This pretty much sums up the problem in a single sentence – Canadian energy exports are down, while energy imports are up.
That probably sounds like a contradiction at first, but it is the primary message delivered by StatsCan’s December report on Canada’s trade numbers. Our exports were down – dropping nearly four per cent for the month – and almost all of it (80 per cent) – was from lower energy exports.
On the other hand, our imports were up. The result was a record trade deficit. And the bulk of those imports were energy – oil from offshore at a time when ours is shut-in.
Now, this is a country that is built on exports. With only 35 million people, we have a small domestic market. However, we are highly productive in generating more than we can consume here at home. So, we export our excess production to international markets.
Ottawa, though, has concluded it doesn’t want to export energy by cancelling or delaying pipeline construction. So, our international standing is withering away.
This is just the latest in a string of seemingly daily updates showing our economy fading, all the result of government policy.