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ENERGY CITY ELECTION: An Energy Q&A With City of Calgary Mayoral Candidates – Featured Candidate Jeff Davison

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These translations are done via Google Translate

Calgary Mayor Candidates Weigh In About Energy Issues That Affect Calgary

Since the energy industry is so important to many Calgarians (and Albertans), EnergyNow put together a series of energy related questions and presented them to leading contenders in the City of Calgary’s 2021 Mayoral race.  All candidates were asked the same questions.

EnergyNow is publishing the answers from the candidates that participated to let readers know where candidates stand on key energy issues that affect Calgary and in many ways, Alberta and the rest of Canada.  For information purposes, only one candidate asked declined the invitation to participate.

The following candidates for the Mayor of Calgary were asked to participate (in no particular order)

EnergyNow is Pleased to Present City of Calgary Mayor Candidate

Jeff Davison - Headshot 2021 - name

EnergyNow (EN): Do you believe fossil fuels are a sunset industry and that Alberta’s massive reserves of coal, oil and natural gas will become one giant stranded asset because of the “energy transition”?

Jeff Davison (JD): No. Currently, Alberta is one of the largest producers and exporters of energy.   The world will continue to rely on the production of hydrocarbon-based energy from Alberta in order to meet a global demand for affordable and efficient energy.

EN: It is well known that Houston is the epicenter of the oil and gas industry in the United States. Houston makes no apologies for this distinction. The same can be said for Calgary.  It is the energy capital of Canada.  Given Calgary’s current status as an energy hub, how important do you feel is the energy sector to Calgary on a go forward basis?

JD: Energy will always be at the core of Calgary. Calgary must regain our position on the global stage as an energy expert city. We accomplish this by keeping energy expertise in Calgary.  As I am the only candidate to have worked in the Alberta energy sector for 20 years, I have a critical understanding of how my leadership and position on Alberta energy can have an effect on accelerating investment and retaining talent in Calgary.

EN: A significant portion of Calgary’s downtown current empty office space was primarily occupied by the oil and gas industry. While the oil and gas industry may recover somewhat, technological changes like Artificial Intelligence (AI) have permanently reduced the head office administrative head count. What is your plan for these empty offices, and it’s associated underutilized talent? Can a city be a driver of reversing this trend?

JD: As the hub of Calgary’s business and cultural community, we will keep downtown welcoming and active, with well-used public spaces and a mix of residential, office, retail, entertainment, tourism, and cultural activities. As a Councillor, I assembled the funding strategy to get three core projects off the ground:  the BMO Centre and Arts Commons expansions, and the new Event Centre and Entertainment District. These projects will bring investment, revenue, and people back to downtown.

We can also look to repurpose a few buildings for residential, but we must have a grander strategy for our downtown. We need to ensure downtown is well used during the day and in the evening. We want to know that individuals feel safe downtown whether that is through policing or more activities and more people.

EN: While Calgary itself does not have a lot of influence on energy policy at the federal level, the incoming Mayor can play a role promoting Calgary, both with other mayors within Canada and internationally at conferences and events. What stance will you take in promoting Calgary as an energy hub for Canada, including oil and gas?

JD: Yes, a mayor should champion the city’s largest contributor to its GDP. I am committed to growing Calgary and helping all Calgarians recover, promoting the core industry will definitely be a vital part of my role as mayor.

EN: Canada is the fifth largest oil and gas producing country in the world behind only the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Within Canada, Calgary is internationally recognized as one of the major oil capitals of the world and will host the World Petroleum Congress in 2023. None of the major oil producing countries in the world are being as aggressive as Canada about getting out of the oil and business, an initiative by certain politicians at the federal level. As Mayor of Calgary, what message would you like to convey to those politicians?

JD: That the narrative of villainizing our energy industry must change.  It is the industry that will lead any transformation to a more sustainable, affordable solution to the world’s energy challenges. Calgary has the experts, and the industry is heavily invested in technology – there is significant opportunity to work together to continue to be a global leader in energy solutions over the long term. However, we will never get there if we erode talent and drive investors to other jurisdictions.

EN: As Mayor, what message would you like to send anti-oil & gas activists? Especially those that do not live in Canada or groups that are foreign funded to interfere with oil and gas development in Canada, directly affecting Calgary?

JD: There is a considerable lack of knowledge globally regarding the standards around oil and LNG production in Canada.  The narrative must change.  I have previously addressed concerns in my role as councillor and am committed to doing so as mayor. As an example I took the Mayor of Victoria to see the oilsands when Victoria was misinformed and threatening a lawsuit. People have to get the facts straight and work together to tell our story. I will be one of those storytellers.

EN: What do you think about the Federal government’s recently announced plan for a “Just Transition” for Canada’s oil and gas workers? A plan that could potentially further eliminate many Calgary jobs and displace Calgary taxpayers and their families to other cities or provinces.  A summary of the federal government’s “Just Transition” plan is here:

JD: Frankly, not much. I recognize that the federal government believes they are doing the right thing, but I am convinced it is for the wrong reasons. Canada must continue to be the supplier of ethical oil and lead the world in reducing greenhouse gases. This cannot be done if you villainize your own industry.

We would be better off committing to the highest standards and moving on a reasonable timeline to reduce our dependence on non-renewables.  But there remains a place for oil and gas, while also identifying which renewable energy sources work best for us.

EN: Have you ever been involved or associated with an anti-oil & gas campaign or group?

JD: No.

EN: How do you think Calgary should plug into the province’s hydrogen strategy?

JD: We should look at whether hydrogen makes more sense than electrification for things like transit fleets. Efficiency is key and hydrogen may be the better option as these projects become commercially and capitally viable.

EN: Finally, reducing energy use and emissions is not only a priority in today’s changing world but it is also welcomed by many working in Canada’s oil & gas sector. What key items do you support to help “green” Calgary’s future? Is this something the city and its taxpayers should invest in for Calgary alone? Or should the city support the energy industry in the development of technologies that have global applications?

JD: Calgary should commit strongly to being a greener city for all the right reasons. This has to include adopting a physical plan to reduce the impact of extreme weather events, such as flood mitigation and the use of construction materials that are hail resistant. Over time, municipal facilities can adopt a net-zero emission infrastructure policy.  We should also invest in the naturalization of roadways to reduce our energy use. It saves money, and highlights our city’s natural beauty.

EnergyNow would like to thank Jeff Davison for his participation.

For More Information on Jeff Davison please visit:  Jeff Davison For Mayor

Jeff Davison on site

Promoting Alberta’s oil sands – Jeff Davison (second from right), touring Cenovus’ Foster Creek oil sands project with the Mayor of Victoria, Lisa Helps (third from left)

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