The group of Occidental conference attendees with the speakers and panelists.
On April 28, 2012, the Consulate General of Canada, Los Angeles partnered with Occidental College in Los Angeles to present a symposium entitled: "The China Challenge & Global Energy Conflicts: Canada and the United States' Responses". The symposium featured a range of prominent speakers and panelists who participated in two separate panel discussions: Panel 1 on the topic of "The China Challenge: Canada and U.S. Response", and Panel 2 on the topic of "The Politics of Global Energy: U.S.-Canada-China Triangle". Former U.S. Ambassador and Professor of Global Affairs at Occidental College Derek Shearer aided in organizing the symposium, and moderated the first panel, which was focused on trade flows, manufacturing, and international competitiveness between Canada, the U.S. and China. Columnist and author James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine participated in the first panel, sharing insights gleaned from living in China for the past three years in conducting research for his just-released book, China Airborne. Jayson Myers, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and former DFAIT official and Director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta Gordon Houlden also participated in the panel, providing valuable Canadian-oriented insights from both the domestic and international-affairs arenas. Additionally, Occidental Professor Xiao-huang Yin provided a more China-oriented perspective on the trilateral relationship, given his background as a Chinese Diplomatic Service official earlier in his career and his ongoing research in international relations. Consul General David Fransen moderated the second panel, which focused on energy relations between the three countries, including the impact of the Canadian oil sands on the global oil market, the implications of the Keystone XL debate within the U.S., and efforts by all three countries to rein in their carbon emissions. The featured panelists were Chair of the California Air Resources Board Mary Nichols, Scott Farris, Director of Governmental Relations for TransCanada, and David Ljunggren, National Political Correspondent for Reuters Canada. Mr. Ljunggren opened the second panel by providing an overview presentation examining the role of energy in Canadian domestic politics and the economy. About 80 attendees were present over the course of the Saturday morning event, with about half of the attendees from the student body or faculty at Occidental, and half from the general public, and the questions they posed were pointed and challenging to the panelists, making for lively conversations and enriching learning experiences for all involved. Dean of the College Jorge Gonzalez, who also spoke to open the event, was pleased with the quality of the event and noted that he is eager for further Canada-Occidental partnerships in the future. President and CEO of the Fulbright Canada Foundation Dr. Michael Hawes, whose organization supported the event, provided closing remarks for the Symposium, summarizing the key points that were made and also informing the audience of the benefits of participating in the Fulbright program for study in Canada. In all, the Symposium was very successful, and will help pave the way for future Canada-Occidental partnerships. This symposium is part of an ongoing effort to encourage dialogue between Canada and the United States on issues of mutual importance such as energy and relations with China.