Benoit sees a silver lining in oil price drop


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February 10, 2015 9:12 AM

MP Leon Benoit

Vegreville-Wainwright MP Leon Benoit says that the falling oil price, while hard for the country to budget for this year, has a silver lining in the manufacturing sector across the country.

In a one-on-one with the Lloydminster Source, Benoit said that he is not going to predict the end of the oil prices, but said that he has seen the same thing happen three times in his life, and expects the prices to rebound.

“I know that when people were saying that it would go down to $60 per barrel, I was saying that it would go down to $35 per barrel,” Benoit said. “I don’t think that they will stay at a low level like that.”

Benoit, who serves as the chair of the Natural Resources Committee in Ottawa, said that he expects the prices to come back up.

“It doesn’t sound like it will not be rebounding quickly,” Benoit added. “We have to budget and, more importantly, oil companies will have to budget for low oil prices for the next three or four years.”

With the lower oil price, Finance Minister Joe Oliver has announced that he will be tabling the budget in April to see the full impact the falling oil prices has on the Canadian economy.

“We can balance the budget at the level the oil is at right now,” Benoit said. “There are two sides to the drop in oil prices. One is that on the consumers’ side, it’s great to have the lower price.

“Manufacturing is going through a renewal right now ... with the lower dollar.”

According to Benoit, the parliamentary budget officer has said that the falling oil price will not have a negative impact on the ability to budget the budget in April.

If the prices rebound to over $70 per barrel then the industry will manage quiet well, according to Benoit.

“There will always be some who might have to sell out, and there might be some who might have to cut the number of employees,” Benoit said. “I feel for anyone who loses a job because of the downturn.”

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