Canadian Oil Isn't Ethical

June 5, 2020

By: Hanson Feng

Hanson Feng
Senior Business and Economics Columnist  

Canadian oil and gas have taken a beating with no recovery after the 2014 crash. Husky Energy (TSX: HSE.TO) was once known as a stable and blue-chip stock with a price of over almost $50 before the great recession of 2008. Since the beginning of 2020, a Starbucks latte is more expensive than a share of this giant organization. This isn’t to say that you’d be paid to take oil away at the height of the COVID-19 economic downturn. 

Conservative politicians have always had a strong base in the oil province of Alberta and have constantly been the cheerleaders of the oil and gas industry. Claiming it’s the most ethically produced oil in the world that respects human rights, dignity, and generously compensates its workers. Let’s be clear, as a Canadian I’m proud of the oil and gas industry, my family has benefited from the boom. But the craze is over and so is the claim that our resources are 100% ethical.

I Saudi Arabia is Buying Canadian Oil Shares

Saudi Arabia is founded on oil and gas just like Alberta, but with all of the ownership centralized under one power. While Canadian companies cannot directly control who buys their shares, no for-profit organization would give up capital funding. But when our energy activity is funded by an anti-democratic and repressive regime, we cannot claim our oil is more ‘ethical’ than theirs, it’s equal. If corporate executives continue to ignore this disrespect to basic human dignity by its larger investors, it’ll directly oppose this image of morality and dignity presented by the right. This will provide the left with an open net to score an anti-Canadian energy goal. This could soon mark the demise of the Canadian non-renewable energy sector.

Maclean’s, Max Fawcett, 2020