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Since he came to Ottawa after university, Mr. Lyman has spent his life working on public policy issues, for ten years as a foreign service officer, and afterwards in a number of positions in which he worked and advised on energy, environment, and transportation policy issues within the federal government. His long public service career has made him a strong believer in the importance of the democratic decision-making process and the proper balancing of society’s many different goals.

Robert has written and advised on the energy and economic implications of climate-related policies and programs for over thirty years. He is deeply concerned about the politicization of decision making and the stifling of dissenting views on this important subject. 

Robert Lyman has spent over forty years as an economist, manager, and consultant working on a broad range of energy and environment public policy issues, mainly for the Canadian federal government. The following is a summary of his experience.

  • After graduation with an Honours degree in International Relations (Economics, Political Science and History), Robert joined the former federal Department of External Affairs. He served as a Canadian diplomat for ten years, with postings in Caracas, Venezuela, and Washington, D.C.

  • His assignment in Washington occurred during a period when both Canada and the U.S. were heavily regulating oil and natural gas markets and prices, and there were several outstanding issues to be resolved concerning cross-border oil and gas trade and pipelines, including whether the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline should be built. This gave him an opportunity to learn a great deal about energy and trade regulation and pricing issues.

  • After leaving the foreign service, Robert worked as an economist in the Energy Policy Branch of the Energy, Mines and Resources department during the acrimonious negotiations over oil and gas policy before and after the publication of the National Energy Program.

  • He worked for two years in Finance Canada analyzing and advising on energy expenditure issues related to the federal Budget.

  • After that, he led a group of economists responsible for analysis of international oil prices and market conditions.

  • For two years, Robert worked on Executive Interchange as the Ottawa representative of the Canadian Gas Association at the time of natural gas deregulation.

  • In the late 1980s, he was the Senior Director of Energy Policy when climate change issues first arose; he was heavily engaged at that time in the implementation of the Offshore Accords with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and with the negotiation of the resource aspects of aboriginal land claims.

  • Robert was the first federal co-chair of the Federal-Provincial Committee on Climate Change.

  • He was the Senior Director of Oil Policy from 1995 to 2002 when the fiscal regime governing oil sands development was being expanded, and he worked closely with Finance Canada on the key issues. At that time, he led the first federal work assessing the public policy that should govern carbon dioxide capture and geological storage.

  • Robert managed the group providing expert advice on the potential for emissions reduction in the oil industry during the Climate Change Table Process prior to the Kyoto Accord.

  • He was the Director General, Environmental Affairs, in Transport Canada from 2002 to 2006, leading the analysis and policy development with respect to emissions reduction in the transport sector, development and implementation of climate programs, and promotion of technology development to reduce emissions in the transport sector.

  • As a consultant from 2006 on, he performed major studies for Transport Canada on the implementation of the new Navigable Waters Protection Act, on the governance of the offshore oil shipping regime and on the development of a seamless regulatory regime to govern the prevention of and response to ship-source oil spills.

  • He has written extensively on energy and climate-related issues, including several articles for the FOSS and a major paper on the factors affecting energy transitions for the U.K. Global Warming Policy Foundation.

  • Throughout his public service career, Robert worked for eight Prime Ministers: Pierre Trudeau, Joe Clark, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin, and Stephen Harper. He was proud to perform his public service duties in a non-partisan way.

Robert Lyman - portrait.png

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