The Winnipeg Consensus
In October 2009, leaders from key think tanks gathered in Winnipeg for an unprecedented meeting to talk about energy policy in Canada. Surprisingly, these diverse organizations had never gathered before around a single topic. The group agreed quickly that a national dialogue was needed on the difficult and increasingly significant role of energy in Canada's environmental and economic future and the Winnipeg Consensus was born. Three western organizations - the Business Council of Manitoba, the Canada West Foundation and the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) hosted this first meeting and agreed to convene others to explore ideas further.
The Banff Dialogue
In April 2010, the think tanks then convened a meeting in Banff to test whether a broader and more diverse group would see the need for a Canadian energy strategy. A unique group of sixty individuals gathered to discuss the changing international energy picture, the role of energy conservation, Canada's unique energy opportunities and explore the principles and elements of a Canadian strategy. After two days, this diverse group emerged with a clear consensus that a Canadian Clean Energy Strategy was needed now in order to secure Canada's economic, energy, and environmental future.
The conversation in Banff and the report are important milestones on the road to a Canadian Clean Energy Strategy. The think tanks of the Winnipeg Consensus have agreed to continue to build the substance and have begun an active conversation with the governments at both the federal and provincial levels.
A similar group will be meeting in late March to develop the next level of detail and consensus.