Clean En­ergy/Clean Tech

Policy - - Contents - / L. Ian MacDon­ald

Wel­come to our spe­cial is­sue on Clean En­ergy/Clean Tech, one of the defin­ing eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues of the day.

David McLaugh­lin, for­mer pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Round Ta­ble on the En­vi­ron­ment and the Econ­omy, sets the ta­ble with a sur­vey piece on cli­mate change and how the con­ver­sa­tion has changed, no­tably on car­bon pric­ing: “Canada has swung from a seem­ing in­evitabil­ity on cli­mate ac­tion with car­bon pric­ing to a pitched bat­tle be­tween Lib­er­als and Con­ser­va­tives, some prov­inces and Ot­tawa, chal­leng­ing the very no­tion of car­bon and cli­mate ac­tion at all.”

Dan Woynil­low­icz and Mer­ran Smith of Clean En­ergy Canada write that clean growth is more than a goal, it’s a re­al­ity. For ex­am­ple, they point out “a record-set­ting 1.1 mil­lion elec­tric cars were sold in 2017.” Canada saw a 68 per cent in­crease in EV sales over 2016. Dan Gag­nier, ex-chair of the International In­sti­tute on Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, looks at clean tech and writes that con­sumers will drive the pace of change, in an en­vi­ron­ment where dis­rup­tion is the new nor­mal.

Janet Drys­dale, vice pres­i­dent re­spon­si­ble for CN’s sus­tain­abil­ity strat­egy, makes the case for rail as a choice for clean en­ergy. Trans­porta­tion ac­counts for 28 per cent of Canada’s GHGs, but rail only 1 per cent.

ABB Canada Pres­i­dent Nathalie Pilon writes that “never has there been a bet­ter time for lead­ers to adopt sus­tain­able busi­ness prac­tices by tak­ing own­er­ship of the dig­i­tal space…” in the Fourth In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion. Karen Ham­berg of West­port Fuel Sys­tems in Van­cou­ver writes of the op­por­tu­nity to “de­ploy made-in-Canada clean tech­nol­ogy in a ma­te­rial way to di­ver­sify our econ­omy.” Derek Nigh­bor of the For­est Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada writes of the Cana­dian forestry in­dus­try as a suc­cess story in clean tech. In a guest col­umn, James Scon­gack of Bruce Power writes of nu­clear power as a clean en­ergy al­ter­na­tive, no­tably to coal. And Tim McMil­lan, pres­i­dent of the Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Pe­tro­leum Pro­duc­ers, sees a world that will need “more en­ergy in ev­ery form, in­clud­ing more Cana­dian oil and more Cana­dian nat­u­ral gas.” Fi­nally, Green Party Leader El­iz­a­beth May sees the de­vel­op­ment of re­new­able en­ergy as a path to rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with Canada’s In­dige­nous Peo­ples.

In Canada and the World, we take a look at the On­tario elec­tion, and the changes up­com­ing un­der Premier Doug Ford. Ge­off Norquay writes that “by any mea­sure, the PC vic­tory on June 7 was both de­ci­sive and strong.” He also notes that Ford wasted no time in hold­ing a sum­mer sit­ting of the Leg­is­la­ture, mov­ing quickly to “can­cel On­tario’s cap-and-trade pro­gram on car­bon emis­sions.” Vet­eran Lib­eral strate­gist and me­dia con­sul­tant Pa­trick Gos­sage writes that both pun­dits and pols were wrong about the June elec­tion. “How could the me­dia have got it so wrong?” he asks. The ob­vi­ous an­swer—a state of de­nial.

With an Oc­to­ber 1 Que­bec elec­tion on the hori­zon, vet­eran jour­nal­ist and au­thor Gra­ham Fraser of­fers a primer on the cam­paign. By all the lead­ing eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors and fis­cal frame­works, the re-elec­tion of Philippe Couil­lard’s Lib­er­als should be a slam-dunk. But it’s not. Go­ing into the cam­paign, François Le­gault’s Coali­tion avenir Québec eas­ily led the Lib­er­als out­side Mon­treal, with the Parti Québé­cois a dis­tant third. How to ex­plain it? “For the first time since 1970,” Fraser writes, “Que­bec in­de­pen­dence is not on the bal­lot.” Gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment can be un­wieldy at the best of times, with un­known chal­lenges ahead in the dig­i­tal age, par­tic­u­larly for small busi­ness. Pro­cure­ment con­sult­ing ex­ec­u­tive Chand Sooran of­fers his thoughts on SMEs do­ing busi­ness with large cor­po­ra­tions and gov­ern­ment.

Ten years af­ter the fi­nan­cial cri­sis of 2008-09, Kevin Lynch looks back at those dark days and asks if the re­pair job is fin­ished. As clerk of the Privy Coun­cil dur­ing the cri­sis and now as a vice-chair at BMO, Lynch con­sid­ers some of the chal­lenges fac­ing both gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor. Our for­eign af­fairs writer Jeremy Kins­man, a for­mer se­nior Cana­dian diplo­mat, looks at the chaotic world of Don­ald Trump, who is shak­ing the mul­ti­lat­eral in­sti­tu­tions of western democ­ra­cies cre­ated and led by the U.S. From the G7 in Que­bec to the NATO sum­mit in Brus­sels, it’s been a sum­mer of dis­con­tent.

In a book re­view, His­tor­ica Canada Pres­i­dent An­thony Wil­son-Smith looks at J.D.M Ste­wart’s Be­ing Prime Min­is­ter, and finds the au­thor cap­tures what makes Cana­dian PMs tick, in their pri­vate as well their pub­lic lives. Fi­nally, colum­nist Don New­man con­sid­ers the co­nun­drum of Justin Trudeau as he heads into an elec­tion try­ing to bal­ance his en­vi­ron­men­tal prom­ises with the en­ergy file, par­tic­u­larly the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line project, of which the gov­ern­ment has taken own­er­ship. New­man writes that the Lib­er­als have also taken po­lit­i­cal own­er­ship.

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