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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Class and state in the Canadian petroleum industry Wake, Drew Ann


This thesis outlines the changes that took place in the Canadian petroleum industry between the years 1947 and 1965. Beginning with the first discovery of oil at Leduc, it follows the development of oil and natural gas as they are integrated as staples into the North American market. The thesis delineates alterations in the class structure of the industry during this period and examines the role that the federal and provincial government's played in this process. The thesis concludes that the class structure of the Canadian petroleum industry became more complex and fragmented in the post'-Leduc era. The foreign-based, integrated companies, because they had superior access to capital, expertise and technology, became the strongest segment of the industry, absorbing many of the Canadian companies. The non-integrated, foreign companies did not meet with great success. Other companies flourished because of their ownership of mineral rights or their relationship with foreign investment companies. The federal state played a fundamental role in the development of the petroleum industry through tax policies that gave incentives to foreign, particularly American, investors and through an export policy that favoured the import/export patterns of the foreign, integrated companies. The provincial government assisted the growth of the same segment of the industry by creating mineral rights policies that favoured well-capitalized firms.

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