Our process helps Canada achieve sustainable development solutions that integrate environmental and economic considerations to ensure the lasting prosperity and well-being of our nation.


We rigorously research and conduct high quality analysis on issues of sustainable development. Our thinking is original and thought provoking.


We convene opinion leaders and experts from across Canada around our table to share their knowledge and diverse perspectives. We stimulate debate and integrate polarities. We create a context for possibilities to emerge.


We generate ideas and provide realistic solutions to advise governments, Parliament and Canadians. We proceed with resolve and optimism to bring Canada’s economy and environment closer together.

Oil Sands: From Debate to Dialogue – Advise

Our joint advice was positive and optimistic about how we could make progress on this issue.  We recommend three linked dialogues: climate change, energy strategy, oil sands performance be pursued with oil sands performance designated as the priority dialogue. We believe our discussion has opened a new window of opportunity for a positive, Canadian dialogue on the sustainable development of the oil sands.

Canada’s oil sands are at a critical point in their development. Economic opportunity and environmental necessity are combining to generate real concern that “business as usual” is not a viable path forward. How do we move forward then on sustainable development of the oil sands?

In the late summer of 2010, we brought together a small group of thoughtful Canadians in Fernie, B.C. from industry, civil society, governments, and the environmental community to consider this question and talk about the prospects for a new approach to oil sands development. One based on dialogue not debate; one that brings interests together to consider viable, sustainable paths forward. Is this needed? Is this possible? How would it work?

The conclusions were clear and meaningful. Such a dialogue is needed and it is needed now. Indeed, there are risks in not proceeding. The dialogue needs to be comprehensive but also focused so it can lead to tangible results. In fact, three dialogue areas were identified: (1) regional oil sands performance, (2) Canada’s clean energy strategy, and (3) Canada’s climate change policy. All implicate the sustainable development of the oil sands, directly and indirectly.

Based on what we heard during and after Fernie, we recommend that oil sands performance be designated the priority dialogue. Dialogue processes that allow for more productive exchanges of views and ideas are also needed on the other areas because they are important and inter-related to overall progress on this issue.