Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

STEWART MUIR -- In 2021 we all need to get better at listening, even when we dislike what we hear or who we hear it from

 Stewart Muir is Executive Director of Resource Works


After initial confusion, 2020 has shown us that the fundamentals still apply. Buying low and selling high rewarded the bold. Investment intentions continued to be affected by government policies. New leaders and disruptive ideas emerged phoenix-like from the ashes of the crisis.

 

Late in the year, we’ve seen some helpful commitments on decarbonization pathways. Western Canada has immense potential to turn natural gas into hydrogen at an economically viable scale and without combustion.

 

We can safely tune out the debates about “blue” versus “green” hydrogen that risk big disappointments in getting hydrogen technology to scale up quickly.

 

What we need to focus on is how to extract the beneficial parts of the hydrocarbon molecule while leaving the stuff we don’t want in the ground. This also leads to opportunities in carbon capture, and I predict that a lot more people will become familiar in 2021 with the term “negative emissions.”

 

Markets are much better than technocrats at getting to results. With more aggressive carbon pricing now in place, the signal to innovate just became much stronger. More regulation will dampen the potential for innovation and make us even less competitive as an exporter.

 

Goods-producing, trade-exposed industries have been hit hard by COVID-19. Carbon policies need to support a much-needed rebound in investment, not smother job-creating activities.

 

I’ll be using the term “energy transition” more sparingly in 2021 as it has proved too limiting. What we really want to be talking about is energy “transformation.”

 

More people are realizing that our dependence on fossil fuels is too great to simply stop using them as we often hear is necessary. New technologies will create all kinds of transformation opportunities in 2021.

 

As a global centre of excellence in mining, Vancouver should be looking forward to 2021 as a breakthrough moment. Canada has abundant rare earths needed for electric motors, but it has been challenging to develop their potential.

 

Let’s not forget the critical minerals category, i.e., the ones needed for the batteries required if electrification of vehicles is to become widespread.

 

Here again, Canada has abundant resources to equip that transformation. This will also provide the basis for a strong relationship with the Joe Biden administration, perhaps in the form of continental clean tech strategies that lift up both nations.

 

In 2021, we all need to get a firm grasp on the term ESG – environment, society and governance – because we’ll be hearing it a lot more. It’s no longer an arcane measurement from the world of finance. Much hinges on Canada’s ability to be acknowledged as an ESG leader internationally.

 

In 2021, economic reconciliation for Indigenous peoples will become a higher priority than ever. This is because of the federal government’s tabling in late 2020 of legislation stemming from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As the first Canadian jurisdiction to bring the declaration’s principles into law, B.C. has a first-mover advantage when it comes to shared prosperity that opens fresh opportunities for Indigenous people.

 

Worth remembering is that most of the economic growth that B.C. has seen recently was based on what I think of as the Big Four infrastructure projects currently underway: Trans Mountain, Site C, the Coastal GasLink pipeline and LNG Canada. Their impact can’t be overstated. Economist Ken Peacock of the Business Council of British Columbia recently discovered that B.C.’s growth in 2019 would have been closer to 1% rather than the respectable 2.7% expansion recorded last year if not for the economic activity flowing from several large projects in the province.

 

Traditional industries like forestry and aquaculture are major contributors to B.C.’s standing as a producer of low-carbon, sustainable export goods. Unfortunately, polarization has the potential to inflame the urban-rural divide while derailing some of our most accessible and rewarding opportunities. We need elected leaders who move confidently to ensure opportunities are not needlessly turned away.

 

There is too much at stake not to take this seriously. In 2021, we all need to get better at listening, even when we dislike what we hear or who we hear it from. 

 

 

Stewart Muir ... was an editor at The Vancouver Sun during which time he supported coverage of many aspects of the BC forest industry including the War in the Woods, two rounds of softwood lumber negotiations, several First Nations treaty negotiations, and numerous related themes. Today, he's executive director of Resource Works.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

WUN FEATHER -- can we just put those two names to bed for a while? You can call me an ‘Indian’ and I won't mind. And let's not call the farmers and ranchers ‘Settlers’ anymore

Hey there # TeamCanada !   I can't take it any more! Well, I guess I can, but I don't want to. I want to talk about the names we call each other. My very best friends, and all my Elderly Aunts and Uncles call me an Indian. I have walked into the most magnificent dining hall at the Air Liquide Head office, Quai D'orsay in Paris, France, surrounded by the worlds top producing Cryogenics team, and Patrick Jozon, the President of Air Liquide, has seen me enter the room, and yelled: " Bonjour! There is Warren! He is my Indian friend from Canada! He and I chased Beavers together in Northern BC!" And over 400 people turned to look at me and then they all smiled, and nodded. To most European people, an Indian is an absolute ICON!   The ultimate symbol of North America. They love us. And then, one time I had just gotten married and took vacation days off to take my new wife to meet my Grandmother; I was so proud. But as soon a

Labels

Show more