On Nov. 21, 2013 in Edmonton, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute brought together some of the leading experts in the natural resources field, government and academia for a high-level round table on issues surrounding fuel refining, titled "Is more refining at home the best way to get the most value out of Canada's oil?" The round table followed a gathering in Edmonton in October that discussed the same issues.

The discussion was moderated by MLI managing director Brian Lee Crowley, and featured presentations by Andrew Leach of the University of Alberta, and MLI senior fellow Philip Cross. The project was sponsored by the Canadian Fuels Association.

Polls show that Canadians do not approach natural resources and manufacturing as an "either/or" proposition. They want both done in Canada. However, economics dictates we often have to pick one or the other, especially in Western Canada which is nearing its capacity limit, especially for labour.

Participants in the Edmonton round table were asked to discuss whether more domestic refining is the best way to maximize the benefit of our oil resources for Canadians. And how do the economic fundamentals of refining (e.g. access to domestic and international markets, access to different sources of crude, supply and demand) play out in Western Canada?

Click here for a summary of the discussion, the agenda and list of participants.