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Dec 03

The Energy Transition in Canada: Can Electricity Do the Heavy Lifting?

Webinar with Michael Bernstein, Philip Duguay and Blake Shaffer

Sponsored by:

The COP26 summit in Glasgow will likely conclude in mid-November with countries around the globe reiterating their pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. In Canada, the way forward involves an ongoing energy transition away from fossil fuels towards more reliance on renewable sources of energy.  Join our expert panel for a discussion on what this transition might look like in Canada and what role we can expect electricity to play in this massive energy transformation.

C.D. Howe Institute events and webinars are open to members and their guests.

Please contact Tammy Trepanier, Senior Event Planner, to register: ttrepanier@cdhowe.org.

Michael Bernstein, Chief Executive Officer, Clean Prosperity

Michael Bernstein is the executive director of Clean Prosperity, a Canadian non-profit that works toward market-based solutions to the climate crisis.

Michael is an economist by training. He is an advisor to elected leaders across the political spectrum, and a frequent commentator on climate policy. He was named on The Hill Times’ Top 100 Lobbyists List for 2021.

Michael joined Clean Prosperity in 2018. His career has spanned business, management consulting, international development, and politics. Prior to Clean Prosperity, Michael was the CEO of Mama Earth Organics, a small business that delivered organic produce from local farms to families around the Greater Toronto Area.

He worked directly with dozens of farmers and saw first-hand the effects climate change was having on the farms he worked with. As a father of two young kids, he’s also very concerned about the future that we’re leaving to the next generation.

Before working in the local food sector, Michael was a business management consultant at McKinsey where he advised Fortune 500 companies, institutional investors, and governments on key strategic and business issues. He also worked with InvestEco Capital to set up an advisory service that offered support to companies in the sustainable food sector.

Michael holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. in Economics from Yale University.

Michael serves on the C.D. Howe Institute’s Energy Policy Council, on the Public Policy Forum’s Energy Futures Forum, and as a MaRS Cleantech Volunteer Advisor.

When he’s not working on climate change, you can find him building Lego airplanes with his kids or doing his best karaoke impression of Vanilla Ice.


Philip Duguay, Managing Director, Canada Grid, The Transition Accelerator

Philip Martin Duguay is Managing Director of Canada Grid. He is an infrastructure developer and public policy analyst with over a decade of experience working across Canada and the United States. Prior to originating a $2 billion CAD transmission project in partnership with a Canadian institutional investor and an Indigenous government, Philip held strategic advisory roles for the governments of Québec and the Northwest Territories. He also worked on international development initiatives in Senegal, Ethiopia, Indonesia, as well as for a wind energy trade association in South Africa. A proud dual-citizen of Canada and the United States, he holds a dual LL.B.-B.C.L. law degree from McGill University and bachelor of arts in history and the French language from Dalhousie University.


Blake Shaffer, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Public Policy, University of Calgary

Blake Shaffer is the Energy Policy Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. His work focusses on electricity markets, climate policy and energy transitions. He uses empirical methods to evaluate policy effectiveness and better understand consumer and firm behaviour.

Prior to returning to academia, Shaffer had a 15 year career in energy trading, specializing in electricity, natural gas and emissions markets. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Calgary, Master of Philosophy in economics from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from Queen’s University. He has recently held visiting scholar and Fulbright postdoctoral scholar positions at the Toulouse School of Economics and Stanford University.

His recent research has been published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Canadian Journal of Economics and the Energy Journal. His popular writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Postmedia, CBC, and other media outlets. Shaffer has also served as policy advisor for the governments of Alberta, British Columbia and Canada on energy and environmental policy matters.

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