Elizabeth May: Falling Oil Prices Show Stephen Harper Has No Economic Vision

OTTAWA – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands, said current low oil prices should be a teachable moment, in that Canada’s economy is about more than oil extraction.

“The truth is that Canada has never been dependent on the oil sands, which account for 2% of our GDP and only 1% of government tax revenue,” Ms. May said. “There is no solid economic reason for the Harper Conservatives to delay the budget. Stephen Harper should not let his fixation with delivering election-geared programs get in the way of doing what is in the national interest.”

“We are more than just a fossil-fuel economy,” Daniel Green, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada, added. “Canada needs to find appropriate revenue tools to support its diverse economy beyond climate damaging bitumen exports.”

Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Superior North, explained that low oil prices impact the value of the Canadian dollar and benefit other sectors of Canada’s economy, such as manufacturing. He added that the federal government must address fundamental problems that Canada faces.

“Since the 1980s, Canada has suffered from declining innovation and productivity relative to the United States, which has costs us billions of dollars and jobs every year,” Mr. Hyer stated. “Stephen Harper wants to brand Canada as a resource superpower, but he has shifted us towards exporting raw goods instead of value-added products.”

“Now is the time to invest in sectors that benefit from a low dollar, such as film production, wine exports, manufacturing, and tourism,” Elizabeth May concluded. “These industries have been hurt by Stephen Harper’s short-sighted economic policies. Bitumen and oil has never been and never will be Canada’s economic savior.”