Finding balance in the future of energy

Canada needs an agile energy sector – one that can keep pace with the evolving business and socioeconomic landscapes. But can CPAs impact the big picture? A 2019 Oil and Gas Conference keynote speaker weighs in.

The Oil and Gas Conference returns this fall, bringing together some of the country’s top finance experts to explore what’s next for the industry. The Honourable Preston Manning will be there to share his perspective. In addition to being a long-time champion of political reform, he also has a strong background in management consulting for the energy sector.


We spoke with him about oil and gas issues, his contributions to public policy and the importance of getting involved.


You’re passionate about the institution of democracy. How have your views evolved since your memoir, Think Big, came out?


I continue to think that we take our democracy too much for granted and do not systematically make the investments in intellectual capital, human resources and relationships necessary to improve and sustain it. I actually have another book coming out in 2019 that deals with this subject, tentatively entitled Do Something! 365 Ways to Strengthen Democracy in Canada.


When you think about the future of the energy industry in Alberta, are you optimistic? What are positive opportunities that the sector can seize in coming years to be both profitable and sustainable?


I am pessimistic about the future of the energy sector in Alberta unless we see some major changes in public policy. But I am optimistic that those changes can happen if enough people seize the opportunities to do so. Who we elect to represent out interests in government is important. I personally see great value in pursuing a balanced approach to environment and economic considerations, as well as a more open approach to transportation and trade.


Based on your experience over the last few decades, can you share some advice for the next generation of leaders in Canada – perhaps insights on how business and the public sector can work together on innovation? 


My advice to the next generation of Canadian leaders is to remind them that if you choose not to involve yourself in the politics of your country, you will be governed by those who do. And if you don’t like the directions and policies of those in charge, then do something more than complain or chat on social media. Get directly and personally involved in the future of your country.


With respect to advancing innovation, I am convinced that quite often, the best thing governments can do is support it in the non-governmental sector. And if governments want to encourage even more innovation, let them lead by example – such as finding new ways of increasing productivity to deliver better public services at a lower cost.


We’re excited to have you join us at the Oil and Gas Conference this fall! What can attendees look forwarding to learning more about in your keynote?


I hope to elaborate on how Canada can actually achieve balance in the environment versus economy debate. This includes potential ways and means of securing genuine free trade within our country and what’s required to be a more competitive player in the global marketplace.


.             .            .


Join us in Calgary from November 26-27, 2019 to explore a variety of perspectives on change, adaptation and best practices in energy finance at the Oil and Gas Conference. It’s a great opportunity to keep your technical skills sharp, network in the field and learn more about how CPAs can help shape the future of the industry. Register by September 15 and you’ll get a $100 rebate towards your next CPA Canada product purchase.