Governments need to create policies that will help support and encourage global investment in Canadian energy as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pummel the sector, according to former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Brian Tobin.

“There isn’t, regrettably, a magic button to be pushed or programed to be invented that can make the challenges and the pain that we’re feeling go away,” Tobin said in a television interview Tuesday.

“That being said, there are things governments can do and should look at doing to make our exploration, our development of our offshore – and for that matter onshore resources – attractive to global capital.”

The BMO Financial Group vice chair said governments need to start looking at policy instruments that could entice foreign businesses to invest in Canada’s energy sector.

“That really involves looking at our tax regime, looking at how we treat companies that want to invest in the offshore, in particular offshore east coast Canada, but also those who continue to participate in the tar sands or in the development of natural gas in British Columbia or Saskatchewan,” Tobin said.

“Look at the policy instruments that we have at this time and make sure they reflect the reality of the challenges of companies that are being called upon to put up huge amounts of capital to sustain and to develop new sources of energy in Canada.”