June 14, 2011 - In today's Globe and Mail, MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley participates in the first of two mini debates The Globe is hosting in advance of Friday's Munk Debates on China's role in the 21st century. Crowley takes the pro argument on the topic, "Should Canada's oil sands fuel China?" He debates with Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in global politics and international law at the University of British Columbia, who takes the con argument on the topic.

The debate takes the form of an op-ed by both Crowley and Byers. In addition, the written arguments are accompanied by a five-minute online debate that is available for viewing on The Globe's website.

An excerpt from Crowley's argument:

Refusing to supply Canada's oil to China will do nothing to improve the world's environment. According to the International Energy Agency, the world's dependence on oil will inexorably rise for decades to come. Oil not obtained from Canada will be obtained elsewhere, usually from countries with lower environmental standards. While everyone recognizes the oil sands must improve their environmental record, the way to do that is through new capital investment incorporating cleaner technologies. And for that you need customers.

To read Brian Crowley's pro argument, "Canada should take advantage of China's rise by fuelling it", click here.

To read Michael Byers' con argument, "Exporting bitumen to China would be environmentally and fiscally detrimental", click here.

To watch the debate online, click here.

Note: The Munk Debates are semi-annual events that feature prominent figures in their fields. The next debate, to be held June 17, asks whether the 21st century will belong to China. It features former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger alongside economist David Daokui Li, CNN host Fareed Zakaria and historian Niall Ferguson.

MLI would not exist without the support of its donors. Please consider making a small contribution today.