February 8, 2018 / 4:33 PM / in 8 months

Suncor calls on Canada to 'up its game' in drive for investment

(Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc, one of Canada’s biggest oil producers, said on Thursday that the country is losing ground to others in creating conditions to attract investment.

The warning from Suncor Chief Executive Steve Williams came hours before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Canadian government was scheduled to unveil changes to the regulatory regime for resource projects.

“We are having to look at Canada quite hard. The cumulative impact of regulation (and) higher taxation than other jurisdictions is making Canada a more difficult place to allocate capital in,” Williams said on a conference call with analysts.

The company is taking those concerns to the government, he added.

“Other jurisdictions are doing much more to attract business, so Canada needs to up its game,” Williams said.

Trudeau is already under pressure to settle a dispute between two provinces, Alberta and British Columbia, over a proposed oil pipeline expansion.

Among other competitive pressures, U.S. corporate income taxes are set to fall sharply, creating benefits for energy companies.

Pipeline companies are struggling to gain approval for new projects in Canada due to staunch opposition from environmental groups. Tight pipeline capacity has made a price discount for Canadian heavy oil more severe.

Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Tom Brown

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