To make a long story short, companies don't invest where they don't have confidence they can put in a project. If they have confidence they can put in a project, they don't invest where they don't think they can make money off building or operating one.
There are a number of points made about tax competitiveness here, and I think in many respects they're good points, but the nuance is really important.
My colleague and co-panellist, Kim, mentioned that we're at a significant disadvantage with respect to the U.S., and I think in some sectors that's very true. In the mining sector, we're not as much as a competitor with the United States of America as we are with other gold mining jurisdictions, so there's a limitation to the degree and extent to which that comment is directly applicable to us. It is applicable to oil and gas, absolutely. We also represent oil and gas members, so we're sensitive to that.
I think that the measures that were announced in the fall economic statement are welcome because for a long time there was so little attention given to improving the competitiveness of Canadian industry vis-à-vis the tax system.
In budgets 2012 and 2013, we saw the removal of indirect and direct mining tax credits. I think those measures that were put forward in the fall are a recognition that they need to do more. Are they enough? No, I would not suggest that in and of themselves they're enough to turn the tide of investment leakage out of this country in mining, oil and gas and other sectors as well, but I think it's a positive first step.
When we responded to that, and we did respond to that positively, we did so in the context that there's more work to be done, and we want to make sure that we do that with governments to make sure that our sectors remain competitive going forward. I don't think anybody sitting around this table, regardless of their political stripe, wants me to come back next year and say we've lost another $10 billion, $15 billion or $20 billion in projects, because I've done that year over year consecutively over the last five years.
Let's work together to avoid that happening going forward.