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  • Off Track? The Future of Alberta’s Crude-by-Rail Arrangements
Jun 25

Off Track? The Future of Alberta’s Crude-by-Rail Arrangements

Roundtable Luncheon with James Cairns, Jackie Forrest and Brian Livingston

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 12:00 to 13:30
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Event time: 12:00-1:30pm MT

Constrained pipeline capacity and construction delays have increased the focus on rail as a means of shipping crude oil to market. Alberta’s new government has indicated that it may cancel the previous government’s arrangements for increased rail capacity over concerns about the disincentive for private sector investment. Join us on June 25 to hear a panel of experts discuss the economic rationale for government investment in rail capacity, and its potential impact on private sector investment in crude-by-rail.

James Cairns, Senior Vice President, Rail Centric Supply, Canadian National Railway

James Cairns was appointed Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain in April 2019. He oversees the execution and expansion of CN’s bulk and merchandise carload businesses, leading the commercial teams and non-rail operations in his supply chains, and adapting all last-mile services for customers. In this role, Mr. Cairns is responsible for CN's grain, fertilizers, sulphur and coal businesses as well as for petroleum and chemicals, forest products, and metals and minerals. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Cairns was Vice-President, Petroleum and Chemicals since March 2010 and Assistant Vice-President of CN's domestic intermodal since 2006. Mr. Cairns joined CN in 1988 as a train order operator, before being promoted to rail traffic controller and then to team leader with CN's Customer Service Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He entered the Sales and Marketing world in 1997 as an Intermodal account manager in Toronto, and was promoted to director, Intermodal Sales in 1999. Mr. Cairns then successively held senior positions in Intermodal Wholesale, Petroleum & Plastics Marketing, and IMX operations. Mr. Cairns holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of Winnipeg and an MBA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.


Jackie Forrest, Senior Director, ARC Energy Research Institute

Jackie actively monitors emerging strategic trends related to energy. She is an author and sought after public speaker with 20 years of experience in the energy industry. She is the host of the ARC Energy Ideas podcast, a weekly show that explains the latest trends and news in Canadian energy and beyond.  She is a regular contributor to the Daily Oil Bulletin and the National Post publications and is a recognized expert in analyzing oil and gas systems in a carbon constrained world.

Prior to joining ARC, she was the leader of North American crude oil research for IHS CERA. Jackie has published 20 public papers on energy issues, covering a range of topics, including US oil supply sources, markets for Canadian crude oil, environmental regulation, technology and six papers on life cycle GHG emissions from crude oil.

Jackie was the recipient of the 2018 Schulich School of Engineering Environment and Sustainability Alumni Award, recognizing her contribution to a significant body of knowledge that has helped to increase the understanding of the connection between energy and environment. She is currently a member of the Schulich Industry Advisory Council (SIAC), the group provides input to the engineering school to help to ensure that programs and initiatives align with industry needs.

Jackie attended the University of Calgary where she received an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering.  She also has an MBA from Queens University.


Brian Livingston, Executive Fellow, University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy; Former Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Imperial Oil Limited

Mr. Livingston has served as vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Imperial Oil Limited since February of 2002.  He retired from Imperial Oil in December of 2013.

A native of Toronto, Ont., Mr. Livingston is a graduate of Queens University with a degree in mechanical engineering. In 1976, he worked as an engineer in the upstream business in Calgary, Alta., before continuing his education at the University of Toronto where he earned a bachelor of law degree. In 1981, Mr. Livingston took a two-year assignment with the federal government and also spent several years working with two major law firms in Toronto.  In 1985, Mr. Livingston joined Imperial Oil as a counsel in the law department. He was transferred to the treasurers department as a financial analyst in 1989 and later became manager of credit.  In 1994, he commenced a three-year assignment with Exxon Corporation in Dallas, Texas, and returned to Imperial in 1997 as director of corporate tax.  In 2002, he was appointed vice-president and general counsel.

As general counsel, Mr. Livingston has a wide variety of legal and business experience in climate change, tax, commercial, litigation, regulatory and First Nations matters.  As corporate secretary, he has experience in dealing with board of directors, including corporate governance matters (both Canadian and U.S), executive compensation and securities laws affecting public companies. 

Mr. Livingston is currently an Executive Fellow with the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, a past President of the Petroleum Club in Calgary and a graduate of the ICD program.  He is a guest lecturer at the Law Practice Program offered to articling students in Ontario, and has done education seminars with a number of law firms.  He has also lectured at the Queens law school, and is proposing to expand such lectures to include students in the Engineering faculty.

Calgary AB, McCarthy Tetrault, 421 7 Avenue Southwest

C.D. Howe Institute events are open to members and their guests. Members can register online by signing in here, or contacting cdhoweevents@cdhowe.org.