Former Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said we should all be concerned that another key foreign player is leaving Canada’s energy sector.
“I think it is a concern that you see so many foreign players leaving the oil sands. That should cause us all a lot of concern,” said Baird, in an interview with BNN on Friday.
Baird, who is now a senior advisor at Bennett Jones, was speaking to the news that Apache sold its Canadian unit to Paramount Resources (POU.TO) for $459.5 million, marking its exit from the country.
While Baird said the hope is for Canadian companies to succeed and expand their profile, Apache’s exit signals a lack of foreign confidence in Canada.
“I am deeply concerned by the outflow of capital from Canada,” he said.
“The fact that [there’s] another example of a major global player leaving Canada is a signal that the deference to First Nations, the re-regulation on environmental issues and just frankly the lack of access to tidewater is a confidence concern for key foreign players.”
Baird says simple steps can be taken to keep key players from leaving Canada. “Stop reregulating. Stop putting up more red tape. And obviously getting oil to tidewater will be tremendously important,” Baird said.
He also said the new NDP government in British Columbia is sending a negative message to foreign investors.