“Canada hasn’t seen this type of civic mobilization since the Second World War. These are the biggest economic measures in our lifetimes, to defeat a threat to our health… We all need to answer the call.”—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, April 1, 2020, during one of his daily pandemic briefings outside his home.   As Canada seeks …
2020 has been a year like no other in the political economy of energy and climate change. As the new year broke, wildfires spiked by higher temperatures scorched Australia. In Canada, a different fire took hold as a BC gas pipeline sparked a cross-country Indigenous-led uprising. By mid-March, economies around the world were shutting down …
The death and disruption wrought by COVID-19 is calamitous. The bad news is that climate change will be worse. It is easy to forget that 2020 began with Australia burning in a brutal wildfire season. Like the current pandemic, Australia’s disaster was predicted years in advance by ecological science. As we slowly emerge from the …
There is growing momentum for a low-carbon reboot of our high-carbon economy as we emerge from a pandemic-induced shutdown. Since business-as-usual has been so disrupted, the timing for a major leap has never been better. Earlier this year, the Australian wildfires provided humanity’s latest wake-up call. Many are nervous about what this summer could bring …
Earlier this week, Premier Jason Kenney announced that the Government of Alberta will borrow money to debt finance the construction of TC Energy’s Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline. More specifically, the Alberta government is making an equity investment in TC Energy of $1.5 billion CAD in 2020, and the government will provide a backstop for the pipeline through a $6 …
Canada is in an economic tailspin due to the COVID-19 pandemic, echoing the worst months of the Great Depression. Yet while millions of Canadians need support to pay for basic necessities, a powerful group of oil company CEOs and lobbyists has insisted on a multi-billion dollar handout from the federal government, to be released any …
About two weeks ago, my new Corporate Mapping Project report on the future of Alberta’s oil sands industry was published. The report analyzes how the oil sands industry, in the early years of the mature phase of its business life cycle, is producing more bitumen with less capital and fewer jobs. The figure below, produced by earth …
Imagine it’s 2025 and because of the escalating climate crisis, governments in Asia have declared ambitious new climate action plans and an aggressive transition off natural gas. BC’s fossil fuel exports would soon dry up, workers would be laid off and local communities would lose public- and private-sector jobs. This type of scenario needs to …
Protests around BC and the rest of the country have put Indigenous issues front and centre in discussions of Canadian politics and energy policy. Approved by the BC government, TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline would run through Wet’suwet’en territory and the company argues it is in the broader “public interest” because of “substantial benefits to First …
Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange is very concerned that teachers in classrooms across the province are turning students into anti-oil zealots. Her evidence? Two multiple-choice questions from a grade 10 Social Studies test, reportedly sent by a parent, that appear to cast aspersions on oilsands development (the offending options have been helpfully highlighted). In the first, …
In late August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau traveled to Vancouver to announce that the federal government had agreed to financially support a new hydroelectric transmission line project in British Columbia’s remote northeast region. In a memorandum of understanding signed with the provincial government, the federal government committed $83.6 million to the project, which will cover …
For more than two years, the British Columbia government has vigorously fought efforts to compel the release of information on the hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies that it doles out to fossil fuel companies each year. It has either refused outright to release documents or it has handed over pages of essentially worthless …