Our Jordan Bateman gives you the heads-up on a possible recession, Albertans go to Ottawa to talk energy, and Vaclav Smil’s visit to Vancouver.

💸 Is the recession finally here? Oxford Economics thinks so, noting that households have already begun to cut back on buying new cars, furniture, appliances, and services due to debt service costs, job losses, and lower disposable income. Oxford projects unemployment will grow from 5.5% today to 7.2% by the middle of next year and that housing starts will tumble from 270,000 units in 2022 to 200,000 in 2024. There is a glimmer of mid-term hope for construction: Oxford predicts home construction will pick up in late 2024, eventually reaching a record high of 310,000 housing starts in 2026, at which point the economy will have recovered, mortgage rates will have eased, and government measures encouraging new housing supply — such as removing GST from the construction cost of new secured purpose-built rental housing — will help make up for past shortfalls. So pain for now, but perhaps relief within 3 or 4 years?

⚡️ Yesterday, the federal Standing Committee on Natural Resources heard from Alberta experts on Canada’s energy transition. Andrew Leach from U of A emphasized that while U.S. states like Texas boom with solar due to summer demands like air conditioning, Alberta’s peak energy demand is during its coldest months – when sunny hours are at their lowest. Meanwhile, Dale Friesen of ATCO suggested that Canada’s proposed investor tax credits may fall short when compared to the simplicity of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, likening Canada’s position in the race for clean energy to a runner weighed down by ankle weights.

🗣 Vaclav Smil, a bestselling author, scientist and policy analyst out of Manitoba, was in Vancouver last night for a Resource Works event. ICBA’s Chris Gardner and Jordan Bateman were there, and the crowd of 200 included some pretty notable British Columbians – including three premiers (Glen Clark, Gordon Campbell, and Christy Clark). Smil spoke and answered questions for nearly two hours (not bad for an 80-year-old!), and was incredibly thought-provoking.