One of the key developments shaping social and political debate in Canada in the twenty-first century has been the country’s emergence as an energy superpower.
The confluence of new technologies and price per barrel has made it profitable to excavate the oil sands, while a process known as ‘fracking’ has opened up access to new, large reservoirs of shale gas. With oil and gas come money—and power. The spheres and sites of political and economic authority and influence in Canada are undergoing a major shift whose end result will be a transformed national identity. Once seen as a curse, the idea that Canadians are back to being (in Harold Innis’ memorable phrase) “hewers of wood and drawers of water”, is now seen as a blessing allowing us to weather recent economic storms and promising to help keep the country strong in changing and uncertain times.
February 6-7, 2014
McGill Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish Street, Montreal, ON
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