TORONTO SUN COLUMN: Resource development a common-sense way to fight inflation

Water is wet and Canadians are struggling with inflation. You won’t find many truths more obvious than this.

But what do we do about inflation? There’s a solution that isn’t talked about very often: increasing the value of the Canadian dollar. Thankfully, this option is easier than you might think.

Consider that when you purchase your groceries at a local grocery store or buy goods at a local retailer, many of those products are from other countries. Those goods were purchased by retailers after they converted Canadian dollars into foreign currencies. If our dollar was stronger, the cost of those products in stores would decrease.

So how could we increase the value of our dollar?

Think about this quote from the Bank of Canada in 2012: “Rising commodity prices account for about half of the appreciation of the Canadian dollar over the past decade.”

Canada cannot control the price of oil or copper or wood products on the world stage, but what we can do is sell more of our resources. We’re a nation that is blessed with an abundance of oil and natural gas, metals, minerals and forestry products, yet we’ve become a country of “no” when it comes to stepping up to developing more of our resources for sale to the world.

Countless natural resource projects have been stalled or cancelled in this nation over the past decade due to government policies. From 2014 to 2021, tallied up 23 large projects worth more than $200 billion. For perspective, that’s equivalent to building more than 250 NHL-sized arenas ­— government policies have blocked an enormous economic opportunity for our nation.

Greece’s prime minister stopped by Canada recently with a mission to buy liquefied natural gas. But, once again, the federal government turned down this great opportunity for Canada. Ottawa has embraced a nonsensical, obstructive position when developing our resources. Policy after policy passed at the federal level has made it next to impossible to get our resource projects up off the ground.

According to the group Canada Action, South Korea, Ukraine, Japan, Germany, Poland and Latvia have also sought to buy or encouraged Canada to export more resources. This is especially true for Ukraine — as long as the world continues to buy oil and natural gas from Russia, Putin will use those profits to fund his war machine.

If Canada removed federal policies aimed at blocking resource sales – the “no more pipelines” policy, the ban on tankers in Northern B.C., obstructive environmental reviews and more — then we could see more mines starting up, more natural gas projects, etc. This would mean more exports, a higher demand for our dollar and ultimately, lower grocery bills. Helping the world get off Putin’s oil and natural gas resources is a geopolitical benefit that cannot be overlooked. Environmentally speaking, Canada could help reduce emissions if countries used our cleaner-burning natural gas to create electricity rather than coal.

Even if Canada took a more common-sense position when it came to resource development, inflation wouldn’t be solved overnight and this option wouldn’t solve the entire problem. But it could help — and talking about the solution is a good first step.

Colin Craig is president of, a Canadian think tank

This column was originally published in The Toronto Sun on April 29, 2024.

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