Innovation by Accident

Last year my little commuter car suffered more than its fair share of scrapes and scratches. It started with some fancy BMW almost side-swiping me.  A few weeks later a Nissan finished the job in beijing.  For reasons unknown, a Mustang became infatuated with my car’s rear bumper, and then my car got smoked—twice—while it sat

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Social license to build and operate: The missing part of the energy debate in Canada

As the debate about an energy strategy for Canada has unfolded, several core themes have emerged. Carbon pricing needs to be pursued if we ever hope to deal with climate change. Regulatory efficiency is critical to energy development. Energy efficiency and conservation is important for reducing both economic and environmental costs. In 2009, the Energy Framework

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Canadian energy strategy key to Alberta’s future: Redford

Originally published in the Edmonton Journal EDMONTON – Politicians, industry and environmental groups across Canada are bracing for a lengthy battle to define how governments will balance competing demands to exploit national energy resources and protect the environment. Premier Alison Redford has launched an ambitious bid to secure a pan-Canadian energy strategy, which she will

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“Big-scale” Problem Meets “Small-scale” Solution (Part II)

Every now and then I’m asked—in public, mind you—for a little “crystal-balling.” What’s going to happen with this issue?  Who’s going to win that campaign?  What’ll happen here?  How’s it going to shake out there?  If there’s one Q&A or media query that I hate, it’s being asked to make “the prediction.”  I’m not very

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“Big-scale” Problem Meets “Small-scale” Solution (Part I)

Ever since the Great Depression of the 1930s, a key goal of economic growth and development in the West has been the drive to secure a more diverse economic base. Successes on this front include the aerospace industry in Manitoba, the Canadian Light Source synchrotron facility in Saskatchewan, medical research facilities and programs endowed in

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“Smart” Debt vs. “Stupid” Debt

From the 1950s to the 1970s, borrowing was one of the single largest sources of municipal infrastructure financing.  But after the deficit and debt scare of the 1990s, and the fiscal belt-tightening that followed, borrowing on the public credit became almost universally despised.  The conventional wisdom that developed is that all government expenditure—including infrastructure—should be

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