In the face of the economic fallout from COVID-19, it’s easy to forget that some communities in British Columbia were in deep fiscal distress long before the pandemic began. Fort Nelson is a good example, and a textbook case of why senior levels of government need to be mindful when they roll out recovery plans …
“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 …
VANCOUVER—A new study by veteran earth scientist David Hughes finds that the industry and government narrative that BC liquified natural gas (LNG) will contribute to a global emissions reduction by displacing coal-fired electricity in Asia is not accurate, and in fact the reverse is actually true. “As my analysis shows, LNG exports would in fact …
This report assesses the emissions implications of the Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER) 2019 oil and gas production forecast for BC, and the implications of ramping up gas production for liquified natural gas (LNG) export. The British Columbia government has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from 2007 levels by 2050 through …
Innovation Policy and Alberta Universities As scientists and Indigenous elders have been telling us for decades, life on this planet as it has evolved over millions of years is on the brink of a precipice. Planetary ecosystems are threatened with collapse by the pressures of humans’ appropriation of nature and their production of wastes, pollutants, …
As the Alberta government launches its Alberta 2030 review of the post-secondary education system, a new report from the Corporate Mapping Project and the Parkland Institute raises big questions related to universities’ fulfillment of their public interest mandate. Authored by Laurie Adkin, a political economist at the University of Alberta, Knowledge for an Ecologically Sustainable Future? …
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 …