The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has been reaching out to communities in an effort to promote the importance of the oil and gas sector to the Canadian economy, and those efforts have come to Estevan.
Kelly McTaggart, an advisor for community engagement with CAPP, made a couple of presentations to Estevan during the past week. The first was a virtual PowerPoint speech to the Estevan Chamber of Commerce on April 14 that saw her talk to chamber members and then answer questions from the audience.
The other was to Estevan city council April 19, in which she talked for 10 to 15 minutes, and then answered questions from council members.
McTaggart said she wanted to give a global energy update to the chamber, with forecasts for energy demand and the place of the Canadian and Saskatchewan oil and gas markets.
In both instances, she spoke to her audience via Zoom.
“What we’re looking at right now with CAPP is the context within this post-pandemic world,” McTaggart said. “Canadians are really looking for ways to reboot the economy and get people back to work.”
A lot of what they’re presenting ties in with the Government of Saskatchewan’s 2020-2030 growth plan, which envisions approximately 100,000 new jobs. McTaggart believes the oil and gas industry is poised to help create those jobs.
There are about 30,000 people in the province employed by the energy sector, she said, and CAPP wants to see the number grow.
When CAPP talks to chambers and municipal councils across the province, the organization is looking to provide perspective on the economy and opportunities for growth, along with policy they’ll be working on for the next year.
CAPP has a manager of operations that has been working in the province for a number of years, and McTaggart’s role is to provide the operational updates.
“All of the jurisdictions that we present in have interest in the oil and gas industry, especially from the chambers of commerce perspective,” said McTaggart.
There’s quite a lot of support and interest in the province for oil and gas, but McTaggart sees her role in informing those who might be conditional supporters of the industry, or who require more information.
She’ll talk about how clean technology and innovation have a huge stake, especially as the province moves into economic recovery mode.
A motion put forward by Regina city council’s executive committee that would have restricted energy companies who produce or sell fossil fuel products from sponsoring or advertising with the City of Regina drew a lot of attention and criticism from the energy sector and elsewhere.
That motion was later rescinded.
CAPP had planned to speak to the business community and councils before the controversial motion was put forward in January.
“When we started having discussions with council, and provided some information on that, I think it’s really the information that is needed to provide the context, which is industry is a big part of the province, and people are generally very supportive of it.”
These presentations are happening across Western Canada because of the need to get people back to work and promote the industry.
CAPP also wants to address some of the misconceptions associated with oil and gas.
“The presentations are intended to look at provincial priorities and where the industry fits into that in terms of existing production and market access capacity and competitiveness issues, and then also where we’re heading as an industry in Canada and each of these provincial jurisdictions,” she said.
The construction of pipelines is always a discussion point in Canada, but CAPP is also looking clean tech opportunities, innovation, and policies and regulatory competitiveness issues.
CAPP also wants to know how communities are doing, not just from an industry perspective, but generally as communities cope with the challenges of COVID-19.
CAPP hopes to see Saskatchewan be among the most attractive jurisdictions for oil and gas investment, and they feel it’s consistent with the province’s objective with their growth plan. They look forward to working with local communities, the province and those who are part of the economic recovery strategy.