Thomas Mulcair invoked Norway in May and Christy Clark praised Norway’s approach to pipeline safety last month. Now, the Tyee has dispatched Mitchell Anderson to study the country’s oil policy.
Could the Norwegian model work here? Would industry and investment flee Canada if we were to demand greater oversight and resource rents? This view seems a common refrain from many pundits and politicians, and was a central issue in the last Alberta election. Yet capital flight has never been a problem in Norway. More foreign petroleum companies than ever are lining up to invest billions, while submitting to levels of government oversight and taxation unheard of in Canada.
In fact these conditions seem attractive to investors since from the point of view of the Norwegian population, the development their oil industry has been a consensual act. This national buy-in by the taxpayers of Norway builds investor certainty, in contrast to the unpredictable pitched battles ongoing here in Canada.