Former Encana Chief Executive Officer Gwyn Morgan is warning policy actions south of the border threaten to leave Canadian competitiveness in the dust. In an interview on BNN, Morgan said Canada cannot act as if it’s in a vacuum, and needs to reassess its regulations to respond to the constantly shifting U.S. policy landscape.
“Regardless of how one feels about the importance of a deferment in the U.S. attack on global warming - which I think it going to be a deferment because Trump isn’t going to be around forever, at least we all hope – the reality is, over the next number of years, we really face a very serious competitive situation because of what’s going on down there,” he said.
Morgan said there’s a host of issues he wants Parliament Hill to tackle the Canadian competitiveness issue, including environmental policy, taxation levels and declining productivity.
“I think what has to be done by the Trudeau government is look at all of the picture, because there’s a whole bunch of issues facing Canada,” he said. “As we have businesses leaving and being attracted to the U.S., and as we see issues around trade, the cost of our production and carbon taxes, and all those things, we really need to reevaluate our spending.”
Morgan singled out Ontario’s policies as being particularly unfriendly to business, and described the recent minimum wage hike announcement as a matter of the province piling on to already encumbered businesses.
“I’ve seen a combination of factors: the outrageously expensive cost of electricity is number one, and that’s a made-in-Ontario problem: all [the minimum wage hike] is pile on to that,” he said. “The government of Ontario’s own extraordinary climate change actions piled on top of the carbon taxes: it’s a big burden.”
“I just see no way that a lot of businesses in the province can continue to be competitive under those circumstances.”