Reasoned, progressive ideas missing from political theatre currently passing for energy debate

These days it seems like the theatre of parliament is spilling out well beyond Ottawa’s borders. In public discourse around the federal government’s policy of accelerating resource development in western Canada, accusations, counter-accusations, slander, hyperbole and hysteria have taken the place of reasoned debate. Even Canadians who are well informed about energy issues have just

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State of the West: Energy (Part 2) – Trade and Disposition

Last week, Michael Holden highlighted some of the information and key findings of the Canada West Foundation’s recently released publication, State of the West: Energy – 2012: Western Canadian Energy Trends, in a blog focusing on energy production in the region. This week, he continues his summary of those findings with a discussion of energy trade and transportation

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Getting Prices Right

Canadian cities not only have to provide roads, transit, water, sewers, and other “hard” infrastructure, they also have to provide “soft” infrastructure and services that enhance the quality of life in their communities—parks, libraries, social housing, and recreational facilities. Does it matter how cities pay for infrastructure and services? I believe it does. In particular,

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A new energy future

What if there was a potential $7 trillion global opportunity on the table, and we just looked the other way? Believe it or not, it’s happening. Our nation is largely sitting idle on the sidelines of a full-fledged global energy boom. Much of this opportunity lies in the roaring economies of Asia, but it is

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Small Savings Can Lead to Big Bucks

A couple of weeks ago, hundreds of municipal officials and public servants met at the Queensbury Centre in Regina for the annual meeting of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA). Saskatchewan has Canada’s fastest growing provincial economy, and the rooms were abuzz with growth-related issues like infrastructure and affordable housing. I like getting out to

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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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