Conflict of Interest Disclosure

On January 5th, 2012, the American Economics Association adopted new guidelines for the disclosure of potential conflicts of interests by economists.  I am very supportive of this initiative. Please find my disclosure information below.


I have been employed by the University of Alberta in the following capacities:

  • Associate Professor (with tenure), 2011-
  • Enbridge Professor of Energy Policy, 2013-2015
  • Assistant Professor, 2006-2011

The University of Alberta’s Conflict of Interest Policy may be found here.  With respect to the Enbridge Professorship which I held through March, 2015, the University of Alberta’s guidelines for donations are here and a response to concerns you might have may be found here.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, I was seconded to Environment Canada as a visiting scholar.  This secondment ended June 26, 2013.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, I chaired the Government of Alberta’s Climate Change Leadership Panel, for which I was compensated by the government for 30 days of work with the balance of my time commitment (at least 34 additional days) being covered by a release from the Dean of the Alberta School of Business.

Financial support:

For calendar years 2009-2016 (to date), I have received financial support for research activities totaling over $5000 from:

  • Enbridge Professorship, Alberta School of Business
  • The Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – Insight Development Grant (2 grants), Standard Research Grant and funding for Sustainable Prosperity Research Network and the Alberta Climate Change Dialogue CURA.
  • The Alberta Carbon Capture and Storage Development Council, Alberta Department of Energy, for research into economic models for CCS support, provided through CABREE.  Funds retained within my CABREE research account to support future projects.
  • The VanHorne Center for Regulatory Affairs. Academic director honorarium and support for hosting a conference on pipeline regulation in the Spring of 2012.
  • Alberta School of Business, School of Retailing, Walmart Research Grant.  Funding used for teaching release and research assistance.

I also lead our Center for Applied Business Research in Environment and Energy (CABREE) which has received funding and/or compensation over the previous 5 years from Enbridge, Suncor, Encana, Cougar Tool, and the Government of Alberta.  Funds into CABREE do not directly fund any particular research project, and all funding is handled as per the University of Alberta guidelines which prioritize academic freedom.

Consulting activity:

In 2016, I have done no paid consulting work.

From 2013-2015 , I did consulting work (paid and pro-bono) for:

  • Industry Canada
  • Government of Alberta (Alberta Energy consulting contract and Climate Leadership Panel (see above))
  • Canada’s EcoFiscal Commission
  • AlphaSights

During 2012 and 2013, I did no consulting as a result of my visiting position with Environment Canada, but I was compensated by Environment Canada via an Executive Interchange Agreement with the University of Alberta during my secondment to them.

During calendar years 2009-2012, I performed paid consulting work for the following organizations:

  • The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, Government of Canada.
  • Environment Canada, Government of Canada.
  • Alberta Environment, Government of Alberta.
  • Enviro-economics.

Relevant paid or unpaid activity (previous 5 years)

  • Contributor, Ottawa Citizen, Post Media, Globe and Mail (paid, irregular), 2013-
  • Contributor, Macleans and Canadian Business (paid), 2013-
  • Academic Director, NREE Programs, University of Alberta, 2012-
  • Researcher, CABREE, University of Alberta (provided with research funds of less than $5000/year), 2006-2011
  • Fellow, CIRANO, Montreal (unpaid), 2005-
  • Research Network Member (unpaid), Sustainable Prosperity, 2009-
  • Academic Director, Van Horne Center for Regulatory Affairs, University of Calgary, 2011-2012
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management (unpaid), 2011-
  • Editorial Board Member, Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics (unpaid), 2010-
  • Alberta Oil Magazine column (paid), 2011
  •, occasional contributions (paid), 2011-2012
  • Globe and Mail Economy Lab, regular contributions (unpaid), 2011-2012
  • Fraser Institute, (paid) honorarium received for peer review, 2011.
  • Peer review (unpaid) for many economic journals, listed on my academic CV, as well as for Sustainable Prosperity, the Pembina Institute and the C.D. Howe Institute.
  • Unpaid speaking engagements: I have, from time-to-time requested and generally received admission for some of my students at events in Edmonton where I am speaking.
  • Paid speaking engagements (<$2500 in all cases): Prairie Merchant, Alberta Institute of Agrologists, Carbon Management Canada, Simon Fraser Center for Dialogue, Sustainable Prosperity (incl. paper), University of Ottawa (incl. paper).
  • Other benefits received: admission to Alberta Enterprise Group events (Ezra Levant (incl. a table for students) and PC Leadership breakfast), Chamber of Commerce luncheon ticket (Enbridge), Oilers tickets (Cenovus, ATB Financial, Ferus), State of the City address ticket (Edmonton Chamber of Commerce), PC Leader’s Dinner (KatchKan), Stampede 2016 tickets (Encana).

In-kind and financial contributions to teaching activities and student clubs

I receive wonderful support from government, industry, and NGOs for my teaching activity.  I have had, over my time at the University of Alberta, representatives from the Alberta Ministries of Environment, Energy, and Finance and Enterprise, many major oil, gas, energy services, pipeline and electricity companies, Epcor, the Pembina Institute, and many others speak in my classes.  I have never offered compensation beyond accommodation and travel expenses for speakers, either directly or in-kind, with the exception of a small token of appreciation from the class. While I have not been invited to do so often, I would feel obliged to return the favour of speaking at the request of someone who has taken time to speak in my class.

Student clubs with which I am associated have received significant support from both government and industry.  In particular, the annual Alberta Energy Challenge business competition would not have been possible without the generous support of Suncor and Cenovus who provided financial and in-kind resources for this competition since 2010.

Family conflicts of interest

To the best of my knowledge, no members of my immediate family have personal or financial relationships which would be viewed by a reasonable individual to constitute a conflict of interest with either my research or public commentary.

Asset disclosure

I hold shares in the following companies (listed alphabetically by TSX ticker) in self-directed accounts:

  • Enbridge (ENB)
  • Interpipeline (IPL)
  • Morneau Shepell (MSI)
  • Royal Bank (RY)
  • Brookfield Asset Management (BAM)
  • Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
  • WSP Global (WSP)
  • Canadian Quantum Energy (CQM)
  • AGT Foods (AGT)

I hold no more than $50,000 (June 22, 2016 market value) in common shares in any of these companies. I also hold additional equity assets via Canadian index ETFs and mutual funds.  My spouse holds diversified mutual funds.

Political Activity

I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of a provincial or federal party. I have, occasionally, provided free advice to elected officials and staff from all major parties both in Alberta and nationally. I have made no political donations that I can recall (I’ll hedge in case I attended an event  which served as a political fundraiser at some point during my university career), and certainly none in the past 10 years. My spouse is not a member of any federal or provincial political party.  I was appointed by Ministerial Reference to Chair the Climate Change Leadership Panel in Alberta by Minister Shannon Phillips.


This blog is hosted on a fee-for-service basis by Mesh Canada and was designed by Mesh Canada founder Eric Warnke, a University of Alberta BCom Alum. The banner image was designed and provided to me free-of-charge by current University of Alberta BCom student Adam McKertcher. I receive no income or other compensation for the blog, and the time which I devote to this and to my Twitter account are personal, unpaid time.  The Alberta School of Business posts, with my permission, a feed from my Twitter account as well as a link to this blog on their website.  No compensation or editorial control is implied by this relationship.

12 responses to “Conflict of Interest Disclosure”

  1. Northern Gateway and Gas Prices

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  2. Deep Climate

    “Fraser Institute, (paid) honorarium received for peer review, 2011.”

    Was that for Joel Wood’s report “Canadian Environmental Indicators – Air Quality”? I presume it was, as the timing makes sense, and you are thanked for your comments in the acknowledgments along with two others (presumably also reviewers). But perhaps I’ve misunderstood.

    1. Deep Climate

      OK. The Fraser Institute review was unclear to me. “Peer reviewers” were (mostly) named for the ISPM by McKitrick et al (50+ of them). But I guess that was an exception.

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    I really like this page. It’s extremely thorough, transparent, and downright impressive.


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