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What the West?
24 minutes | Sep 12, 2018
016 Mexico's New Energy Reality
It’s been more than a month since Mexico’s recent federal elections. With the election of an incoming president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO, we are now seeing announcements about the team he’ll bring to office with him. In this episode, we look at changes in Mexico and the incoming team on the issue of most interest to western Canada: the energy sector. In Mexico City, we talk to Montserrat Ramiro, Comisión Reguladora de Energía In Part II of this Mexico election 2018 special edition podcast, we're partnering with Comexi to take a closer look at Canada's distant, often forgotten neighbour, Mexico. See Part I, The forgotten neighbour, here. Host: Carlo Dade, director, Trade & Investment Centre, Canada West Foundation Guest: Montserrat Ramiro, Comisión Reguladora de Energía
49 minutes | Sep 5, 2018
015: Makin' 'peanut butter' in Alberta
We produce a lot of oil here in Western Canada. Much more than we can use. So what do we do? We send it to whoever will give us the most money for it. But no one can seem to agree on the best way to maximize the value we get for this natural resource. It’s fairly common to hear people lament the perception that Canada, specifically Alberta with its oil sands developments, ships too much crude oil without first upgrading it to a higher quality product. We sell it for cheap and let others profit. Is this perception true? Are we selling ourselves short? The Government of Alberta might think so, with recently announced financial incentives to build partial upgrading facilities in the province. But that further begs the question of what does partial upgrading even mean? And what does peanut butter have to do with it? In this episode, we’re downloading what everyone’s talking about on upgrading in Alberta. Host: Nick Martin Guests: Kevin Birn, IHS Markit; G. Kent Fellows, University of Calgary School of Public Policy
61 minutes | Jun 19, 2018
014 The Forgotten Neighbour
On July 1, Mexicans head to the polls to elect a new President and Congress. But here in Canada, where you'd be forgiven for thinking that NAFTA is a bilateral instead of trilateral negotiation, you'd hardly know it. In this special edition Mexico Election 2018 episode, in partnership with Comexi, we’re talking about our forgotten neighbour, Canada’s fifth largest trading partner, and Donald Trump’s other favourite punching bag: Mexico. Host: Carlo Dade Guests: José Carreño, journalist, foreign policy reporter for el Heraldo; Agustín Barrios Gómez, former Congressman, head of Imagine Mexico, former Co-director of FOCAL-COMEXI Mexico-Canada initiative and schoolmate of Justin Trudeau; Ricardo Smith, Head, Youth Program, Comexi
40 minutes | Jun 5, 2018
013 Canada's secret weapon on trade
From reopening NAFTA to America First and musing about implementing tariffs and border taxes, U.S. President Donald Trump has thrown out the rule book on trade, and with it, everything Canada was accustomed to in dealing with the U.S. Canada’s best hope in dealing with changes in the U.S. isn’t Ottawa, it is on the ground between provinces and states. In this episode, we’re talking province-to-state engagement. Host: Naomi Christensen Guests: Jim Eldridge; Jim Horsman
43 minutes | May 17, 2018
012 Talking About Talking About Carbon Taxes
In this episode, we’re talking about talking about carbon taxes. What do people know about carbon taxes? What do they think about them? What is it like talking about them across the political divide? Host Nick Martin talks with Mark Cameron from Canadians for Clean Prosperity, former policy director for Prime Minister Harper and a conservative who supports putting a price on carbon. Then he sits down with Dale Beugin from the Ecofiscal Commission to talk about the public perceptions of carbon taxes. Meanwhile, What the West hits downtown Calgary with office pup Churchill to talk to everyday Calgarians about what they think about carbon taxes.
35 minutes | Apr 26, 2018
011 Come for the budgets, stay for the rap
Brace yourself – it’s budget season. Here in the West, which province actually balanced its books? Where is the debt-to-GDP ratio highest? Who is lighting up the ledgers with legal pot sales? And about that carbon tax… In this episode, we dive into the provincial budgets of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. And, spoiler alert, there might be some Sir Mix-a-Lot involved. Host: Jamie Gradon Guests: Naomi Christensen, Nick Martin, Sarah Pittman
29 minutes | Apr 10, 2018
010 Between two giants
China and the U.S. are diving deep in to a trade war, with no signs of turning back. As our two largest trading partners beat their chests at each other, where does that leave Canada? In this episode, Sarah Pittman sits down with two China experts to talk about Canada’s place between the two giants - and what Canada’s next move should be. Host: Sarah Pittman Guests: Gordon Houlden, Director of the China Institute, University of Alberta; Carlo Dade, Director of the Trade & Investment Centre, Canada West Foundation
42 minutes | Feb 22, 2018
009: The one with a bobsled
Welcome to a special, Olympics-sized episode of What the West. In this episode, we fling ourselves headfirst into the debate over whether Calgary should bid for the 2026 Winter Games. And then, we fling ourselves down the bobsled track at Canada Olympic Park… Canada West Foundation….we have a bobsled team? Host: Sarah Pittman Guests: Stephen Wenn, Brian Pincott, Dale Oviatt
31 minutes | Feb 20, 2018
008: How not to freak out over NAFTA
Host: Naomi Christensen Guests: Sam Woods and Carlo Dade The next round of NAFTA talks take place later this month in Mexico. Talks so far have lurched from apprehension to optimism and back again. Western Canadian businesses are wondering what our future relationship with the U.S., our biggest customer, is going to look like. Many business owners are taking a wait-and-see approach. But there some ways businesses can be ready if the U.S. does withdraw from NAFTA. It’s not too soon to get ready…just in case.
27 minutes | Feb 2, 2018
007 NEB: What is it good for?
Pipelines are controversial. In fact, it seems any type of infrastructure is controversial – especially in the energy world. From pipelines to wind turbines – nearly no one wants these things built near them and many people don’t want them built at all. At the same time, for many others these projects represent their livelihoods. With the federal government set to announce reforms to the National Energy Board and the federal environmental assessment process, this episode will explore how institutions like the NEB juggle these competing interests. How do we decide to allow or reject big infrastructure projects? How do we balance the many impacts and benefits at both local, national, and global scales? This week, we’re talking impact assessment.
20 minutes | Jan 16, 2018
006 Above the tree line
Canada and the U.S. have been trading lumber since the 1800s – and fighting about it for just as long. In November last year, the U.S. Commerce Department slapped Canadian exporters of softwood lumber into the U.S. with permanent duties averaging 20%. As the dust settles, it's becoming clear that among those getting burned in the latest softwood fight are American consumers – people just saving up to buy a house or finally do a renovation. In this episode, we're joined by David Logan, a Director with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. as we take a clear-eyed view of what's at stake in the softwood saga.
28 minutes | Jan 9, 2018
005: 8 for 2018
Welcome to 2018. The eggnog has gone stale, the trees have been composted or burned for warmth. And our thoughts can now turn to the future. Will this year be as tumultuous as 2017? Will North American trade cease? Does anyone really care about the Commonwealth games? Will Canada go see its tailor? Our research team has the answers to these questions and more in our look at eight things you need to know for the year ahead.
22 minutes | Dec 11, 2017
004: When life gives you lentils - 2017
Plant ingredients are everywhere – your breakfast smoothie, makeup, the drugs you get from the pharmacy. They may even be in the diet food you feed your overweight pets. The protein, fibre and starch components from crops like lentils, peas and beans are a potential goldmine for the Prairies. We can dominate this industry and diversify the Prairie economy. But what do we need to do to make this happen? When life gives you lentils... Host: Naomi Christensen, senior policy analyst, Canada West Foundation Guests: Chris Chivilo, President & CEO, W.A. Grain & Pulse Solutions; Sarah Pittman, policy analyst, Canada West Foundation
38 minutes | Nov 28, 2017
003: Is carbon pricing the end of the world?
Carbon pricing. Most economists think it’s the best way to reduce climate-change causing emissions. But it hasn’t exactly won over politicians to the same degree. Or the public for that matter. In Canada, the federal government has said every province must set a price on carbon. But Saskatchewan has vowed to fight it until the end. Manitoba went ahead with a price, but only after trying to avoid it. In Alberta, the opposition party promises to repeal the carbon levy, if elected, on Day 1. The political rhetoric surrounding carbon pricing is heated. That it will destroy the economy and do absolutely nothing for the environment. Are these things true? Is pricing carbon really as bad as they say? On today’s episode, we’re unpacking the arguments against pricing carbon. This is, What the West?
34 minutes | Nov 14, 2017
002: The Trump Administration's Worldview on Trade
The Trump era's winner takes all, America-First trade strategy is almost a return to the 1980s era – a time when the U.S. said "Jump," and the rest of us said, "How high?" Things are different now. Canada is on board with the revived TPP, China is a major factor, and with NAFTA talks becoming more precarious, there's growing unease among business on both sides of the border. What's the Trump Administration actually thinking on trade, and will it work?
39 minutes | Oct 30, 2017
001: Fixing Confederation
This year, Canada marked the 150th anniversary of Confederation, and we had a lot to celebrate. But, Confederation hasn’t been a panacea. We still don’t have trade between the provinces - you can’t even buy a beer on a trip and bring it home. The equalization debate is ugly. And don’t get us started on getting pipelines built. So all these years later, is Confederation just unfinished? Or is it broken?
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