Manning Centre Conference | Week 11

Gavin Rogers

My internship is coming to an end. Time has absolutely flown by; it is clichéd but true that the last three months have felt like one. I’m wrapping up my last week at Fraser Institute tomorrow, before heading to Ottawa for the enrichment program and Manning Centre conference.

I’ve been incredibly busy the past few weeks trying to fit in as much as possible before leaving, so this blog is unlikely to do all of it justice. I will try to explain it as concisely as possible.

Last Friday afternoon I had the pleasure of again meeting up with Julian, another Mannkal scholar who has been interning at the Manning Centre in Calgary. Together with my other Australian friend Michael, we went to watch a live gig.

This was not just any old gig, this was the latest album release by my colleague Bacchus and his grunge inspired band “The Belief Experiment”. They killed it!

Early on Saturday, the three of us then made our way over to Victoria. Something that has likely taken many people by surprise, including myself, is that British Columbia’s capital is not actually Vancouver.

The provincial capital is Victoria, a pretty and quaint town on Vancouver Island, separate from regular Vancouver and the mainland. Victoria is much smaller, and it has a rustic and mellow atmosphere of a regional coastal town similar Albany in Western Australia.

That being said, Victoria boasts a number of significant landmarks, such as the parliament building and beacon hill park. It was an extremely relaxing weekend and the perfect place to absorb a bit of culture before leaving British Columbia.

I finally made it to Stanley Park on Family Day, a public holiday in British Columbia and some other provinces. The weather was perfect, 10 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

My friend Hannah and I took to the bicycles and rode our way around the seawall, we couldn’t have chosen a better day for it. I wish I had time to do it a few more times, or even stay just to do it again in summer, but the show must go on.

I’m in the process of finalising my last project at Fraser, relating to oil transportation. I’m hoping to acquire some relevant statistics on the volume of oil transported by, and proportion of spills from, both pipelines and tankers.

Statistics show that spills from both pipelines and tankers have declined dramatically over the past few decades. In addition, studies by the Fraser Institute have shown that pipelines have become an increasingly desirable method of transportation, proving to have far fewer spills than rail when compared under equal volumes.

When examining issues of a highly contentious or political nature such as these, it’s important to examine the fundamental statistics and information behind them, which I’m grateful to be doing. Research based on empirical evidence is why I wanted to intern at Fraser in the first place, and it has delivered.