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Oil sands challenges mean opportunities for all Canadians

New Deloitte report identifies dialogue as key to future prosperity

Calgary, November 8, 2012 – The oil sands are indispensable to the future of Canadian prosperity, but decisive action from all stakeholders in a number of areas is urgently needed, says a new report from Deloitte.

The report, Gaining ground in the sands 2013: Ten oil sands obstacles that are actually opportunities, identifies and presents solutions to problems oil sands producers face with a focus on how further development will benefit all of Canada. Issues like labour, manufacturing, transportation and productivity are examined through the lens of Canada as a whole. The oil sands, the report concludes, are too important to be regarded as a regional asset — they must be thought of as a national priority.

“We recognize that there are legitimate concerns on all sides of these issues,” says Geoff Hill, leader of Deloitte’s national Oil & gas practice. “But Canadians must understand that the oil sands are an indispensable economic asset that should be bringing the country together, not driving it apart. And more than anything, that’s going to take a bit of compromise among the provinces as well as other competing interests to ensure we all reap the rewards.”

Gaining ground in the sands 2013 argues that, despite a relatively strong year for the oil sands in 2012, the U.S. Government’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and the ongoing struggle to secure approvals for Northern Gateway underscore the need for the industry and the country as a whole to pursue a much more integrated approach to energy policy in Canada.

Oil sands are a huge boon to the Canadian economy, with significant benefits from the next couple of decades of planned expansion, including $2.1 trillion in economic activity, approximately 905,000 new jobs by 2035, and some $5 billion per year in supplies and services spent outside Alberta, with concentrations in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.

"The role of alternative and renewable resources continues to grow," says Hill. "But to meet the staggering current and future energy demands requires a very large source of stable and secure energy and that means talking about how to develop the oil sands to everyone's benefit. There are challenges that oil sands companies of all sizes face. Gaining ground in the sands 2013 outlines what those challenges are, and how they can be overcome."

The heart of the matter, says the report, is that entrenched and opposed interests are working too much against, rather than with, each other. In the process, progress has been unnecessarily stifled on a range of important social and economic challenges.

The full report is available at Geoff Hill is available for interviews and on-camera comments to discuss the report.

About Deloitte
Deloitte, one of Canada's leading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services through more than 8,000 people in 56 offices. Deloitte operates in Québec as Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche s.e.n.c.r.l. Deloitte & Touche LLP, an Ontario Limited Liability Partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

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