This report analyzes the economics of the five largest bitumen extractive corporations in Canada. The “Big Five” are Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil, and Husky Energy. The report examines the key features of the five firms and analyze their accumulation dynamics in the context of the latest commodity cycle: …
British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office bills itself as a “neutral” provincial agency. But there is evidence that this is not the case, and that BC Environment Minister George Heyman — who is tasked with “revitalizing” the province’s environmental assessment law — needs to make serious reforms. When a public regulator makes major decisions behind closed …
In a decision without precedent in its 25 years of existence, British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has told Progress Energy that two massive unauthorized dams that it built will not have to undergo environmental assessments. The decision comes after the company made an audacious request to the EAO to have the two dams declared …
This study shows that substantial ownership and strategic control over Canada’s fossil-fuel sector are in the hands of a few major players, including all the Canadian big banks and several US investment funds, governments and some wealthy families—many of which are located outside Canada. And, these investors have high stakes in maintaining business as usual …
LNG Canada’s final investment decision to build a natural gas liquefaction facility in Kitimat is a triumph of short-term politics over long-term responsibility to act on climate change. Exaggerated numbers have been used to sell the project to the public, while risks have been downplayed. The politics of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have a certain logic …
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, an economics professor of mine used to say back in the late 1980s. Concerned about the federal government’s inability to reign in fiscal deficits, hell back then was hitting a “financial wall” where the markets would no longer lend or would only do so at catastrophically …
 Leia a versão em português  This paper explores the many parallels between the tailings dam spills at the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia (BC), Canada, and the Samarco mine in Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Mount Polley disaster took place in August 2014, when the dam holding toxic waste from the copper and gold …
In the past year, an energy dispute for the ages has played out in Canada, culminating in the federal government announcing that it will buy an aging oil pipeline for $4.5 billion and then twin it with a new high-capacity pipeline that would move massive amounts of diluted bitumen from Alberta to tidewater in British …
At the height of LNG-mania in 2013/14, high prices in Asia fueled a gold rush mentality in BC—based on shipping cheap BC gas to Asia for mega-profits. But those high prices proved only temporary, and by 2015 the economic case for LNG (liquified natural gas) turned on its head. The subsequent Asian price for gas …
The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation is the steward of BC’s public pensions, but bankrolls companies whose current business models exceed the climate change targets agreed to in the Paris Agreement to which Canada is a signatory. This report shows that the Corporation’s claims of responsible investment are more talk than walk, as its actions are not …
Everyone is talking about the high price of gas in Metro Vancouver, which hit a new record in May, topping $1.60 per litre. The story making the rounds is that taxes are to blame—in particular the April 1 increase in BC’s carbon tax. Some have seized on this moment to call for tax cuts to …
On an April morning in 2014, members of the Fort Nelson First Nation tucked into a helicopter to begin a day of flying to fossil fuel company operations in their territory. The Nation’s lands are part of the expansive Treaty 8 territory that includes northeast British Columbia. A professional biologist from Fort St. John was …