Young Professionals and the Energy Transition – A Conversation with Canadian Senators Event Recap

The Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC) Edmonton Chapter and Government Engagement Committee held their panel discussion with Senator Simons and Senator Black on June 8th. The Senators discussed climate change, the role of the pipeline industry in the energy future, and the critical role of young professionals. 

 Event highlights:

  • Senator Black started his introductory remarks by mentioning some of the challenges that the pipeline industry is facing such as the Enbridge line 5 project, Chevron LNG project, etc. However, he was optimistic about new future opportunities for this industry involving water, helium, carbon capture, hydrogen, etc. Although Alberta has faced hardships and difficult times, the future is promising and full of opportunities.
  • Both Senators emphasized the role of youth in the new energy future. Both strongly encouraged that young pipeliners should get out and tell their stories. Don’t be afraid to let the world know that we care about the environment and Indigenous communities and want to be part of building solutions.
  • Senator Simons compared past with present and noted that it was much easier to find jobs in the past. For example, engineering was one the most stable and well-paid occupations, but many engineers are currently struggling to find work opportunities and may find this discouraging. The new energy future, however, will bring about huge amounts of work that need to be done thereby bringing about jobs and opportunities. Although change is scary, be confident in your education, embrace the risk, and future proof yourself – you will surely find your place in the new landscape.
  • The Senators also talked about great incentives that have been considered for startups and scaleups of projects that would help build the energy future.

About the Senators:

Senator Paula Simons:

Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Paula Simons earned a B.A. Honours degree in English Literature from the University of Alberta, and a Master’s degree in Journalism from Stanford University, before spending time as a fellow at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. 

She has been a radio documentary-maker, a playwright, a television pundit, a magazine writer, a podcaster, and an author of popular history, but she is best known for her work as a political columnist and investigative journalist with the Edmonton Journal.

To learn more about Senator Simons, please visit: Senator Paula Simons (

Senator Doug Black:

The Honourable Doug Black, Q.C. was elected by Albertans as a Senator-in-Waiting on April 23, 2012. In that election, he received the most votes of any elected representative in Canada before or since. He was subsequently appointed to the Senate of Canada on January 25, 2013. Today, he continues to be an active Senator on behalf of Albertans.

Senator Black introduced Bill S-245 Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Act and was the founding president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada, the organization dedicated to the development of a Canadian energy framework. He is also the co-founder of Alberta2.0, a group of Alberta leaders who have developed a roadmap for a more robust and resilient Albertan economy.

To learn more about Senator Black, please visit: Senator Douglas Black (