Articles

How B.C. mayors are taking action to heal the urban-rural divide

Local leaders are the ones closest to public anxieties – they live it every day. In the pandemic response, these are the voices coming to the fore in support of doing the right thing.

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Digging deeper into deep-well credits

Even when the market price of natural gas is low (and right now it is) natural-gas developers pay millions of dollars of royalties to the BC government each month. And that’s on top of corporate taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes, which together mean many more millions flowing to government to help pay for education, healthcare, and a host of other government and public services.

And yet vital facts still get missed about the royalty regime for natural gas. Here's the result of our fact-finding mission.

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4 BC resource files to watch as Cabinet is announced

As we wait for the BC Cabinet to be announced, and the all-important mandate letters to be released, here are 4 major decision points we are looking towards on the natural resources file. The quality of the Premier’s Cabinet lineup will determine whether the government’s agenda on these issues will land right – for their future electoral odds and for our province’s economy.

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$493 billion in oil and gas revenues to governments since 2000: More than the construction and real estate sectors combined

According to recent findings by the Canadian Energy Centre, revenue generated from oil and gas eclipsed the federal government's contribution to family allowance and children’s benefits since 1970. The CEC's Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan weigh in.

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Another day, another flawed CCPA report, this time about the Trans Mountain Expansion Project

A Chemist in Langley, Blair King, recently wrote about yet another flawed publication by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). We've reprinted his expert review of the dodgy analysis in that report.

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Collaborative innovation in Canada's oil sands

WATCH: Our second instalment of the Resource Innovation Forum featured Wes Jickling, Chief Executive of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), for a discussion on the collaboration that advances the environmental performance of Canada's major oil sands producers.

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Institutional partnerships and perspectives on oil sands innovation

WATCH: On Thursday, October 28th, we were joined by University of Calgary Chancellor Deborah Yedlin and RBC Senior Vice-President John Stackhouse for a discussion with moderator Stewart Muir on how institutional partnerships can advance innovation in Canada's oil sands. 

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Big questions about net-zero

We’re still awaiting the rules and regulations that the federal government is drafting to execute its plan to achieve net-zero emissions in Canada by 2050. Industries and resource projects from coast to coast to coast know they will be compelled by 2050 to eliminate or offset greenhouse-gas emissions, but how?

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Articles

Count on Canada for critical minerals

As the world becomes more and more digital, and manufacturing becomes greener, there will be increasing demand for critical metals, minerals and rare earths. And Canada can play a key role in supplying them.

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BC mining in deep carbon pricing trouble

BC's mining industry contributes $7.4 billion to BC’s economy (GDP). It spends $3 billion to purchase goods and services from 3,700 small, medium and Indigenous businesses in 215 BC communities. And it spends $330 million on exploration.

So how is this critical industry coping with the carbon price? And why do governments seem set on making it more difficult and expensive for our mines to operate, and more difficult to compete in world markets? 

 

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TMX pipeline will serve cleaner Canadian oil to eco-conscious California

Climate statistics from California show that the long-awaited new pipeline will usher in an era of cleaner choices for the populous state. Skeptical? Stewart Muir assesses the big picture.

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12 things to know about Ottawa’s Clean Fuel Standard

The federal Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) is coming soon. Here are 12 things you need to know (and what it will cost you).

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Hydrogen is on the way

A fellow we see constantly on social media greets pretty much every post about oil and gas with a simple: “H2 is the answer.” We can understand his enthusiasm for hydrogen, a fuel you can burn to provide energy, and the only emission at the end is ... water. No greenhouse gases, no noxious particles, no pollution, no problem.

Trouble is, that word "simple” is all too true.

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Articles

New study shows how natural resources are drivers of a diverse local economy

Residents of Campbell River looked to define and describe the pillars of the local economy.

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Understanding the true power of natural resources in our economy

When everything goes right and a major resource project moves forward, the benefits flow for decades. Stewart Muir explains why this is.

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May I see your social licence, please?

EXCERPT: Enjoy this sampling of Brian Lee Crowley’s important new book Gardeners vs Designers: Understanding the Great Fault Line In Canadian Politics.

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Workable climate policy takes more than optimistic words

Slapping the word "clean" on a policy signifies high hopes for its environmental effects. That sparkle wears off quickly if the result turns out to be costly, clunky or counterproductive because it is driven by the stick of regulation rather than the carrot of positive business incentivization. Stewart Muir looks at how market-driven solutions can show promising results in creating climate improvement.

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Articles

What's a realistic path to pandemic recovery for Canada?

Patricia Mohr, an advisor to the Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery, was a guest on CBC's The Current to discuss options for federal action.

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Understanding future demand for heavy oil

Scientist and public communicator Blair King, PhD, explains why the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project is a good bet for Canada.

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Stewart Muir discusses his latest Globe & Mail oilsands column with Charles Adler

Radio host Adler invited Muir onto his program on Sept. 17, 2020.

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8 reasons we're not as divided as you might think on energy and climate

Canadians agree strongly that oil and gas is important to the country's current and future economy, they support environmentally responsible development of the sector, and they support oil and gas exports. 

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Lower Nicola Indian Band chalks up several firsts with pipeline service project

First Nation-owned transmission line near Merritt brings BC Hydro green power to Trans Mountain pipeline.

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How Canada's resource sector can drive real jobs and recovery

Margareta Dovgal of Resource Works chats with Energy Examined about how support for Canada's resource sector could create 2.6 million jobs while driving action on climate change.

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A corridor to prosperity?

What if Canada had a dedicated nation-wide “corridor” for infrastructure: road, rail, power, telecom, cyber and pipelines?

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The oil sands aren't dying – and Canada still needs them to thrive

This opinion article from our Stewart Muir was published by The Globe & Mail on Sept. 16, 2020.

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Mass timber becoming must timber

We’ve kept an eye on mass-timber buildings since the Tallwood House student residence at UBC was topped off (in 2016) at a world-record 53 metres and 18 storeys. Resource Works catches up on the latest trends.

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Report finds public trust levels in forestry linked to low awareness

Calling for objective reporting about British Columbia forest management, the old growth study is a call to action for educational efforts to bring context and build understanding.

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Amid COVID-19 economic strains, forest recommendations weigh heavily

NEWS ANALYSIS: Residents of dozens of British Columbia forest communities are on edge. Will the province's most renewable industry be allowed to continue after the release of a new provincial study? Stewart Muir looks at the facts. 

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Task Force raises the bar for envisioning a clean and prosperous future

The Real Jobs, Real Recovery initiative brought together 36 organizations from across Canada to show a leadership path for decision making at the national level.

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National Forest Week: "Healthy Forests, Healthy Future"

British Columbia municipalities including Prince George are declaring National Forest Week Sept. 20-26 locally as the commemoration celebrates 100 years.

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Natural resources? Cut the red tape

One of many things for Ottawa to address as it drafts Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery: red tape.  

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Imagining the future of Canada's oil and gas industry

Building backward, not building back better, is the risk of shunning innovation in the four-fifths of global energy that comes from fossil fuels.

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Rewriting the rules for radicals

Fresh hope for a pandemic playbook for 2021 that will help guide the Canadian energy sector out of today’s doubt and uncertainty.

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Task Force delivers solutions for the future of natural resources in Canada

The Real Jobs, Real Recovery is a national project drawing on the input of organizations representing more than 3 million Canadian workers.

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Recovery strategy: "Focus on the leading economic engines"

It turns out that industries producing the materials at the centre of modern life can be a driving force for economic recovery after the pandemic. Stewart Muir looks at how the new Stronger Tomorrow strategy looks to leverage, and evolve, longstanding job and GDP pillars in the natural resource sector.

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How natural resources can relaunch the Canadian economy

In the COVID-19 recovery phase, natural resources are well-positioned to step in to assume their traditional leadership role in creating wealth and jobs for Canadians, writes economist Philip Cross.

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Old growth, new beginning

The province of British Columbia’s Old Growth Strategic Review tackles head-on an issue that has bedevilled the government for decades: ensuring that the seemingly polarizing values of forest protection and public prosperity can somehow be harmonized. Stewart Muir looks at the issue.

 

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What are the rules for Net Zero?

Strategic assessment of climate change says new Canadian mines, power plants, pipelines and railways will be covered, but lacks details on how changes to them – and the global energy system – will be measured or enforced.

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Real Jobs, Real Recovery: A Task Force for Canada

This month and next, Resource Works is supporting a national effort to recommend the best path forward out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's the latest on our work.

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What’s required for Canadian economy to recover from the pandemic?

The one-word answer is: Jobs. Jobs of all kinds, but most of all we need to see the kind of high-paying, long-lasting jobs typically associated with investments in economic growth potential, writes Stewart Muir. 

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The Green Recovery – and some inconvenient truths

Wishful thinking and empty promises aren’t helping with the needed energy transition. It’s time to turn our minds and our will to the hard work of transformation by mid century based on the realities of our society and our economy, writes Mike Cleland.

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Hydrogen: grey, blue, and BC green

We have a social-media follower that we can count on to tell us, frequently, that the real “fuel of the future” is hydrogen. We can understand his thinking: What better than a zero-emission fuel that, when burned, leaves behind nothing but water? No greenhouse gases or noxious particles; no pollution, no problem.

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Energy transition: Canada’s policy?

The last crystal ball we had was a kid’s marble from a Christmas cracker. So we’re not about to make our own predictions about the fate of oil. We’ll ignore Green MP Elizabeth May’s silly claim that “oil is dead,” and will look instead at what professional predictors are seeing in their digital crystal balls.

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Legislators get a briefing on the state of the natural resource sector

Resource Works looks at presentations made by forestry, mining, energy and ranching representatives to British Columbia MLAs.

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Some realistic solutions for the future of energy

Eager to move off the full-throttled despair and chastising that boils over in the clash of ideas about energy? Offering insights and practicality while many of us are still cooped up at home, Stewart Muir talks about realistic solutions to the problems we're facing.

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REALITY CHECK: Guess who's got the most to lose from rash decisions on economic recovery?

We’re at a moment of economic stress, with competing visions for how Canadian society should return to normalcy through the pandemic crisis. Stewart Muir looks at the situation. 

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Coming up: BC’s cleanest LNG

Look out. Look ’way out. And stop looking at today’s depressed spot prices in a rocky world market that’s too full of surplus LNG. Look instead to, say, 2024-2025 - which is where the investors in Woodfibre LNG and LNG Canada are looking.

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Fighting fear and uncertainty in the economic recovery

The coronavirus pandemic represents the largest disruption of BC’s labour market in our history. Uncertainty and fear among many businesses, workers, customers and the general public about the continuing pandemic affects how we grasp the new normal and move beyond the crisis. Human resources expert Kerry Jothen weighs in.

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10 ways to improve unity and prosperity in turbulent times

Like never before, providers of materials essential to society are under pressure to accept and lead change. Finding inspiration in this dynamic setting means seeking out ideas that can survive in the real world. Stewart Muir looks at some of the ways that people – especially those who work in natural resource fields – are adapting.

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Green pressure on Canada escalating, rapidly

So supporters of a big shift to "green" are putting heat on our federal government to turn Canada into a shiny world leader for renewable energy, now that “oil is dead.” They promote it to Ottawa as a part of the new normal they want to follow the COVID-19 pandemic. But does this logic make sense?

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