Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley recently stated that she expects the long-awaited Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to be approved by May 2019.

Although it’s a bold statement, it’s one that Notley vows to “bet her political future on”.

But with Alberta’s 2019 General Election (the 30th general election in the province’s history) almost one week away, she may be running out of time. 

Notley’s prediction for the Trans Mountain pipeline’s approval would fall on an auspicious date; it was just May last year when the government first announced its intent to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan Corporation.

Unfortunately the announcement did little to placate investor concerns, instead only serving to raise questions over the need for federal intervention in Canadian energy projects.

As such, the Trans Mountain pipeline has become a defining issue in the election, especially as the effects of its delay spill across the Albertan economy. 

Via The Calgary Herald,

“The economy, cost of living, energy issues and jobs were four of the top five concerns among respondents in the Leger poll.”

Unsurprisingly, all four of the top five concerns reflect Alberta’s inability to bring oil to the global market. Recent employment data from Statistics Canada seems to corroborate as much.

Via The Calgary Herald,

“The figures released Friday show Alberta’s unemployment rate fell from 7.3 per cent in February to 6.9 per cent in March, leaving 172,100 Albertans out of work but still seeking employment.

The unemployment rate for March was about 0.5 points higher than at the same time one year ago.”

Trans Mountain Pipeline Vital To Canada’s National Brand

The CEO’s of Canada’s biggest banks certainly haven’t shied away from talking about the challenges that Canada’s energy sector faces.

In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Toronto-Dominion Bank CEO Masrani was quoted,

“We’ve lost a bit of our brand value over the past few years,” TD CEO Bharat Masrani [said].”

“At one point we [Canada] were the darling of the world, it was where everyone wanted to invest. So, we’ve lost a bit of that . . .”

A nation’s brand value, which is essentially the value of a country’s image or reputation, plays a pivotal role in increasing exports, inbound tourism, and foreign investment. And though it may be true that Canada’s national brand has lost some of its lustre in recent years, it’s far from worthless.

In fact, Canada may yet be one of the world’s most undervalued brands—especially if Notley’s prophecies begin to come true.