Fraser Institute News Release: Alberta must cut red tape to attract investment

Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA

VANCOUVER, Oct. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- If Alberta wants to attract more investment in the oil and gas sector, it must cut unnecessary red tape, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Investors have been saying loud and clear for years that Alberta is increasingly an unattractive jurisdiction for investment because of needless and costly red tape,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of Natural Resource Regulation in Alberta.

The study finds that Alberta’s investment attractiveness has diminished in the eyes of oil, gas and mining executives, primarily due to the province’s increasing regulatory burden.

For example, in 2013, 32 per cent of respondents to the Fraser Institute’s annual Global Petroleum Survey said environmental regulations were a deterrent to investment compared to 68 per cent in 2017, the latest year of comparable data.

Likewise, the costs of complying with provincial regulations deterred investment for 32 per cent of respondents in 2013 compared to a staggering 70 per cent in 2017. Crucially, also in 2017, only nine per cent identified compliance costs as a deterrent in Texas and 24 per cent in North Dakota.

A separate study also released today, Strategies for Deregulation: Concepts and Evidence, outlines how other jurisdictions—for example, British Columbia in 2001 and the federal government in 2015—successfully reduced outdated regulations. Best practices include:

  • Specifically task an independent agency or government department to reduce regulations.
  • Require a net reduction of existing regulations, commonly with a one-for-one rule that requires any new regulation be offset by the elimination of another outdated regulation.
  • Consult with the public and stakeholder groups to identify regulations for elimination.

“Reducing the province’s regulatory burden would help attract much-needed investment, spur economic growth and improve living standards for Albertans,” said Steven Globerman, Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of the second study.

Kenneth Green, Resident Scholar, Energy and Environmental Studies
Fraser Institute

Steven Globerman, Senior Fellow
Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit