Earlier last week, Canadian fossil fuel giant Encana decided to move its corporate headquarters to the United States. Premier Jason Kenney was quick to lay blame on the federal government. Encana’s CEO dismissed the notion that the move was a political decision.

Interestingly, what has been overlooked is the fact that Encana decided to make the transition despite incentives offered by Kenney’s own government.

Earlier this year, Alberta’s United Conservative government rolled out a tax cut for large corporations. The “Job Creation Tax Cut” was meant to appease companies that increasingly see Albertan oil and gas as a bad investment.

According to Encana’s internal documents, the decrease to the corporate tax resulted in them pocketing a cool $55 million.  Their departure from Alberta illustrates why government policy alone does not dictate corporate decision-making. Indeed, Encana’s CEO himself revealed that the move was made in order to tap into greener pastures in the United States.

Kenney had presented himself as the candidate that would return Alberta to an era of prosperity. His corporate tax cut, he promised, would lure investment and retain disgruntled corporations. So far this has not panned out.

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