different people.”
We never had such a complete useless Gov’t in Canada.

Reply to  Andre Lauzon
February 25, 2020 11:54 pm

Voting for him once might be considered a mistake as you weren’t aware of his policies but to vote for him twice suggests he must have overall support


Lorne Newell
Reply to  tonyb
February 26, 2020 12:14 am
Reply to  Lorne Newell
February 26, 2020 12:16 am

He did not win the popular vote.

Reply to  Lorne
February 26, 2020 12:39 am

But nor did Trump. I am not a fan of Trudeau but by the rules of the game he was voted into power for a second time so most people must like his policies. I assume its the usual split between the metropolitan areas and the more rural and suburban seats


Reply to  Lorne
February 26, 2020 6:49 am

Yes. Trudeau won the big city vote and the Maritimes. Otherwise, he had no seats from the Pacific Ocean to the outskirts of Toronto.

The sooner the West secedes, the better.

Lee L
Reply to  Lorne
February 26, 2020 8:31 am

He not only did not win the popular vote, he and his party did not elect enough seats to form a majority government. It is a minority government meaning it must practice big time sucking up to the other left leaning parties in the parliament ( NDP , Green and elements of the Bloc Quebecois in this case) in order to survive. Not really the same system as Trump has to work with.

Trudeau and his party were reelected but went from a majority government where they could pass any policies they wanted to a minority government where they can’t.

Reply to  Lorne
February 26, 2020 8:40 am

The word ‘balkanization’ is being used to describe the results. There was suggestion that Toronto become a ‘city nation’ after these results.

What a legacy!

Michael Burns
Reply to  Lorne
February 26, 2020 11:31 am

“The sooner the West secedes, the better.”

Xenophobic at least, propagandist and ridiculously stupid at best. Why would we abandon a country that we mainly built, I would say…
To be land-lock, the west would implement the destruction of itself by the higher populations of the east and west. And that is a double entendre of the description of this new Gaian religion that populates the cities.
We are considered rednecks here in the west because we see this rather cheap and efficient way of fueling an economy and our lives, this paramount fix of an atmosphere in a deficit for CO2. Who knows no better.
To separate from a country the west has built with its wealth — an economy over the last six decades that has thrived because of us would be suicide.
What is left of the country after we leave… would harass and wage an economic war on us because of the oil. A natural oil spill that happened long before we came along, and we are doing our best to clean up. No solutions we would find to gain markets for that oil would suit them, we would be left to massive tariffs, rail restrictions, and no friends to the north, and in the end, looking to the south for a reprieve from the pestering from Greenpeace retards, and Gaian naval-gazing easterners.

I know that this kind of separatist nonsense is the next step in the gameplan to ruin an economy that should have been like a Venezuela, now caught in the grips of Marxism, we should be in the top performers in the world, but with eastern zeal for the new green religion; stupidity in the sense of knowing what drives global climate, and that touchy feeling cheese glob of sentiment they want to turn the world into a global cluster f**k.

Marxism the “Philosophy of Misery” that has inspired socialists who were born from an idiot really — who was a hodgepodge of neurosis, alcoholic and a narcotics induced mania, a user who flinched and twitched with OCD like ailments from his terrible body care and his poverty. His abandonment of his family really His Moorish ways and tendencies. Even though he hated the bourgeois, he enjoyed the good life, caviar, fine wine, and all excesses of wealth when he had it, a walking contradiction of terms, who hated his own life, forced to smoke cheap cigars and considered his life “the wretchedness of existence”. He complained of boils and aches and soreness, of headaches and insomnia. His philosophy is born from the idea of life as simply a suffering caused by the rich. Marxism is a perfect reflection of that hatred of life. His philosophy has inspired wretches all over the world to slaughter tens of millions in its name.
Marxist Socialism: what an utter waste of life. And who0 has this fool inspired the likes of Fidel Castro, Xi Jinping, Salvatore Allende, Nicholas Maduro, Mao Zedong, Lenin, and the Russian Chekists who destroyed in millions.

Separation of the west is a Marxist idea, propagandized and instilled as a logical deduction from the extremes that we face as western provinces from eastern Libtards who hate our success and fear that we take a hand to the rudder and steer the ship away from the rocks.

Reply to  tonyb
February 26, 2020 9:26 am

Ontario and Quebec only. Too bad they get to decide for everyone. At least the USA has a senate to represent the smaller states. The other 8 provinces are SOL

Richard Mann
Reply to  tonyb
February 26, 2020 10:59 am

How can the second time be an accident?

Monna Manhas
Reply to  tonyb
February 27, 2020 8:06 am

His party won 157 seats with 33% of the popular vote. The Conservative party won 121 seats with 34.5% of the popular vote.
Most of the votes for the Liberals came from Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. There were no MPs from his party elected in either Alberta or Saskatchewan, BC (outside of Vancouver) went to 2 other parties, and the only Liberal MPs elected in Manitoba and Ontario were in urban areas. Most of Quebec voted for the Bloc Quebecois. So no, he doesn’t have overall support.

Joe Campbell
Reply to  Andre Lauzon
February 26, 2020 6:54 am

Andre: Belly laugh – Thanks…

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Andre Lauzon
February 26, 2020 6:33 pm

Yeah but there must be a majority of brain dead voters who put a kid of subpar intelligence with zero experience into the job (twice). I’m thinking about moving out of there, a country I once loved and felt was the best in the world. What happened to these people. I’ve told otherwise smart people that I’ve talked to that the party they voted for is not the one they think it is these days. They get voted nationally but have outsourced thier real constituency – a centrally-planned, unelected Eurocentric Global Governance authority.

February 25, 2020 10:10 pm

Trudeau, a fine example of a snake oil salesman.

Reply to  fatherup
February 26, 2020 1:07 am

He won’t be turning tar sands into snake oil any time soon now that the US is self-sufficient in oil and gas!

The time to strike was back 7 to 9 years ago when US domestic crude was fetching $96/bbl! Now producers are getting a third less and crude is a buyer’s market!

That situation could last for decades, too! Canada may never get production going before alternatives in nuclear render the resource obsolete!

Reply to  RockyRoad
February 26, 2020 8:19 am

You think there may be reactors small enough to power my car? Or trucks or construction and farm machinery?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Rick
February 26, 2020 8:38 am

What, you haven’t picked up your “Mr. Fusion” yet??

Reply to  Rick
February 26, 2020 9:49 am

No but with LFTR or other 4th gen, you can use the off peak electricity to make a viable substitute for the same cost.

Reply to  RockyRoad
February 26, 2020 9:45 am

The developer was willing to make the commitment to the project at current prices except for government obstacles. Greenies are just as opposed to nuclear and hydro as they are to oil and gas – in fact to anything that actually works.

February 25, 2020 10:14 pm

I don’t know why Teck announced this a week before the Federal Cabinet was to make a decision on the project by the end of the month after spending $1.1 Billion getting it all approved regulatory wise. It would have been far better off to either have the Canadian federal Gov’t reject the project and take the blame directly, or the Feds approve it and Teck has it in their back pocket to implement when oil prices undoubtedly recover. That blind sided everyone.

We will have to sort out this anarchy that is going on that has been implicitly supported by PM Trudeau, or the country will grind to a halt, just as maybe a pandemic global is on on our doorstep. This should be a wake up call to the rest of the Western powers to not allow the left to hijack any agenda, and swiftly shut down this type of illegal behaviour. Alberta is just introducing legislation with Bill 1 of this new legislative session to make it a criminal act to interfere in any any infrastructure development and so should every other province and state. Enough is enough!

Bryan A
Reply to  Earthling2
February 25, 2020 10:29 pm
Modern, Cambridge Massachusetts has delivered the first Coronavirus Vaccine for human trials.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Bryan A
February 26, 2020 8:41 am

The problem is that this virus is one of the “naked” types and undergoes extensive mutation on replication, much like the standard flu bug. Likewise, any vaccine is likely to be only about 30% effective, just like the standard annual shot.

Reply to  Earthling2
February 25, 2020 11:11 pm

We can only hope that even a leader whose professional expertise is coaching children’s drama can now see that Canada has become ungovernable. Surely even a man child must realize at some point that he has a moral responsibility to preserve “peace, order and good government” and that cannot be achieved by acquiescing to the demands of tribal clan leaders whose power derives historic violence and oppression including torture and slavery.

Abolition Man
Reply to  BCBill
February 25, 2020 11:59 pm

BCBill, I’m afraid your hopes will be dashed on the rocks in Trudope’s head! Interesting Wiki article; can you think of any ancient society or culture that did NOT practice some kind of slavery? I haven’t found one yet!

Reply to  Abolition Man
February 28, 2020 5:06 pm

I agree that slavery was commonplace. The Western world moved on to elected leadership and dispense with slavery. While elected leaders may or may not have had slave keeping ancestors, the Hereditary Chiefs claim a direct lineage from leaders who were not elected and who practised some of the worst oppression that humans are capable of (read Jesuit accounts of Amerindian torture). Most of the civilized world has moved on from the institutions that embraced torture and slavery but in Canada we are forced to recognise traditional practises, which if they wanted to insist, could include the right to commit torture and slavery. I do not acknowledge Hereditary rights of any kind and our courts have created a dysfunctional country wherein we are expected to give equal recognition of Hereditary claims to power regardless of how tenuous or destructive they are.

Reply to  BCBill
February 26, 2020 5:02 am

The Liberals, supported by CBC cheerleading, have made the country ungovernable. Blockades have happened before. They have been tolerated by the government because of the ethnicity of the participants.

Reply to  Earthling2
February 25, 2020 11:25 pm

My assumption is Teck, after many years of working on the project, determined that even with formal authorization/tribal involvement down the years there are risks of potential disruptions to a reliable return on their billions invested. In other words, Teck executives got together, asked whether the whole thing was worth it anymore & decided writing down the money spent as lost was preferable.

There are a lot of attractive ventures a young person/business might take go in for & that also an older person/business will like, but realize they don’t need to pursue. Investment strategies are something that can change, so Teck re-evaluated theirs in this case & my capitalist intuition thinks probably rightly so.

I read that Teck’s retreat has potential to influence progress of other mega-billion investment projects being considered in Canada. The aphorism: “Get woke, go broke …”
may be an easy rejoinder, but it’s no joke some decent people’s jobs are sacrificed.

Reply to  gringojay
February 25, 2020 11:58 pm

Read there are a lot of easier countries with more clear political process to make money in.

Ron Long
Reply to  gringojay
February 26, 2020 1:54 am

I am certain that TECK, which is a well-managed mining company, had a serious meeting wherein “Fatal Flaws and Critical Paths” were discussed. As a participant in these types of reviews, both from the presenter side and the Senior Management/Director side, I can imagine an initial discussion, followed by a cold-blooded calculation of the Risk versus Reward formula. The $1.1 billion was sunk funds, and no major company chases sunk funds (and smart individual investors don’t either). This is another major blow to the current political structure in Canada and I hope it helps them to return to sanity.

Robert MacLellan
Reply to  Earthling2
February 26, 2020 3:19 am

I don’t know the reason either but suggest this may have been a factor…
After a decade of working through the regulatory process they were faced with possible ruinous additional carbon taxes around the time they would be ready to operate. There is also the uncertain political climate here in the once “Great White North”.

Reply to  Earthling2
February 27, 2020 10:00 am

They withdrew because they could see that endless blockades would hobble it anyway, and Ottawa would do nothing to enforce the rule of law. Besides Teck cutting their losses, I believe they were making an unspoken statement regarding their opinion of the chances of resource development in this country at this point. And they were right.

February 25, 2020 10:18 pm

“Counter protesters tore down a barricade Wednesday in front of Canadian National (CN) railway tracks near Edmonton, Alberta, after environmental activists erected it”

Climate change civil war?

Reply to  chaamjamal
February 25, 2020 10:51 pm

Yes, and no. Much of the rail blockade is about Indigenous rights, but to do with the gas pipeline through their remote territory in northern British Columbia. But the climate change zealots are co-opting the aboriginal folk as ‘useful idiots’ in their campaign against anything ‘carbon’. Ironically, the majority of the local rural aboriginal folk actually support the gas and oils pipelines and petroleum development, both in Alberta and BC where they actually live and have no employment, but the squeaky wheel seems to be getting the grease. They are being bullied and terrorized into staying silent by a host of NGO’s and out of country financial influences. Until the silent majority (both Indigenous and Settlers) rise up and have their say, the weak and inept federal Gov’t of Trudeau will side with the carbon protesters, since that is the federal Gov’t identical agenda and about as much have sanctioned all of this the last 4-5 years. Sorry to refer to myself as a settler, but that is the discrimination placed upon us who have been here for generations too.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Earthling2
February 26, 2020 12:09 am

the squeaky wheel seems to be getting the grease

As my erstwhile boss used to say come pay rise time, “Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets oiled, sometimes it gets replaced.”

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 26, 2020 12:23 am


Lee L
Reply to  Earthling2
February 26, 2020 8:59 am


Neither you nor I are any more of a ‘settler’ than the entirety of the so called ‘First Nations’ populace err… pardon me ‘First Settler Nations’ populace. Here in North America, everybody comes from somewhere if you want to go back far enough.

I have been living on this land in Vancouver since the day I was born and therefore consider myself to be indigenous. Further, I have been living on this land longer than most of the people on the local reservation, on the pipeline blockade or for that matter anywhere in Canada. (I am 70 plus years old).

Just sayin’.

Reply to  Lee L
February 26, 2020 9:56 am

Agreed. Can you imagine if you or I called a Syrian refugee a ‘settler’ with the same negative connotation that is implied by some aboriginal people against the majority Caucasian population who were born here? I suppose that is why nothing happens to those who use racism against the majority, similar to it is ok to slander Christians and Christianity, but if you said the exact same thing about Islam and Moslems, then you would be up the creek without a paddle. The West appears to be in free fall decline if all this nonsense is allowed to continue.

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Earthling2
February 27, 2020 9:22 am

The blockades aren’t about indigenous rights. The band councils and the people they represent are all on board (except for the 5 unelected hereditary chiefs). The people who want the project to proceed are indigenous people who want a piece of the prosperity that the oil and gas industry provides. What’s wrong with that? What about their rights?

This is just another attack on our resource industries, by people who are trying to kill our Western economy. And our Prime Minister has been aiding and abetting them for the last 5 years.

Imagine what people would say if you told them that the Queen was going to dictate how we run Canada, because the Crown owns all public lands. You’d have a revolt on your hands. Yet these same people say that 5 unelected hereditary chiefs should be able to shut down this project, even though the ELECTED band councils and the majority of the people they represent WANT the project.

Abolition Man
February 25, 2020 10:46 pm

Canada, the coldest nation on earth, worrying about a few degrees of possible warming is like a morbidly obese person stressing about losing twenty or thirty pounds! Trudope is trying to take Canada back to the halcyon days of the 70s; the 1870s that is!

Reply to  Abolition Man
February 26, 2020 8:44 am

This has always baffled me. Even during a cold winter, people up here are wringing their hands worrying about “will there be 1.5°C or 2°C of global warming?”. Some cities (e.g. Edmonton) have declared a “Climate Emergency”. The only climate related emergency facing Edmonton is the annual onset of winter.

Lee L
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
February 26, 2020 9:02 am

That’s not the onset of winter Jeff in Calgary.
It’s the onset of Agenda 21 and that is a real emergency.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
February 27, 2020 10:05 am

A couple of months ago Alberta’s power grid was at an emergency stage when the weather got really cold for a few days. The previous NDP provincial government had mandated the closure of several coal-fired powerplants, they being replaced by renewable energy like wind and solar, and the renewables couldn’t keep up. Most people don’t seem to know that really cold weather is the result of a high-pressure system settling over an area, and that means no wind. No wind means no power. This is the green future, folks.

They couldn’t get the coal-fired machinery going because it was all frozen up.

February 25, 2020 11:54 pm

The cancellation of the Teck project and the rail blockades are not accidents – this is the plan of Trudeau’s Marxist handlers to destroy Canada, much like Venezuela and Zimbabwe were destroyed. This is the standard way that Marxists take over a country – destroy the economy and then ride in to the rescue, only it make it much worse. Trudeau and his handlers are traitors to Canada – they belong in jail.

Most of the demonstrators, including many natives, were bribed to oppose the pipeline. More than $160 million of foreign money has been spent by foreign funders like the Tides Foundation to bribe anti-pipeline groups. Industry and governments have willfully slept and allowed the rights of their shareholders and of all Canadians to be plundered by foreign-paid extremists.

Deliberate destruction of the economy is the leftists’ path to a Marxist dictatorship. Ruin the economy and then tell the sheep you will be their savior – it has worked across Africa and South America – note Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

It is now working in Europe and also in Canada under Trudeau and his Marxist cabal.

On Sunday 23Feb2020 the $20 billion Teck oilsands project was shelved, thanks to Trudeau’s deliberate inaction and the terrorism of a handful of foreign-paid activists.

Trudeau was delaying his decision because THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR ECONOMY IS PART OF HIS PLAN.

This is the article that Trudeau’s $600 million “bought” Canadian press would not print.

by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., October 1, 2019

A highly credible gentleman wrote me as follows, concerning his recent conversation with an Ottawa insider.

The insider, he said, had been working on an advisory group to the Trudeau government. The group was not formed to discuss policy for the 5 year horizon that governments are usually interested in but to develop policies for the further future, 20 to 40 years out. The implication was that the group had concluded that the present economic model was flawed and had to be replaced. “Unregulated consumerism was unsustainable and people would have to learn to make do with less. The government would have to have more control over people to enforce their austerity and the wealth of developed nations would have to be redistributed to help undeveloped nations.”

February 26, 2020 12:00 am

Well the Climate Activists got one resource company to pull out of Canada they should be happy when they get them all to pull out. Who needs resources anyhow 🙂

Reply to  LdB
February 26, 2020 12:29 am

They have gotten a lot more than one. A dozen would be closer. And perhaps conservative.

Lee L
Reply to  LdB
February 26, 2020 9:19 am

Well ya LdB. We don’t need jobs either. I mean most of THEM don’t have one and do just fine.

February 26, 2020 6:28 am

Allan, a co-ordinated agendized effort does seem to explain the situation, but plain old stupidity remains a valid hypothesis.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
February 26, 2020 6:54 am

Trudeau may be stupid, but his owners aren’t. They want to destroy us.

February 26, 2020 9:42 am

Take a look at the trailer for Vivian Krause’s recently released documentary called “Over a Barrel’.

Canadians need to know about the details regarding “outside interference”.

February 28, 2020 12:24 am

Correction: $600 million of foreign money, not $160 million.

“More than $600 million of foreign money has been spent by foreign funders like the Tides Foundation to bribe anti-pipeline groups.”


The makers of the documentary Over a Barrel, about foreign funding of Canadian oil and gas opposition, have temporarily removed the cost to view after being “inundated by pleas for the film to be made freely available.”


See also:
March 3, 2018

Peter D
February 26, 2020 12:23 am

Same thing happening in Australia, although the big corporations are a little more subtle. Project after project, being sold or closed.
Our supposedly conservative Government is not sending clear messages.
Like Canada, these big companies can see better opportunities elsewhere.

Reply to  Peter D
February 26, 2020 2:06 am

Atlas Shrugged stuff. It is a movement that is growing around the world.

Rod Evans
February 26, 2020 12:34 am

There is a pattern developing here that we see in Canada. The target nations are the ones that are blessed with abundance.
The Marxists took Zimbabwe, a nation blessed with stable climate conditions and the envy of Africa regarding farming production. Self sufficient and economically strong. It was destroyed by attacking its prime industry and driving out those who knew how to run the country.
Venezuela, a country rich in all forms of energy, a place closer to a natural paradise it would be difficult to find. Venezuela has been destroyed by Marxists people are leaving, the oil industry has all but collapsed due to failure of maintenance and zero care.
Canada is probably the most blessed country in the world when looking at resources. It is self sufficient in all forms of energy, all forms of agriculture and all forms of mineral resources. That has made Canada the prime target for the Marxists. Add to the mix a prime minister who clearly lacks any credibility or ability to act, other than possibly becoming an actor. The result is a country where people can no longer do what is needed to maintain the nation, a nation that is principally too cold to be comfortable, without a reliable constant supply of energy. The present government is doing all in its power to block that essential industry. The result will be a migration south of the people with skills and acumen. Canada will go down the route of the other failed Marxist nations, if this nonsense government policy is allowed to carry on.
California is being lined up.
It does not have to be like this.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Rod Evans
February 26, 2020 1:46 am

Rod, Marxists are attracted to wealth like ticks or mosquitoes are attracted to their hosts! Like all parasites they can kill the host if they become too plentiful. Western civilization is in a race to see if the breeding grounds (universities and media) can be fumigated before our societies collapse! The Chicoms stand to gain worldwide hegemony, just as they’ve hoped, due to our failure to teach history!

February 26, 2020 12:57 am

Leftists’ excessive and I nsane regulations and policies increase doubt, risks and costs to the private sector which destroys jobs, limits economic growth, reduces living standards and increase prices.

This $20 billion lost opportunity far exceeds any possible perceived environmental or health cost which Leftists wrongly assumed about this project.

Leftists are clueless on how economies work and fail to account for the terrible consequences their failed and unwarranted policies have on the economy and people’s lives…

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  SAMURAI
March 4, 2020 12:55 pm

I think they account for those terrible consequences very well, Samurai. The difference is that their desired outcome is much different than ours.

February 26, 2020 1:03 am

Hey folks, the story is as much about economics as it is about politics. The oil sands produce very expensive oil. I’m a bit surprised that they are viable at all given competition from relatively cheap fracked oil. Plus, given the pipeline situation, Alberta has to sell its oil at a discount. Why would anyone start a new oil sands project?

In my lifetime, Alberta has gone through a few boom and bust cycles. I think the great surprise of Ralph Klein’s life was that oil could get cheaper.

Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2020 5:15 am

Hi Bob,

Phony green extremists, actually covert Marxists, funded by more than $160 million from the USA-based Tides Foundation and others, have led to pipeline restrictions that have cost Canada over $120 billion in lost oil revenues to date. This charade cannot continue.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s I was responsible for my company’s interest in three large oilsands projects including the Syncrude Canada Ltd. megaproject. I was elected by the representatives of the eight owners to Chair the Syncrude Mining Committee, the Technical Committee and I was also appointed to serve on other owners’ teams including the Management Committee, to which the President to Syncrude reports.

Some background information:

In 1985 I co-initiated and co-authored the proposal that caused operating costs at Syncrude Canada to decrease from ~$18/bbl in the 1980’s to $12/Bbl in the 1990’s – for upgraded light sweet synthetic crude oil. When competently operated, oilsands projects are still profitable. They will be more profitable when pipeline bottlenecks caused by foreign-funded extremists are resolved.

I also co-initiated and co-authored the proposal for new tax terms for the oilsands, and initiated and authored the proposal for new Crown royalty terms. The new tax terms (100% CCA rate for mineable oilsands) were implemented circa 1986 and these were further extended to include in-situ oilsands circa 1997, at the same time that new Crown Royalty terms were implemented (25% Net Profits Royalty with a 1% Gross Minimum until Payout). Along with SAGD technology to economically recover the deep in-situ oilsands, these proposals revitalized the oilsands industry and drove $250 billion in invested capital and created 500,000 good new jobs in Canada.

Canada became the strongest economy in the G8 and the fifth-largest oil producer in the world, and the largest foreign supplier of oil to the USA. These new fiscal terms cost Canada and Alberta nothing – this capital would not have been invested in Canada without these new terms.

In 2018 Canada was still the 4th largest oil producer in the world after the USA, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Alberta produces ~80% of Canada’s oil and most of Canada’s wealth.

Canada is a country of only ~37 million people and only ~4 million live in Alberta. The average Alberta family-of-four has “donated” ~$1 million to the Rest-of-Canada since 1961 (Robert Mansell et al, U of Calgary). In return, our economy has been savaged by extremists, who are apparently supported by the recipients of Alberta’s generous donations – which now total almost $1 Trillion, with nominal interest.

Alberta holds all the cards in this negotiation. It remains to be seen if Alberta has the competence and the will to resolve its problems.

Regards, Allan

February 26, 2020 7:19 am

A couple of times when the US was suffering, Alberta pulled Canada through.

During the oil crisis, Americans were lined up at the pumps desperately trying to get gas. That wasn’t the case in Canada. (Although Trudeau Sr. managed to make himself hated in the west. link)

During the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), workers from all over Canada were finding employment at Fort McMoney and taking large chunks of their wages back to their own provinces. IMHO, the GFC didn’t hurt Canada too badly. (Also, rather conservative banking regulations didn’t hurt.)

You’d think Canadians would show a little gratitude.

Allan, the costs of production you give really surprise me. I thought oil sands oil couldn’t be produced at less than $60/bbl.

You also point out that Alberta has more than 10% of the Canadian population. The Partially Pre European Descended People (PPEDP), who call themselves various politically correct names other than Indian and Eskimo, are less than 10% of the country’s population but they seem to be sucking up all the air recently. I’m glad to see the Conservatives getting a bump up in the polls as a result.

Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2020 5:28 am

My thoughts also, prices are too low to facilitate a new oil sands project.
Good to hear Tech CEO Don Lindsay say it was the “broader debate over climate change and Canada’s role in addressing it” that influenced their decision. Hopefully more voices of wisdom saying the same thing will follow.
The sooner we get this stinky little climate change creature on the back shelves alongside all the other hobgoblins that have come and gone the better.

Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2020 9:30 am

commieBob you are right. It is almost all about economics. Teck started the project based on $95 per barrel of oil over the life of the project. Breakeven was $65/barrel. There was no way the project would ever go ahead without a huge increase in oil prices. Just last week they took a $900 million writedown on their current oil sands venture.

Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2020 11:01 am

given the pipeline situation“. That’s the point, isn’t it? With a pipeline, the project might be viable. But opposition to the pipeline combined with spineless (at best) government has killed the project, and with that the Canadian economy takes another hit.

This was a big project. Big enough to ride out a few boom and bust cycles.

February 26, 2020 4:52 am

What is interesting, is that at some point, Alberta may realize that Quebec in the 1970s granted them a boon. The gift of making succession from the Canadian Federal goverment a right of the provinces.

When Alberta realizes that it 1 sends more money to the center than it receives back and 2 that the money is made from oil which 3 the center doesn’t like, it may decide to exercise that right of succession.

Or maybe not.

February 26, 2020 4:59 am

Go Woke … Go Broke

Reply to  WXcycles
February 26, 2020 10:03 am

Thread winner!

Mathieu Simoneau
February 26, 2020 5:24 am

Here is some eye candies for you all. From my local newspaper.

A quick translation : Canada’s history Chapter 2020

Justin the weak.

Alexander Vissers
February 26, 2020 5:47 am

Current low and lately sinking crude prices may well have supported the decision, under higher risk (political uncertainty) and lower reward (crude prices) prospects abandoning a project is just common sense. Why exploit Canadian tar sands if the Texas Permian basin is providing cheaper and cleaner oil without “liberal” interference? Just another victim of the fracking revolution to me.

February 26, 2020 7:30 am

The problem is not regulations. It is changing regulations. Changing regulations create uncertainty, which drives business away.

The same thing happened a generation ago with Trudeau senior and the National Energy Program. History is now repeating with Trudeau junior.

February 26, 2020 7:46 am

The theory behind the carbon tax is that Canadians will substitute Product X in place of fossil fuels. However, there is no product X available, and Canada has zero prospects for developing such a product.

The reason is simple. The US market. They have huge supplies of cheap fuel and this will suck capital out of Canada.

This will drive down the Canadian dollar and drive up Canadian interest rates. In that environment business will dry up and unemployment will create a Canadian Trump to oppose Trudeau.

The Carbon Tax will have an unintended consequence, having nothing tto do with global warming. .

February 26, 2020 9:05 am

How rail blockades are connected to cancelled $20-billion oilsands project: podcast

What started as a relatively small protest in remote B.C. against a natural gas pipeline effectively froze freight transportation on CN Rail’s tracks in Eastern Canada as protests spread across the country in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
Then, Teck Resources shelved a proposal to build a $20-billion oilsands mine in Alberta.

February 26, 2020 9:07 am

Ignoring concerns of energy-producing provinces could break democratic politics, Michael Ignatieff says

‘The levels of hypocrisy about this in Canada in the democratic system are sickening but it is the necessary hypocrisy of a society trying to hold itself together’

Former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says it is possible that the debate over climate change “could break democratic politics” in Canada if federal policies simply ignore the considerations of energy-producing provinces in the West.

Speaking at Cambridge University two weeks before Canadian mining company Teck cancelled its plan for an estimated $20 billion oilsands mine in Alberta over political uncertainty and amid social unrest, including railroad blockades, protesting a B.C. natural gas pipeline, Ignatieff said that a functional political system requires a “necessary hypocrisy” to navigate debates like the one that pits Canada’s natural resource economy against climate change priorities.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 26, 2020 9:21 am

Canada’s Teck Resources Ltd. has withdrew its application …

(emphasis mine).

I checked and the same mangled grammar is in the original Daily Caller post.


James F. Evans
February 26, 2020 9:21 am

Too bad for Canada

Smart Rock
February 26, 2020 9:32 am

Companies have a primary duty to make money for their shareholders, while respecting laws, regulations and doing their best to maintain cordial relations with the communities they operate in. Taking a stand on matters of principle is not something companies like to do. I strongly suspect that the liberal government got word to Teck that the Frontier operation was not going to get approval, and would they please withdraw the application, to avoid inflaming the already tense situation.

Teck is a major coal producer in Canada, and this makes the company quite vulnerable to further action – or threats of further action – by Big Green and the federal government (which are almost the same thing in Canada now). Teck likes to stress that they mine only metallurgical coal (i.e. for steel making) but that probably doesn’t carry much weight with the greens, who probably don’t understand (and don’t care) that you can’t make steel without iron, and you can’t make iron from iron ore without a reductant. Veiled threats, or pointed hints, from the government? Or just concern that things might get very messy, even to the point of civil unrest? Much safer to bow down to the inevitable, avoid further conflict and try to protect their bottom line.

Much as it might irk us, this is the way big companies think and operate. Not rocking the boat is a way of life for corporations.

Reply to  Smart Rock
February 26, 2020 10:45 am

Swedish-Finnish steel producer SSAB AB (STO:SSAB-B) aims to launch the first fossil-free steel products by 2026. A pilot plant will be up and running by the summer of 2020.

J Mac
Reply to  Alastair McIntosh
February 26, 2020 11:22 am

SSAB estimates steel made by this method is 20-30% more expensive….”
That’s the marketing figure… What would an independent, unbiased accounting show???

February 26, 2020 10:54 am

Environmentalists prefer Green solutions by way of shared/shifted responsibility (e.g. environmental arbitrage) and obfuscated systemic impact (e.g. Green Blight).

Richard Mann
February 26, 2020 11:02 am

We need urgent action, to stop Industrial Wind Turbines now due to known health harm. This is not an economic issue it is an ethics issue. Please ask anyone who denies health harm of Industrial Wind Turbines to watch this presentation. University of Waterloo, Waterloo Ontario Canada.

Title: “Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise: Physics & Cells, History & Health”
Speaker: Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira
Location: University of Waterloo
Date: September 12, 2019

Video archive of presentation:

Dr. Alves-Pereira’s research profile is at www.

Note; there is approx 2 mins of dead air at the beginning. The talk is ~50 minutes, followed by a long Q&A

Paul Murphy
February 26, 2020 11:22 am

Dead wrong – an all interpretive elements

1 – the protests are not environment relaqted
2 – TECK dd not withdraw because of federal environmental policy

What did happen is that the federal government has repeatedly refused to enforce the law against a preferred minority, thereby giving those in control of “indigenous” action a veto over resource development. That action, mainly by people who do not represent the majority of the indigenous population, is not about the environment, it’s about cash.

Many people believe, of course, that Mr. Trudeau’s personal hatred of Alberta helped him to make the decisions leading up to this, and that may, or may not, be true – we won’t know for sure unless Oil is found in Cuba – but, bottom line, the Teck people withdrew because people with no stake in the game are being allowed to block their access to markets.

February 26, 2020 11:31 am

Trudeau is a disgrace.
An excellent article by Rex Murphy sums it up:

February 26, 2020 11:51 am

The deputy Prime Minister Freeland is quite silent. She was the one Trudeau sent to pacify Alberta… As a biographer of Soros, she cannot be pulling some strings there…
BTW the CBC tends to always frame this as a reconciliation issue, us versus them, trying to oppose First Nations and Canadians. This is a gross oversimplification that only serves Trudeau’s UN agenda.
In fact through the process, a majority of FN people have been supportive of the energy projects for years.
Only those in the pay of the Rockefeller Brothers and other Tides have been opposing.
One smart aboriginal leader Ellis Bross summed it up well when he said these multi national foundations have managed to have Canadians fighting each others.
This is no different than the global warming agenda, in which people are willing to cut their own noses to save the planet.

Jack Dale
February 26, 2020 12:44 pm

From Don Lindsay’s letter. Teck supports the federal government’s climate initiative.

“At Teck, we believe deeply in the need to address climate change and believe that Canada has an important role to play globally as a responsible supplier of natural resources. We support strong actions to enable the transition to a low carbon future. We are also strong supporters of Canada’s action on carbon pricing and other climate policies such as legislated caps for oil sands emissions.”

The letter is silent about Premier Kenney, That silent is deafening.

Jack Dale
February 26, 2020 12:46 pm

The announcement was foreshadowed. Oil is nowhere near the price to make the project viable.

From February 11:

Even if the Liberal government approves Teck Resources Ltd’s proposed Frontier oilsands project later this month, there are looming, unresolved economic questions that could determine whether the new mine is constructed.

Most notably, this includes the price of oil. A federal-provincial review panel last year noted that Teck had assumed oil prices would exceed US$95 per barrel, which is 70 per cent higher than the current West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price of about US$56 per barrel.

Last month, even Teck’s chief executive Don Lindsey expressed skepticism about the project — which would cost an estimated $20.6 billion to construct, produce 260,000 barrels of oil per day and operate for four decades — saying the fate of the project depended on ‘three Ps’: oil prices, pipeline capacity and finding the right partners.

February 26, 2020 7:27 pm

USA fracking of tight shales requires higher oil and natural gas prices to be economically viable. Shale wells have rapid decline rates and then more drilling and/or fracking is needed. Mineable oil sands projects, once built, have no significant decline rates. Production often increases significantly over time with little capital required.

2020: The Year of The Oil Bankruptcies – December 27, 2019

Shale Slowdown Takes Economic Toll – Updated December 15, 2019

Fracking Blows Up Investors Again: Phase 2 of the Great American Shale Oil & Gas Bust – November 23, 2019

As Oil Prices Drop and Money Dries Up, Is the U.S. Shale Boom Going Bust? – November 20- 2019

The Great Shale Fracking Slowdown Has Arrived – November 1, 2019

Investors starve US shale drillers of capital – October 23, 2019

Shale wells are on the edge of profitability at current prices – October 10, 2019

US Shale Production Is Set for A Steep Decline – October 1, 2019

Is U.S. shale facing an ‘unmitigated disaster’? – September 19, 2019

Oil and Gas Bankruptcies Grow as Investors Lose Appetite for Shale – August 30, 2019

Shale Oil vs. Conventional Oil: What’s the Difference? – Updated August 8, 2019

U.S. Oil Companies Find Energy Independence Isn’t So Profitable – June 30, 2019

Five Years After Crude’s Collapse, Shale Patch Still Struggles – June 28, 2019

Can Fracking Survive at $50 a Barrel? – Jun 25, 2019

Analysis shows U.S. shale drillers still not profitable – May 31, 2019

Fracking 2.0 Was a Financial Disaster, Will Fracking 3.0 Be Different? – March 12, 2019

February 28, 2020 12:25 am

Correction: $600 million of foreign money, not $160 million.

“More than $600 million of foreign money has been spent by foreign funders like the Tides Foundation to bribe anti-pipeline groups.”


The makers of the documentary Over a Barrel, about foreign funding of Canadian oil and gas opposition, have temporarily removed the cost to view after being “inundated by pleas for the film to be made freely available.”


See also:
March 3, 2018

Chris Hoff
February 28, 2020 10:38 pm

Canada needs Alberta, Alberta does not need Canada. Currently, Alberta pays far and away more in tax revenue to the federal government than is returned in government spending by Ottawa. The same goes for the other 3 western provinces. Trudeau’s base is in Quebec and that province takes far more in government spending than it returns to Ottawa in revenue. If landlocked Alberta were to succeed from Canada, Trudeau would have to make up the revenue loss in order to keep up government spending in Quebec and maintain a happy support base. That means taxing the remaining 3 western provinces more and spending even less in them. The westernmost province, B.C., would be geographically cut off from the rest of the country as well. Alberta could demand access to the Pacific for it’s oil in return for access to the rest of Canada for B.C. So the other 3 western provinces would be faced with a choice, remain in high tax Canada or join low tax Alberta and keep the money they normally send to Ottawa. That’s not a hard decision to make, that also goes for Yukon and the other northern territories. The new country can then sit back, take in the economic refugees from Trudeau’s regime until they have the larger population out west. At that point they can agree to allow the rest of Canada to join the west, only with the new national capital in a place like Moose Jaw or Kicking Horse Pass.

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