Canadian Energy Politics: Growing Polarization, Growing Frustration - Public Panel and Planning Workshop - October 2018

Energy projects, policies and the future of Canadian energy are passionately contested, with both supporters and opponents drawing on environmental, economic and security-related ‘facts’ in their arguments. Many close observers of Canadian energy are growing increasingly concerned that energy politics and decision-making are becoming more polarized in recent years.

What are the sources of polarization in Canadian politics? Is polarization growing over time? What impact is it having on Canadian governance, and, in particular, on energy politics and decision-making? Does polarization affect public authorities’ ability to make evidence-based decisions? What can be done to reconcile opposing viewpoints and establish a basis for constructive dialogue and decision-making in highly polarized contexts? This panel aimed to tackle these important questions.

The event began with a keynote address focusing on polarization in Canada, followed by an exploration of the effects of polarization on energy from the perspective of leaders who ‘feel the heat’ of polarization in their daily practice. The public panel was a part of a two-day event, which also featured a workshop.


Public Session Speakers' bios (PDF file)

The Workshop's Agenda (PDF file)


The Official Videos of the Public Session (YouTube link)

The Official Videos of the Public Session (Facebook link)

Public Session photos (Facebook album)

Workshop photos (Facebook album)

Welcome remarks


Dr. Monica Gattinger, Chair, Positive Energy



Keynote Speakers


Nik Nanos, Chair and CEO, Nanos Research (PDF file)





Dale Beugin, Executive Director, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission




Elisabeth DeMarco, Senior Partner, DeMarco Allan LLP

Back to top