Jim Stanford and Frank McKenna are key note speakers at the Energy Conference in Sarnia

April 3, 2013 – Sarnia, Ontario, Canada – Two keynote speakers at the “Bitumen – Adding Value: Canada’s National Opportunity” Conference in Sarnia on May 21/22 will define what is meant by adding value to the entire chain of the resource industry, both upstream and downstream.

Jim Stanford, CAW Economist, and frequent commentator on TVO’s Agenda and the CBC National News, will speak about the need to supply the huge demand for materials as inputs into the energy industry, rather than relying mainly on imported products. “There has been no conscious effort by policy-makers to connect Canadian manufacturing capability to the upstream or downstream requirements of the resource industry,” Mr. Stanford noted. He will propose methods to enhance the positive industrial spin-offs from resource projects through the rest of the economy.

The Honourable Frank McKenna, former Premier of New Brunswick, Canadian Ambassador to the United States, and now Deputy Chair of the TD Bank Group, has been an early advocate and vocal champion for a national pipeline network which he considers to be an essential infrastructure project that “would be an extraordinary catalyst for economic growth and a powerful symbol of Canadian unity.” In his view, this is the kind of pan-Canadian project that can help make a material difference in our lives, and future generations.  He will argue that now is the time to come together – all levels of government and interested stakeholders – to find the best way to unlock the full potential of our energy resources.

Dr. Richard Marceau, President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (the major sponsor of the Conference), noted that the oil sands should be seen as a system, starting from the first exploration of a lease area, the initial mine or site development, the recovery of the bitumen, and its transportation to a facility to produce upgraded products. “Value can be added across the entire chain of this undeveloped industry,” Dr. Marceau stressed.

Dr. Walter Petryschuk, former Director General of the National Research Council of Canada’s Integrated Manufacturing Technology’s Institute (London), adds “Canada’s oil sands are an engine, however fitful and cyclic, of our nation’s economic growth and wealth generation. How can we not take advantage of this significant attribute for the benefit of all Canadians?”



Walter F. Petryschuk, Conference Chair
519 542-5137
Associate, Bowman Centre
Member, The Canadian Academy of Engineering’s Energy Task Force