Keynote Luncheon Address I

Canada-United States Law Journal, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

Keynote Luncheon Address I


Introduction--James W. Spence

Speaker--Al Monaco

INTRODUCTION

MR. SPENCE: Good afternoon. My name is Jamie Spence. (1) I am a partner in the Toronto office of Dickinson Wright. I have the pleasure today to introduce our keynote luncheon speaker, Mr. Al Monaco. (2) Al is President of Gas Pipelines, Green Energy & International for Enbridge, Inc. out of Calgary. His business unit is responsible for the operation and growth of Enbridge Gas Pipelines, including its gas gathering and processing operations in the United States, the Gulf Coast offshore assets, and Enbridge's investment in Alliance Factor in Osavo. AI also has responsibility for Enbridge's green power generation in North America, its energy marketing business, international business development, and investment activities.

Al earned a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the School of Business at the University of Calgary. He holds a Certified Management Accounting designation and is a member of the Society of Management Accountants of Alberta. Al recently completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard.

Please welcome Al Monaco.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

MR. MONACO: When I was asked to speak at this Conference, it literally took me about three seconds to say "yes," partly because Enbridge is an important player in the energy equation on both sides of the border. But it is also because I truly find the Canada-United States relationship to be a fascinating one. It is unique on many levels, and I really do enjoy talking and speaking with Canadians and Americans about it.

Recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa have shown the volatility of oil supply and oil prices. This reinforces that the interconnectedness of the Canada-United States energy system is really a strategic advantage to both nations. (3) That interconnectedness shows up in the facts and figures of the energy trade. There are also, I think, some clouds lurking on the horizon here which are going to challenge the relationship going forward.

Now, I was not sure about slides today because it is a keynote address but when you are talking about energy, it is always useful to show a few maps to get a picture and a feel for the continental outlook here. I would like to focus my comments on the overall energy picture in North America from a corporate perspective. You have heard a lot of different perspectives here so far which have been very interesting. What I will do is discuss the importance of energy in our economy, the criticality of the resources that flow across the border, describe our company's role in that energy flow, and what we are doing to develop infrastructure that goes to the heart of energy security and economic growth. I will then wrap up with what I believe are a few important challenges and opportunities facing Canada and the United States in terms of policymakers and our industry.

I hope the main message, though, that I leave today is one that says the future growth and sustainability of our standard of living in North America depends on the strength of the Canada-United States energy relationship and that we need to manage and nurture that relationship going forward.

I am going to take a few minutes to discuss my personal view on how Canadians see themselves day to day, and the relationship that they have with the United States. Canadians might appreciate this. We will have to see about the Americans, but this is sort of how I look at this dynamic.

Believe it or not, some Canadians feel unsure about themselves in this relationship. In contrast, nobody questions that Canadians can speak up and be counted on. At times we differ with United States' positions--witness our cross-border issues around beef, softwood lumber, and so on (4)--but we usually work through those. We sometimes feel that Canada has a very small role or a smaller role anyway on the world stage compared to the United States. …

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