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Oil, Gas, Hydro and Nuclear Join Forces for Let’s Talk Energy Week

By Erin Polka
Communications Officer
Canadian Nuclear Association

Whenever you round up advocates from the oil, gas, hydro and nuclear industries, a lively discussion is sure to ensue.

That’s what’s happening on Wednesday, February 26, at 10:00 am, at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum as part of Let’s Talk Energy Week, a national initiative to raise awareness about energy related issues and how energy is connected to our daily lives.

The Speaker Series, which is targeting secondary school students and teachers, will include the following energy experts:

Oil – William (Bill) Simpkins

Bill Simpkins is a senior energy industry consultant with more than 25 years experience in the energy industry. Bill has held senior executive positions at Petro-Canada including the Hibernia and Terra Nova offshore oil development projects. Bill is also a government relations and public affairs professional. He served as Vice President of Government Relations and National Communications at the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute in Ottawa. Currently Bill is responsible for Public Affairs, National & Atlantic Canada, at the Canadian Fuels Association. Bill has outstanding knowledge of the political and business landscape and is a member of the Nova Scotia Environment Roundtable, co-chairs an industry/government contaminated sites committee and served on the Nova Scotia Law Reform Commission task group on environmental liability.

Gas – Michael Cleland

Michael Cleland is Nexen Executive in Residence for the Canada West Foundation and has extensive experience in energy and environment policy. He is formerly President and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association. Prior to joining CGA, he was Senior Vice President, Government Affairs for the Canadian Electricity Association. Before joining CEA, he was Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Energy Sector in the Department of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), formerly Energy, Mines and Resources (EMR) and before that, Director General of the Energy Policy Branch. From 1987 to January 1990, he was Assistant Director, Resource Policy Division in the Department of Finance. Before joining the federal government in 1987, Mr. Cleland worked in Nova Scotia where he was a principal in the firm of Cleland, Dunsmuir Consulting Ltd., lecturer in business/government relations at the school of Public Administration at Dalhousie University and academic editor of Plan Canada, the journal of the Canadian Institute of Planners. From 1982 to 1985, he was Associate Director of the Centre for Development Projects at Dalhousie University where he was responsible for various management training projects in Zimbabwe and the countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean. Prior to joining Dalhousie University, he occupied a number of positions at the Nova Scotia Departments of Development and Municipal Affairs.

Hydro – Jenna Van Vliet

Jenna Van Vliet received her Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University in 2007 and is a registered Professional Engineer with the province of Ontario. She has worked at Hydro Ottawa for the past 6 years in distribution planning and asset management. Jenna is the Supervisor of Asset Planning where she oversees a team of six, responsible for the reinforcement and replacement of distribution system and station assets.

Nuclear – Dr. Jeremy Whitlock

Dr. Jeremy Whitlock is the Manager of Non-Proliferation and Safeguards at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Chalk River Laboratories, with responsibility for coordinating AECL’s R&D activities that assist the Canadian government in meeting its international obligations on nuclear weapons non-proliferation. He has been with AECL since 1994, mainly as a reactor physicist involved with CANDU and research reactor development. Dr. Whitlock received a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Waterloo (1988), and an M.Eng. and PhD in Nuclear Engineering from McMaster University (1995). He is the Communications Director (as well as a Past President and Fellow) of the Canadian Nuclear Society – a volunteer, not-for-profit organization dedicated to information sharing on nuclear technical and social issues. He is also a public speaker and author on nuclear issues, including a regular column in the Bulletin of the Canadian Nuclear Society and The Canadian Nuclear FAQ, a website of FAQs on Canadian nuclear technology. Dr. Whitlock lives in Deep River, Ontario, and feels that canoes are the closest humans have come to inventing a perfect machine.