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Notes for a Speech by
The Honourable Joe Oliver, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Natural Resources
Launch of ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative
August 2, 2011
Ryerson Centre of Urban Energy
Check against delivery
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a pleasure to be here today with you, both on behalf of our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and as a Minister from the GTA.
I am pleased to be joined by Ms. Julia Hanigsbeig [Acting President of Ryerson Centre for Urban Energy, Vice-President of Finance and Administration], for today’s important announcement about jobs and clean energy in Canada.
Canadians gave our Government a strong mandate to focus on jobs and the economy on May 2. And our top priority is ensuring that our economy remains strong while we continue on our plan to return to balanced budgets.
Since July 2009, Canada has seen over 590,000 new jobs created. But, we are not immune to the economic problems facing other countries. We still face a fragile global economic recovery, and too many Canadians remain looking for work.
This is why we are squarely focused on implementing the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Plan, which is our low-tax plan for jobs and growth. And one of the measures in this Plan is the reason that I am here with you today.
We realize the potential to create good Canadian jobs and support Canadian business innovation through investments in clean energy technology – this is a win, win, win formula for Canadians.
We all know that Canada is a leader in clean energy.
And, there is tremendous potential for technology to help ensure that future generations of Canadians enjoy a healthy environment and a prosperous economy.
Here at Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Energy, there are 14 ongoing projects that collaborate with industry and different levels of government to develop and commercialize innovative solutions to urban energy issues.
And this kind of collaboration is exactly what we want to continue.
Today, I am pleased to launch our new ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative.
This $97-million investment in job creation and clean energy technology will support a wide range of projects across Canada that will promote collaborations among industry, our Canadian colleges and universities and government.
Projects will focus on research, development and demonstration projects in five key areas:
- Energy efficiency in buildings, communities, industry and transportation;
- Clean electricity and renewables;
- Research and development of electric vehicles; and,
- Unconventional oil and gas.
We are launching a call for Letters of Interest for demonstration projects as of today and for research and development as of next week.
Previous Investments and Achievements
Our Government’s investments have contributed to some truly innovative projects. For example, the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy will allow us to harness power from the incredible tides in the Bay of Fundy.
BC Hydro’s smart grid technology project is installing large-scale batteries in two remote communities. They will provide clean power to the entire community during an outage. They will also help manage peak electricity demand periods with a lower environmental footprint than conventional technologies, such as diesel generators.
Both of these projects are the first of their kind in Canada, and our Government is proud to be a part of them through investments from our Clean Energy Fund.
We have taken an aggressive approach to clean energy investments to ensure that we balance our need for energy with our need to protect the environment.
We will continue to implement measures that sharpen Canada’s job creation, competiveness, productivity and capacity for innovation.
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has invested more than $10 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a more sustainable environment. We’ve invested in areas of green infrastructure, energy efficiency, clean energy technologies and the production of cleaner energy and fuels.
Support will continue to flow from these programs for years to come.
It is time to move to the next phase of clean energy programs, like our ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, that help the environment, create jobs and ensure value for money for Canadian taxpayers.
Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan
As I mentioned, the initiative that I announced today is part of the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which launched a number of strategic investments in clean energy.
For example, we renewed the popular ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program, which is helping Canadians make energy-efficient home renovations.
And, we have invested another $40 million in Sustainable Development Technology Canada for the commercialization of clean technology.
But that’s not all.
We are also providing another $86 million over two years for clean energy regulatory actions and improved energy efficiency for Canadians.
Our Government is increasing its focus on regulatory actions as the cornerstone of Canada’s approach to climate change and clean air. Our approach will achieve real emission reductions while maintaining Canada’s economic advantage.
These investments are a key element of our commitment to enhancing Canada’s clean energy future and achieving real emission reductions while supporting job growth and creation.
Ladies and gentlemen, today, with the launch of our ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, we’re celebrating an important investment in creating jobs and a clean energy future for all Canadians.
This investment will generate new opportunities for Canadian clean energy companies and our research community.
We have an ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. We’re putting in place key measures and making the targeted investments we need to get results for our environment and our economy.
But we’re not going to get those results on our own. We’re only going to get results by working together — by pooling our financial and human resources and maintaining our focus on the key areas where we can make real progress.
Let me again thank all of our partners for sharing our vision of creating a cleaner and more prosperous Canada.
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