Ontario and Quebec have seized the leadership of a long-promised Canadian energy strategy, shifting the focus to climate change and clean energy from the pipeline agenda.
At the closing session of their annual conference on Prince Edward Island, premiers released the outline of the Canadian Energy Strategy, which every one of them has endorsed. The plan puts as much emphasis on addressing climate change as it does on the transport and transmission of energy.
At the premiers’ meeting in Halifax two years ago, British Columbia’s Christy Clark refused to participate in a national strategy because of a dispute with Ms. Redford over the Northern Gateway pipeline project. That was eventually resolved – but Pauline Marois, then Quebec’s Premier, had refused to sign on.
Change in leadership – Marois and Redford are both gone now – has dramatically altered the dynamic around the premiers’ table.
The document accompanying the announcement outlines the vision and principles of the Canadian Energy Strategy, stating that it should “reflect the shared values of Canadians; strengthen our economy and create jobs; identify opportunities to develop, transport, and transmit energy … and maintain the highest degree of environmental safeguards and protection, including by addressing climate change, climate resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally.”
Each province will have to pursue its own climate-reduction strategies. But Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne acknowledged rising emissions from rapidly expanding oil sands will put more pressure on other industries and other provinces if the country is going to set and meet national targets.
“But the oil sands are very important to the economic well-being of this country; there’s no question about that,” Wynne said.
(Source: Globe and Mail)