BUSINESS

Majority Of CEOs Say Canada Too Dependent On Alberta: Survey

06/22/2015 03:07 EDT | Updated 06/22/2015 03:59 EDT

A majority of Canadian business leaders believe the economy is too dependent on the oilsands and other natural resources, according to a new survey.

Nearly two-thirds of Canadian executives polled —including about 60 per cent of Albertans surveyed — said they believe the country should be less reliant on resources. They think Canada should invest more in technology and innovation in sectors such as aerospace and clean energy, according to the latest quarterly C-Suite Survey.

About half of all respondents said the country relies too heavily on Alberta’s economy and its natural resources.

About 80 per cent of those surveyed said Canada’s economy is too dependent on a few industrial sectors. The survey comes amid a huge slowdown in Alberta’s oilsands and its economy as the price of oil hovers around $60 a barrel, near its lowest point in years and as global efforts to address climate change ramp up.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a staunch supporter of the oilsands sector, last week signed on to a G20 commitment to end the global reliance on fossil fuels by 2100.

A majority of the executives surveyed said they believe the price of oil will settle between $60 and $69 a barrel.

Still, 38 per cent of executives said the economy is well-positioned to grow in the next decade thanks to international demand for Canada’s supply of resources, according to the survey of 153 executives conducted by The Gandalf Group on behalf of KPMG and published in The Globe and Mail.

A majority of executives also said they believe renewable energy and natural gas will become more important over the next decade and deserve more government investment.

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