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At the Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference (EMMC), federal, provincial and territorial ministers discussed the challenges facing the energy industry and opportunities for coordinated support in order to realize the economic potential of the sector. The following key themes and priorities were discussed:
Energy is a Major Asset
The energy sector1 is a key contributor to jobs and growth across Canada. In 2011, the sector accounted for 294,000 direct jobs and generated $159 billion (10 percent of total Canadian nominal GDP) in economic activity. The sector is key to Canada’s quality of life through the billions of dollars in tax revenues it generates to support important programs like health care and education.
The ministers agreed to continue to work collaboratively on the multi-year work plan endorsed at their meeting last year. Priority areas include: regulatory reform, energy efficiency, energy information and awareness, new markets and international trade, smart grid and electricity reliability. The ministers also committed to strengthening outreach efforts to ensure Canadians have the facts about these important issues that impact Canada's economy and our quality of life. The ministers received Canada as a Global Leader: Toward Greater Pan-Canadian Collaboration (PDF, 615 KB), a progress report on these priority areas. The ministers tasked officials to continue to work together in the following priority areas for EMMC 2013: regulatory reform, labour markets, energy efficiency and innovation, and markets and international trade.
The ministers received a report on implementing improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory review process for major projects. They recognized the important progress in regulatory reform and the opportunity to capitalize on measures in the Government of Canada’s Responsible Resource Development plan in order to reduce regulatory duplication and achieve the objective of “one project, one review,” while maintaining the highest possible standard for protecting Canadians and the environment.
Energy Efficiency and Innovation
Governments are working together to improve energy efficiency for all Canadians: homeowners, drivers, industry, businesses and communities. The ministers received a report entitled Moving Forward on Energy Efficiency in Canada: Achieving Results to 2020 and Beyond (PDF, 1.5 MB), which describes current collaborative efforts. Across Canada, energy efficiency can help Canadians save over $2 billion in energy costs in 2020 from more stringent energy codes and standards and from labelling and certification.
Moving forward, the ministers agreed to continue to collaborate further on energy efficiency, including measures expanding the uptake of 2011 building codes and efficiency standards, as well as developing new measures such as innovative financing mechanisms for home energy retrofits.
The ministers committed to sustaining efforts to advance energy innovation through sharing knowledge on best practices and opportunities in order to increase commercial success and technology adoption.
Increasing the Diversity and Resilience of the Electricity System
To ensure the reliability of the Canadian electricity grid, as well as to maintain access to U.S. markets for Canada’s electricity, federal, provincial and territorial governments, together with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), developed and endorsed Cross-Border Data Sharing Principles (PDF, 25 KB) to facilitate data and information sharing to expedite investigations following major power outages. This represents a key milestone in the collaborative efforts between jurisdictions in Canada and with the U.S. in maintaining a reliable North American bulk power system.
Markets Diversification and International Trade
Federal, provincial and territorial governments have a shared objective of growing existing and developing new energy markets. To advance this objective, the ministers agreed to develop an analysis of market opportunities for Canadian energy resources, technologies and services, and key steps in realizing them, including through cooperative actions.
The ministers agreed to work collaboratively to assess future workforce needs of the energy sector, as well as leading practices and programs by government, industry and other organizations to improve labour mobility, attract and retain skilled labour, and increase participation of Aboriginal peoples.
Defining the Opportunity
Canada’s enormous natural resource endowment represents a critical component of our current and future economic prosperity. The ministers received a report entitled Defining the Opportunity, which outlines the economic impact of the energy and mining sectors in Canada. The report, produced by Natural Resources Canada in collaboration with the provinces and territories, is available on the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat website www.scics.gc.ca.
1 Does not include coal and uranium.
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