What’s Next for Conservative Climate Policy?

An online forum hosted by Clean Prosperity

October 18, 2021 • 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm (EST)

During the 2021 federal election, polls consistently showed that climate change was a top voting issue for Canadians.

Conservative Party of Canada leader Erin O’Toole took the party in a new direction on climate policy. Among the policies he put forward to meet the original Paris Agreement climate target was a carbon pricing program.

In the aftermath of the election, Conservatives are having a spirited debate about whether O’Toole’s strategy worked, and where the party should go next on climate.

On October 18, 2021, Clean Prosperity hosted an online forum where Conservative strategists and policymakers from across Canada shared their insights on how the O’Toole climate policy fared, and where the Conservative Party should go next with its climate policy.

Watch a recording of the event.

This event was a follow-up to Clean Prosperity’s March 2021 policy forum, How to Create a Winning Conservative Climate Plan.


in alphabetical order

Ken Boessenkool
J.W. McConnell Professor of Practice at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University; former Senior Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chief of Staff to BC Premier Christy Clark

Read more about Ken Boessenkool

Ken Boessenkool is one of Canada’s most successful conservative strategists. Colby Cosh described him as “an election strategist and policy chef who lurks around conservative parties everywhere in Canada.” The Edmonton Journal said he helps “ensure victory of conservative-minded candidates and policies…”

Ken was a founding partner of Kool Topp & Guy Public Affairs with Don Guy and Brian Topp. In the course of his career, he has served as Senior Counsel at GCI Canada, was Senior Vice President and National Practice Director for Public Affairs at Hill & Knowlton Canada, where he was also General Manager for Alberta and Manager of Business Development. Ken was a senior regulatory economist with two electricity firms. He once worked at a bank.

Ken has played senior strategic and policy roles in four national election campaigns for the Conservative Party of Canada under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He has been Chief of Staff to a Premier of British Columbia, a senior policy advisor to three national Conservative leaders, two Alberta Finance Ministers, and an Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader. He has played senior policy or campaign manager roles in three national leadership campaigns and three provincial leadership campaigns.

Ken has published numerous policy and academic papers on a range of key national issues and is a frequent contributor to numerous online and print publications.

Ken has an undergraduate degree in business with majors in Finance and Philosophy from the University of Lethbridge and a graduate degree in economics from the University of Toronto. Ken and Tammy have a four daughters and three son-in-laws and a granddaughter and live in Chestermere, Alberta.

Mitch Davidson
Executive Director, StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and the Economy; former Head of Policy to Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Read more about Mitch Davidson

Mitch Davidson is the Executive Director of the StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and the Economy, a market facing think tank that authors thought pieces on provincial and federal policy.

Prior to that, Mitch served as the head of policy to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and co-author of both recent Ontario PC Platforms – including one that endorsed a revenue neutral carbon tax and one that opposed it.

Mitch also sat on the Taskforce for a Resilient Recovery run by the Smart Prosperity Institute that put forward environmentally focused policies designed to help the economy recover from COVID-19 and is currently part of Clean Prosperity’s expert advisory group.

Mitch is also a global fellow at the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute and hails from the small town of Oro-Medonte, Ontario.

Andrew Enns
Executive Vice-President, Leger

Read more about Andrew Enns

Andrew has almost 20 years’ experience in the Canadian market research industry providing strategic advice for a wide range of public and private sector clients. Most of Andrew’s time in the research industry was with NRG Research Group where he was a partner and President.

Currently he manages the Winnipeg office for Leger as well as participates in the company’s national public affairs practice. Prior to his time in the research industry, Andrew spent almost a decade working in the governments of Canada, Ontario and Manitoba. He had the good fortune to support several Cabinet Ministers and Premiers during this time, providing advice on an array of different public affairs topics.

Louis Leger
Chief of Staff and Deputy Minister, Office of the Premier of New Brunswick, Blaine Higgs

Read more about Louis Leger

Louis was appointed Chief of Staff and Deputy Minister, Office of the Premier of New Brunswick in December 2018.

He is a passionate entrepreneur who started in business in his early twenties. For twenty years, he was at the centre of the Atlantic Canadian marketing-communications industry and was recognized by Progress Magazine as one of Atlantic Canada’s top 50 CEOs. He has been a member of YPO since 2007.

He’s a past Board Director and Chair of the Finance Committee of the Donald J. Savoie Institute on Public Policy Research. He served as a member of l’Université de Moncton Board of Governors, Chair of the 2011 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, Chair of Downtown Moncton Centreville Inc, and he proposed and shepherded the creation of the New Brunswick Adoption Foundation for children in need, for which he received Queen Elizabeth II‘s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

He also served as Executive Director of the New England Governors and Eastern Premiers Conference on Energy for the 21st Century, and as Executive Director of FORUMe: Evolving Social Values, Natural Resources and the Economy co-presented by UNB and l’Université de Moncton in 2012. He also received the Gilbert Finn award for leadership from le Conseil Économique du Nouveau-Brunswick.

He has a BA with a concentration in Political Science from l’Université de Moncton and a Leadership Certificate from Queen’s (Smith) School of Business. He is a proud husband and father of four young adults.

Hon. Lisa Raitt, P.C.
Vice-Chair, Global Investment Banking, CIBC Capital Markets; former Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition

Read more about Hon. Lisa Raitt, P.C.

The Honourable Lisa Raitt joined CIBC Capital Markets in January 2020, having previously worked in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Raitt’s current focus is on senior client coverage and business development with clients in the energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors, which align closely with her deep expertise.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Raitt was the President and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority. She was elected into the House of Commons in 2008, where she went on to hold three senior portfolios serving as Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Labour, and Minister of Transport. Most recently, Ms. Raitt was the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada.

Ms. Raitt holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Francis Xavier University and a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Guelph. She possesses an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario bar in 1998. In 2020 Ms. Raitt was named a Woodrow Wilson Center Global Fellow of the Canada Institute.

Moderated by

Michael Bernstein
Executive Director, Clean Prosperity

Read more about Michael Bernstein

Michael Bernstein is the executive director of Clean Prosperity, a Canadian non-profit that works toward market-based solutions to the climate crisis. He serves on the C.D. Howe Institute’s Energy Policy Council, as a member of the Public Policy Forum’s Energy Future Forum, and as a MaRS Cleantech Volunteer Advisor.