After years of withering under quarantine, the largely state-owned industry needs outside investment. It also requires new oil-recovery technology. The kind Canadians have in spades.

But while Europeans rushed in for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, Canadians have lagged behind. Holding them back, partly, are Ottawa’s still-strained relations with Iran and the unexpected election of U.S. President Donald Trump.


Wither  verb uk /ˈwɪð.ər/ us /ˈwɪð.ɚ/ also wither away

to slowly disappear, lose importance, or become weaker:

“This country is in danger of allowing its industrial base to wither away.”


Quarantine   noun  /ˈkwɔːr.ən.tiːn/       

An action to isolate another nation, such as a blockade of its ports or a severance of diplomatic or trade relations.


In spades 

in large amounts or to a very great degree

“The thing that you absolutely must have for this job is confidence – and Adam has it in spades.”

“ I don’t get colds often, but when I do I get them in spades.”


Once-in-a-lifetime   adjective   /ˌwʌn.sɪnəˈlaɪf.taɪm/

A once-in-a-lifetime experience or opportunity is very special because you will probably only have it once:

“A tour of Australia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”


Lag     verb /læɡ/

to move or make progress so slowly that you are behind other people or things:

“He’s lagging behind – I think we’d better wait for him to catch us up.

“Sales are lagging at the moment.”


Strained   Adjective /streɪnd/

If a relationship is strained, problems are spoiling it:

“Relations between the two countries have become strained (= difficult) recently.”