In this month’s guide to all things PPF: A candid look inside the UN and a climate policy rethink

The Missing Article: How to Get Canada Back in the Game on Article 6

Since 2021, 65 bilateral agreements involving 45 countries have been reached under Article 6 of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. Canada is not among them. PPF’s latest report, The Missing Article, looks at its importance not just for an energy-exporting nation like Canada, but as a means of facilitating emissions reductions.

Recent economic modelling shows that international cooperation through Article 6 could significantly reduce the costs of the energy and economic transition required by the Paris Agreement relative to countries going about the same transition independently. PPF asked a widely recognized trio of Canadian subject matter experts to explain why Article 6 exists, where it currently stands, and how Canada could make use of it for the national advantage and global good.


Introducing (more!) Testimonial Dinner Award honourees

Last month we announced Janice Charette and Marc Garneau will be two of the honourees at PPF’s Annual Testimonial Dinner Honour Roll in April. This month, we’re excited to announce they will be joined by Jayna Hefford, Murad Al-Katib and JP Gladu.

Jayna Hefford won four consecutive Olympic gold medals and scored 157 goals and 291 points in 267 games during her 17-year international career. Now she’s turning that skill and scoring touch into the launch of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), a six-team league featuring the world’s top women hockey players. (The puck drops Jan. 1.) “This is much different, much bigger, and in many ways more challenging because this is something that hasn’t existed before,” says Hefford, who is the PWHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations. “And it’s something we’ve had to work really hard to show the value.” The league, announced earlier this year, is beyond ambitious. But there is a big payoff, says Hefford. “We’re creating opportunities in hockey, but I think we’re doing much more than that. We’re changing society.”

Murad Al-Katib has a true basement-to-billions story. Twenty years ago he quit his government job in Saskatchewan to chase what would be a game-changing idea in Canadian agriculture. He believed that millions of acres of non-productive summer fallow could be used to grow pulses, creating “an instant market” to feed a hungry world. “I believed if I could gain the trust of farmers and buyers and build a global supply chain, then I could drive the innovation and commercialization of a new pillar of agriculture in Western Canada,” says Al-Katib. He has since been dubbed “Saskatchewan’s lentil king” and his Regina-based AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. now has 46 manufacturing and processing facilities on five continents, including 22 in Western Canada. He continues to champion the place where his idea took root: “The passion and work ethic of Saskatchewan people is the most amazing attribute. We have an attitude that we can achieve anything.”

JP Gladu’s visionary leadership has inspired Indigenous communities, industries and governments across Canada. He spent eight years as the president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), where he spearheaded the highly successful Aboriginal Procurement Strategy. Gladu has always “walked through two worlds,” he says. He sits on the board of Calgary-based oil producer and refiner Suncor Energy, and serves on the International Forum on Corporate Responsibility for BHP, among many other directorships and advisory roles in forestry, sustainability and Indigenous business. He can also be found north of Thunder Bay, hunting and harvesting moose to cook for himself, family and friends. He is also the founder of Mokwateh, a consultancy that shares Gladu’s Anishinaabe name and is committed to creating “common ground and common good” for Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses.

All the honourees (stay tuned for more announcements in coming weeks!) will be celebrated at PPF’s next Testimonial Dinner Honour Roll on April 11, 2024 in Toronto. More than 1,100 leaders and policy wonks from all sectors of society will gather to pay tribute to distinguished Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to public policy and good governance. Take a look at the 2023 edition, and register now.

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Here’s some of what PPF has been covering, writing and producing in recent weeks:

Introducing WONK: PPF launched its rebranded podcast, featuring new music, a new title, an expanded focus — and the same great host. Episode One features a riveting and surprisingly candid discussion with Bob Rae, Canada’s Ambassador to the UN.

On what it’s like to work at the United Nations in this moment, he tells host Edward Greenspon: “I just finished a staff meeting where I had difficulty finishing a few sentences because of the personal stress I think we’re all under dealing with the horrendous events, the horrendous levels of violence that we’re seeing in the world today, the incredible cruelty that people are showing for each other. It’s just unbelievable.”

You can listen on all the major podcast platforms.

Episode 2 is out this week, a conversation with one of the most interesting and surprising figures in Canadian journalism, Jeff Elgie. Elgie has been quietly growing Village Media Inc. over the past decade from his HQ in Sault Ste Marie — and he’s done it at a time when the industry has been in free fall. He talks about the controversial Online News Act, Google’s $100-million payment and what it means for the future of journalism.

Coming soon: A conversation with one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians (a five-time gold medal winner), and one of the best pure goal scorers in the history of hockey. Can you guess who it is!? Hints above.

What’s a wonk, anyway? You might have noticed, for starters, that wonk is “know” spelled backwards. We asked one of Canada’s most respected, knowledgeable book reviewers to delve into the meaning of the word. Read journalist Brian Bethune’s examination of all things ‘wonk.’

Six simple steps: Federal-provincial and regional tensions over a transition to clean energy are exacerbated at a time when the push to net zero needs to be taking off. Clearly, it’s time to recalibrate, writes PPF President and CEO Edward Greenspon, in a PPF op-ed. He offers six practical solutions to get things back on track with the least economic and social harm.

The affordability fix: PPF Policy Lead and Economist Robin Shaban looked at the government’s focus on affordability in the fall economic statement and explained why it’s overlooking one key area: the labour market. “Both the government and the Competition Bureau have yet to fully realize the potential of competition law to support workers and create a more equitable economy,” they argue in this op-ed.

A better Ukraine: Edward Greenspon delivered the opening remarks at a PPF roundtable discussion on rebuilding Ukraine, which followed the Rebuild Ukraine conference on Nov. 22. He recalled his time as a young Globe and Mail correspondent in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union between 1989-1991, and being in Kyiv in August 1991 covering Ukraine’s declaration of independence. “I remember camping out in the Parliament building into the wee hours as Boris Yeltsin dispatched Anatoly Sobchak and Alexander Rutskoy to try to ensure that Ukrainian independence didn’t get …. well, too independent-minded.” On the road ahead: “I see Ukraine undergoing a post-1991 rebirth, seizing opportunity out of crisis….What we want to do today is continue to build momentum in how we in the West — and particularly we in Canada — can help, now and in the future, to ensure this rebuild is truly a rebirth.” Read his full remarks here.

Atlantic Momentum weekly: If you haven’t already subscribed to the Atlantic Momentum Newsletter, consider joining the many thousands of people who follow it to see what’s making waves in Atlantic Canada each week. You can now follow it easily through LinkedIn as well as by weekly emailFind out why it’s fast becoming a go-to source.

Navigating AI Governance

Join us to explore the ever-evolving AI policy landscape with the AI Policy Compass program. Whether you’re a policymaker in government or engaged in AI governance across various sectors, this program is tailored for you. Proudly partnered with Mila – Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute, our program is open for registration for upcoming cohorts in March and April in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Don’t miss your chance! Visit our website for program details and registration: AI Policy Compass program.

Policy 101

Who plays a role in public policy? What are careers in public policy? These are the questions Action Canada Fellows answer in the final two modules of the hugely popular Policy 101 series. These latest modules build on the topics covered in the first six, aimed at offering a comprehensive overview of public policymaking. The Policy 101 series draws on Action Canada Fellows’ experience with public policy and their diverse perspectives. The bilingual series breaks down the elements of public policy into digestible, engaging modules that include videos, podcasts and teacher guides, with real-world examples to illustrate the concepts.


The Hill Times covered the launch of The Missing Article, citing the ‘unparalleled opportunity’ Canada has to take leadership on a global carbon market. “We can do more, we can have a greater ambition, and we can make it cost less by actually cooperating with other countries to achieve our goals,” Lisa DeMarco, one of the authors of the report, told The Hill Times.

Peter Nicholson, the author of PPF’s widely discussed report on offshore wind power, was a guest on Insights with Don Mills and David Campbell, a popular podcast in Atlantic Canada. Nicholson discussed the big findings of Catching the Wind, from the potential for Atlantic Canada to become a major exporter of green energy to the challenges around the huge capital investment involved.

Writing in the Saltwire network, Don Mills also offered a detailed and thoughtful review of Catching the Wind, which he calls a “very important and thought-provoking report.”

PPF Board Member Lisa Raitt and Anne McLellan, who are co-chairs of the advocacy organization Coalition for a Better Future, wrote in the Globe and Mail urging the government to develop a plan to boost productivity. It won’t be easy, they argue, but Canada’s problems can be overcome. “Canada needs to have a long-term plan for economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable. We avoid advocating for specific proposals or taking sides in debates since we understand there are competing potential paths toward achieving our objective. But there are certain guardrails we think make a lot of sense.” Read more here.

PPF Fellows Jennifer Robson and Sean Speer were guests on a recent episode of The Herle Burly podcast to chat about the 2023 Fall Economic Statement – what it means and what it sets out to do. Listen here.

PPF Fellow Brett House was interviewed by Market News to talk about potential rate cuts by the U.S. Fed amidst falling inflation. He also discussed with CNBC how retailers may have “mis-read and over-projected” consumer demand this year. And he appeared on his regular Dollars and Sense radio show. The latest episode (Nov. 30) can be heard here.

A recent episode of PPF Fellow Ed Whittingham’s podcast Energy vs. Climate looks at still relatively new climate mitigation pathway of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). Some see it as an essential tool to cutting CO₂ bringing warming back down to 1.5C by century’s end. “Will CDR live up to its hype or fail to launch?”


We asked PPF team members and Fellows for their book recommendations. Here’s what they’re reading this month.   Not Here: Why American Democracy is Eroding and How Canada Can Protect Itself by Professor Rob Goodman. This is an important and eye-opening read, especially as we watch our American neighbours go into election season in 2024. Goodman offers a history of and meditation on both Canadian and American democracy, what is unique about and worth defending in our nation, and how we can be proactive about defending democracy here at home. He calls for a “refounding” when it comes to our own distinctiveness as a method of resilience, and for all of us to think more deliberately of ourselves as a multinational democracy and recognize the inherent strengths in doing so. This book has me thinking, and more importantly acting too.  — Victoria Kuketz, PPF Fellow in Digital Democracy

Atomic Habits by James Clear. With over 10 million copies sold, it is not difficult to understand why this book is such a huge hit. While we know habits are integral to a person’s success, there is always the question of how to stick to them. What I love about the book is that it not only gives simple tricks and tips to build a habit, but almost all chapters have interesting anecdotes that make it an interesting read. Whether you make New Year resolutions or not, this is a great book to pick up at the end of this year. – Shweta Menon, PPF Policy Lead

Values, Voice, and Virtue by Matthew Goodwin. This book sets out the landscape of the New British Politics and suggests that the ruling elite have so completely lost touch with people and their everyday priorities, that there is a seismic fracture in the U.K. The book suggests this is what is behind the revolt around Brexit. It is an interesting read and makes you think about the context in Canada and in the United States and other western democracies. — Marian Campbell Jarvis, PPF Public Service Senior Fellow

The Forgotten Girls by Monica Potts. If you read the Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, this is the parallel sociological analysis blending a memoir and investigative journalistic study. In addition to societal issues such as addictions and domestic violence, the book triangulates around rural isolation, evangelical religion, lack of education and opportunity which keeps people, especially women and girls, from improving their circumstance.  A tragic, disturbing and well-argued book from which we recognize pockets of American society where poverty persists. — Marian Campbell Jarvis, PPF Public Service Senior Fellow

Miss Eliza’s English Kitchen by Annabel Abbs. A historical fiction based on the life of one of the first cookbook writers, Eliza Acton. Miss Acton brought structure to recipes (list of ingredients upfront, recorded measurements etc.) such that meals could be replicated and adapted. It is a lovely story of food, friendship and upstairs/downstairs in Victorian England. Fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy it! — Marian Campbell Jarvis, PPF Public Service Senior Fellow

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