CALGARY — Canadian energy executives are becoming increasingly vocal about the country losing its competitive edge relative to their peers in the United States, saying it’s “very, very worrisome” that investors are exiting the domestic energy sector.
“If the people of Canada think for one moment that we can only have Canadian investors and hope to drive any type of business going forward, they are absolutely, massively mistaken,” Grant Fagerheim. president and CEO of Whitecap Resources Inc., said in in an interview about the exodus of foreign investors in the domestic oil and gas industry.
Their concerns were echoed by a foreign institutional investor in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that was shared with the Financial Post. The letter marks the second time in recent weeks a fund manager outside of Canada has directed their concerns to Trudeau.
“Moving forward, I hope your government will start to recognize the numerous issues that are affecting Canada’s energy sector, and do everything in its power to support an industry which has benefited Canadian prosperity for a long period of time,” Susan Johns, a U.K.-based fund manager, said in the letter, dated Nov. 7.
It follows a similar note last month by Darren Peers, an analyst and investor at Los Angeles-based Capital Research, a US$1.7-trillion fund, which criticized Ottawa for allowing Canadian energy competitiveness to lag.
Johns, who was previously with London-based Consulta, but is now running her own fund called Susan Johns LP, stated in her letter that she has invested in Canadian junior and intermediate companies for more than 30 years.
It is “hard for me to watch such a vibrant industry being strangled by regulation, carbon taxes and the inability of producers to get their product to world markets,” she said in the letter.