The Annual Law And Economics Forum

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The Annual Law And Economics Forum

October 26, 2023 @ 6:00 pm October 27, 2023 @ 4:30 pm

The Energy Bar Association’s Canadian Chapter is hosting the first ever Annual Law and Economics Forum. The theme for the Forum is: Can the U.S. and Canada move together to meet climate change objectives and what is the role of energy regulators in this process? Please note that speakers listed below are subject to change.

Before the Forum, the Canadian Chapter invites all attendees to a Welcome Dinner on Thursday, October 26. This Welcome Dinner is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Torys LLP and the Canadian Gas Association.

Registration for this event is closed!

Thursday, October 26, 2023: Welcome Dinner

5 PM: Cocktail Hour

6 PM: Dinner

Dinner Keynote: Hon. Gary G. Mar, K.C., President and CEO, Canada West Foundation

Friday, October 27, 2023

8:00 AM – 8:10 AM: Welcome Remarks

8:10 AM – 9:25 AM: Challenges and Opportunities of the Electrify Everything Path to Net Zero

Electrify everything has become the go-to solution for policymakers seeking to build clean, reliable and affordable electricity systems across the United States and Canada. However, the electrify everything solution, while having significant opportunities, also has significant challenges. What are the opportunities and challenges associated with the electrify everything path to net zero? How can the opportunities be seized and the challenges overcome?


Robert Hanf, K.C., Non-Executive Director, Canadian Utilities Limited, Former President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power


Robert Fleishman, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Leonard Waverman, PhD, Former Dean Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary and DeGroote School of Business McMaster
Paul Cheliak, Vice President, Strategy & Delivery Canadian Gas Association

9:25 AM – 10:40 AM: Transition to Net Zero: Who Decides?

Climate change policy requires significant collective action at various levels of government. It also requires actions that change the relationship between individuals and the state (public law) and between individuals (private law). What happens when the collective action required within a federal political system, such as those in Canada and the United States, is not supported by the various levels of government and the costs and risks of climate change are inequitably shared (both geographically between states/provinces and between citizens)? How can conflicting positions be reconciled? What level of government ultimately sets policy and are some policy approaches better than others?


Steve McGrath, K.C., Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board


Dave Morton, P. Eng., Former Chair, British Columbia Utilities Commission
Karen J. Taylor, MBA, CFA, ICD.D, Inquisitive Energy
G. Kent Fellows, Department of Economics and the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

10:40 AM – 10:55 AM: Break

10:55 AM – 12:10 PM: Are Markets Up to the Decarbonization Challenge?

The electricity industry in the United States and in Canada has increasingly relied on a number of regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) to develop and manage transmission facilities, use bid-based markets to determine economic dispatch, balance supply and demand in real time, manage transmission congestion, trade energy and ancillary services across broad geographic areas. These RTOs and ISOs also have enduring challenges, including those related to “missing money” market clearing prices, and other issues which are likely to be exacerbated by the decarbonization of electricity. What actions are needed to ensure that markets continue to play a role in decarbonized electricity systems?

Anna Fung, K.C., Deputy Chair, British Columbia Utilities Commission

Adonis Yatchew, Professor of Economics at University of Toronto
Arne Olson, Senior Partner, Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc.
Rob Nicholson, Managing Director, Canadian Power, Utilities, & Infrastructure at RBC Capital Markets
David Wood, Partner, Torys LLP

12:10 PM – 1:15 PM: Lunch

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM: The Case for the Importance of Data Planning in Electrification

As energy use, prices and bills become more volatile due to increased DERs and EV penetration, the historic context of predictable one-way flows driven by predictable consumer demand growth will no longer serve for planning purposes. In order to drive down the cost of providing new supply and additional transfer capacity, forecasting future peak demands through the electrification transition needs to become more statistical given the variability of DERs and EV use. Shifting the regulatory, forecasting and planning context will provide an opportunity to take reasoned risks in approaching optimized electrification capital investments.  

Bob Heggie, Chief Executive, Alberta Utilities Commission

Andrew Leach, Professor of Economics and Law, University of Alberta
Stephanie Prior, Partner, Deloitte Canada
Dennis Frehlich, Alberta Utilities Commission Acting Commission Member, and Former VP, Grid Reliability, AESO

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM: Afternoon Break

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM: Climate Change and the Role of the Economic Regulator

Over the last several decades, economic regulation in most jurisdictions in Canada and the United States, particularly at the state/provincial level, has been focused on rights determining functions – rate setting, leave to construct proceedings, merger and acquisitions approvals, determination of need, cost allocation, and rate design – within adjudicative proceedings. The decarbonization of the energy electricity system in both Canada and the United States may require regulators to focus on different issues, use different regulatory processes and tools, change decision structures, and evolve the role of staff. Are the policy makers who task regulators ready to thoughtfully renew the role of the regulator to meet the decarbonization challenge?  

Kristi Sebalj, Vice-Chair, Alberta Utilities Commission

Chris Russo, VP & Global Energy Practice Leader at Charles River Associates
Gordon Kaiser, Energy Law Chambers
Carolyn Calwell, Chief Corporate Services Officer & General Counsel, Ontario Energy Board
Meredith Fowlie, Professor in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, Faculty Director at the Energy Institute at Haas

4:00 PM – 4:15 PM: Closing Remarks

Thank you to Bob Heggie (Immediate Past President, EBA Canadian Chapter) and Gordon Kaiser (Vice President and Director, EBA Canadian Chapter) for your leadership on this program.

710 13 Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 0K9 Canada
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