Monday, 5 December 2011

A Loss for All of Us

I try not to get personal or off-theme on this blog, but the passing of a fine person in the Canadian oil industry is reason for us to pause and reflect on a legacy that above all is best described as civility in the maelstrom of controversy. The loss of Rick Hyndman, formerly a senior economist with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, is a loss not only to the varied stakeholders that have engaged with the Canadian oil industry, be they green, brown, or any other colour. Rick was exceptionally knowledgeable about the world oil business, savvy about Canada's role in that global industry, but in all of his dealings polite and respectful, even when, as he recalled six years ago, he was labeled a "climate criminal" by some green groups. The best of the greens, know better, though. In 2005, I headed up a panel on energy policy as part of a CIAJ conference, and invited Rick and now-Ecojustice legal advocate Karen Campbell. Rick accepted that invitation, as he did a more recent one from me, with the response that he "would be honoured to participate," a humbleness that masked his vast storehouse of knowledge and razor-sharp intellect. It was a highlight of my career to remember, as Rick and Karen had their lively and fruitful exchange during the conference, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen, the eminent chair of the conference organizing committee, turning to me and whispering excitedly, "these guys are great!"

Without impugning Rick's views, positions, and work, I would like to say that they have for me served as a source of inspiration not only for substantive views, but a commitment to civilized and mutually respectful discourse. There was something utterly Canadian about Rick in that regard.

No comments:

Post a Comment