Well then, Donald J. Trump is now the President of the United States. I’d be lying if, pre-nomination last year, I said that I thought this would ever come to fruition. I’m sure that I’m equally as worried and curious as everyone else, about what will become of the US’ giant petri dish experiment. While some of the world sits back waiting for the show to begin with eager eyes and bowls filled to the brim with popcorn, Canada is anxiously standing near the front of the queue with a list of questions that need answering.
Trump’s protectionist and domestic-business friendly policies will place Canada in uncharted waters. Renewed support for the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipeline projects has many people cheering, although it remains to be seen how petroleum exports to the US will be affected by potential border tariffs.
Another concern is to what degree Canadian and foreign investment will make its way south as regulation and corporate tax rates are slashed. If anyone has a crystal ball and is willing to share their insights on these and numerous other questions, please get in contact with me. Otherwise, we are just going to have to wait and find out how things pan out the old-fashioned way.
Pipelines are understandably all the rage right now, as the oil and gas industry searches for new ways to improve efficiencies and profit margins, and political actors hit the ball back and forth across the court to fit their own respective agendas. I’ve gotten involved in the action myself as of Monday, with a new research project analysing the relationship between Commonwealth rule of law and a term known as social licence.
From my understanding thus far, social licence was a term coined by the extractive industry in the late 1990’s, and represents the intangible relationship or informal agreement between a mining company and the civil society in which it operates. You could say that it’s a modern adaption of Corporate Social Responsibility, with a greater emphasis on direct interaction and discourse with local populations rather than a centralised corporate strategy. More on my results next week!
Amongst all the political commotion and research, I made sure to get out and confuse myself even more by checking out some of the nonsensical exhibits on offer at the Contemporary Art Gallery. The beauty of Contemporary Art Galleries is that you can interpret as much or as little meaning from the works as you choose, and you will always be right. There was nothing confusing about the Afghan cuisine that myself and colleagues enjoyed on Tuesday though, it was objectively and undeniably delicious.