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Natural Resources Canada
September 17, 2010

Annual Federal / Provincial / Territorial Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference


Montreal, September 17, 2010 — Energy ministers from across Canada concluded a day of discussions on innovation today in Montreal. The annual meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources, and Nathalie Normandeau, Deputy Premier of Québec, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife, Minister responsible of the Plan Nord, Minister of Canadian Intergovernmental relations and of the Francophonie canadienne.

During their meeting, ministers discussed smart electricity grid technologies, energy efficiency in homes and buildings, as well as the utilization of cleaner fuels, renewable energy and alternative technologies in the transportation sector. Ministers also shared their views on the Clean Energy Dialogue between Canada and the United States, in which some governments are participating.

Ministers mandated their officials to identify areas of common interest as well as goals and objectives related to energy that will lead to greater pan-Canadian collaboration.

“The Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories to take action to advance clean energy solutions as part of our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and establish new innovative economic opportunities for Canadians,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada’s energy ministers are working together to encourage clean energy innovation and to help create high-quality jobs for Canadians.”

Minister Nathalie Normandeau expressed great satisfaction with the outcome of the discussions. “Energy innovation is important to every province and territory in Canada,” said Minister Normandeau. “By working together, we will be able to ensure the success of this sector, which is so key to the economic future of our respective provinces.”

Ministers noted that over the past year all jurisdictions have made significant strides to improve regulatory review processes and agreed that further improvements are required to support long term growth and job creation. The ministers reaffirmed their support for a one-project/one-assessment approach for the environmental assessment process.  Provincial and territorial ministers recognized the progress of the federal government towards this goal and encouraged further development.

The ministers emphasized the importance of reliable electricity networks. Ministers agreed that the deployment of smart electricity grid technologies will optimize electricity systems, conserve energy and ensure more responsive and cost-effective electricity service for consumers. In addition to significant savings produced across the energy system, smart grid technologies offer a means of improving transmission and distribution system reliability. They also facilitate the integration of intermittent renewable sources into the energy system and will support the more efficient use of electricity.

All governments recognized the need to heighten consumer awareness of the benefits of adopting advanced grid technologies in Canada. Ministers requested information on smart grid best practices, technological gaps and other barriers to support actions to accelerate implementation.  Plans were also made to continue engagement on clean electricity activities under the Canada-US Clean Energy Dialogue, including the upcoming Smart Grid Policy Leadership Forum.

The ministers discussed innovative energy efficiency practices being implemented elsewhere in the world and examined how Canada could learn from them. Ministers called for continued collaboration on measures to improve energy efficiency including publishing an updated model energy code for buildings in 2011 and committing to a cycle of further improvement, collaborating on next generation home energy rating systems to support labelling, codes and incentives, and strengthening capacity of the commercial buildings sector to finance energy efficiency projects. The ministers focused on how they can enhance existing programs and support emerging technologies for residential and commercial buildings, while creating a culture of innovation that will support job growth.

Energy ministers also discussed the need to advance cleaner transportation technologies. Ministers committed to ongoing research on alternative vehicle and fuel technologies and agreed that an abundance of clean energy sources will position Canada to address the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.

The Government of Alberta looks forward to hosting the next annual Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference in Kananaskis.

Media may contact:

Marie-France Boulay
Press Secretary
Office of the Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife, and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord
Tel. : 418-643-7295

Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

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