We're letting every country grow its energy sector except Canada: Brett Wilson
Canada’s energy sector prospects are brighter as recent decisions have cleared the path for accelerated pipeline construction, according to outspoken investor W. Brett Wilson.
“There’s little doubt we’re turning the corner,” Wilson told BNN Bloomberg in a Thursday interview that aired shortly before the Supreme Court of Canada rejected British Columbia’s appeal for authority over what can flow through the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline. TC Energy Corp. also announced Tuesday it plans to begin pre-construction work on the Keystone XL pipeline in February.
“There is momentum. There’s momentum in the direction of Keystone (XL). There’s momentum in the direction of Coastal (GasLink), which is the LNG pipeline, and now it looks like … there’s momentum in favour of Trans Mountain.”
Wilson, who called the federal government’s decision to green light the Trans Mountain expansion project last June “common sense,” said a favourable Supreme Court decision for Trans Mountain would build upon an increase in crude-by-rail capacity and help narrow the differential between Canadian and U.S. crude prices. However, he remains skeptical about the country’s approval process for major infrastructure projects.
“The constraining factor for – call it - the Canadian sector, not just Alberta, has been export capacity, exit capacity, getting out of the province of Alberta, Saskatchewan, even B.C,” said Wilson, who is the chairman of Canoe Financial.
“We’ve been relying on rail for increased export capacity and that’s been helpful, because that took away the ‘Made in Canada’ discount that was put in place by the sheer stupidity of our process of approving pipelines.”
Wilson is also cashing in on rebounding share prices in Canada’s energy sector. His Canoe Financial colleague Rafi Tahmazian told BNN Bloomberg in December that energy stocks were “on the edge of extreme profitability.”
Wilson told BNN Bloomberg that Tahmazian’s prediction has come to pass.
“We’re up 50 per cent in some names in the last two months because people have said, ‘Alright, we see it. Enough is enough,’” Wilson said.
“The Canadian energy sector has been on sale because there [are] no buyers. So, things have gone lower, and lower, and lower … But as you see export capacity (rising), as you see our differential shrinking, as you see drilling rigs going back to work, you see a sense of optimism in Western Canada that we haven’t seen in three or four years.”