Response to Parliamentary Committees

House Committee on Natural Resources’ Report 3 - The Future of Canada’s Mining Sector: Sustainable Growth Beyond the Global Downturn

Overview: The report examines key areas in which action should be taken to ensure the sustainable growth of Canada’s mining sector. Canada must maximize its competitive advantages; foster innovation in mining technology and practices; enable meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples; and develop a skill labour force.

Report Recommendations Departmental Response

The report makes 10 recommendations for the Government of Canada:

The mining and mineral processing industry is an important source of prosperity and jobs across Canada, particularly in northern and rural regions.

While the Canadian mining sector remains among the top producers for a number of key commodities (e.g., potash, cobalt, diamonds, gold, nickel, platinum group metals, salt, tungsten, and uranium), it faces a number of challenges that could affect the competitiveness and sustainable growth of the sector over the long term.

In addition to the activities outlined, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is currently working with provinces and territories to develop a Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, a vision to foster the growth of the mining industry and address issues such as climate change, Indigenous participation, sustainable development, and social acceptability.

  1. Continue to encourage investment in mining exploration activities by renewing the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) and maintaining flow-through shares.
There were no recommendations for NRCan.
  1. Develop required infrastructure in northern and remote regions needed to enable and/or facilitate exploration and development activities in northern and remote regions with mineral resource potential, in collaboration with industry, Indigenous governments and communities, and provincial/territorial governments.

Actions taken:

The Government (Transport Canada (TC), Canada Infrastructure Bank, Infrastructure Canada) announced significant investments in infrastructure in recent years: $10.1 billion over 11 years in trade and transportation projects; and $35 billion over 11 years using loans, loan guarantees and equity investments through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

NRCan’s foundational geoscience knowledge informs land use and infrastructure planning, and resource development, supporting the efforts of industry, Indigenous governments and communities, and provincial and territorial governments.

  1. Provide more clarity with regards to land access and tenure in northern regions in collaboration with industry, Indigenous governments and communities, and provincial/territorial governments to provide more clarity with regards to land access and tenure in northern regions with high mineral potential:
    1. by working to address the settlement of Indigenous land claims; and
    2. by continuing to invest in geo-mapping initiatives, such as the federal geo-mapping for energy and minerals program (GEM) and the targeted geoscience initiative (TGI).

Actions taken:

The Government of Canada has implemented four comprehensive land claim agreements, is engaged in six self-government negotiation tables in the Northwest Territories, and has signed four land claim or self-government agreements-in-principle in the North. The Government of Canada is also working with Indigenous groups through land claim negotiations to achieve clarity and certainty related to Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) for any major mining project that will affect an Indigenous group’s settled lands.

NRCan conducts mineral and energy resources assessments to ensure that resource potential is duly considered from a land management perspective for community and stakeholder decision-making.

  1. Streamline and simplify Canada’s regulatory and Environmental Assessment (EA) process, while ensuring environmental impacts of mining projects are minimized as much as possible, based on scientific evidence and, following robust stakeholder consultations, reflecting the interests of local and Indigenous communities; in collaboration with provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments.

Actions taken:

The Government of Canada (NRCan, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), TC) undertook a comprehensive review of environmental and regulatory processes that resulted in the new Impact Assessment Act. NRCan will contribute scientific and socio-economic expertise to support the new process Impact Assessment Act and cumulative effects assessments as well as co-lead an open-science and data platform to improve transparency.

NRCan provides geoscience expertise for reviews of projects undergoing EA to ensure the identification, consideration and minimization of adverse environmental impacts.

  1. Create a Pan-Canadian Framework on pricing carbon pollution to ensure that industry is provided with certainty, stability and clarity, while driving innovation in the mining sector, and in collaboration with provinces and territories.

Actions taken:

There were no recommendations for NRCan.

  1. Provide further support for innovation, clean technology and clusters in the mining sector by continuing to invest in R&D and innovation initiatives in the sector, especially the work of industry-led organizations such as the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) and the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI).

Actions taken:

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) leads on a number of innovation and clean tech investments for the federal government.

Budget 2017 established the Clean Growth Hub, which is a whole-of-government focal point (co-led by NRCan and ISED) for clean technology focused on supporting companies and projects, coordinating programs and tracking results. Since its inception in January 2018, 14 departments and agencies have joined the Hub. It has engaged with more than 490 industry and companystakeholders, conducted more than 30 outreach activities and has had over 12,000 website visits. NRCan is leading the Clean Technology stream of the Impact Canada Challenge intended to incent innovation to address common challenges related to clean technology, including the development a mining specific challenge.

  1. Create a framework for a clear and consistent process and protocol for Indigenous consultation and participation; in collaboration with industry, Indigenous governments and communities, and provincial/territorial governments.

Actions taken:

CIRNA leads on protocol for Indigenous consultation and participation. The Major Projects Management Office (MPMO) Initiative, integrates consultation into the major project review process as part of the whole-of-government approach to Indigenous consultation, which includes the provision of dedicated Indigenous participant funding and the capacity to meaningfully consider and address Indigenous concerns. Building on this initiative, NRCan established the Indigenous Partnership Office-West (IPO-West) to support early engagement on energy infrastructure development and to develop trusting relationships with Indigenous communities on the West Coast.

Through the Government’s Strategic Partnerships Initiative NRCan has been able to partner with Indigenous organizations such as the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando) to provide information to Indigenous communities on opportunities for mineral development including information tools such as the Aboriginal Tool Kit, and the Exploration and Mining Guide for Aboriginal Communities.

  1. Address the socioeconomic barriers that hinder the ability of Indigenous peoples to participate meaningfully by:
    1. by improving access to clean drinking water, adequate housing, education and healthcare;
    2. by helping them build their capacity to review and assess resource development proposals and fairly represent their interests;
    3. by improving their capacity to access capital, and thus, to become mining entrepreneurs and business owners; and
    4. by helping them develop the business expertise needed to conduct business-to-business interactions with the mining industry.

Actions taken:

NRCan supports the participation of Indigenous peoples through the $200 million Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program that provides the fundamental, regional geoscience knowledge that northerners and Indigenous groups can use for land use planning and responsible resource development decisions. Communities and local governments participate in field studies.

  1. Improve mining education and skills training opportunities, especially for women and Indigenous peoples.

Actions taken:

The Government (ESDC) and the Mining Association of Canada provide support to the Mining Industry Human Resources Council’s (MiHR) Gender Equity in Mining (GEM) Works program, which offers a suite of resources to promote gender-inclusive workplaces in the Canadian mining sector. Women in Mining and Women Who Rock are other national organizations, partnered with industry, with a mission to advance gender equality in mining. To support education and skills development specific to the exploration and mining sectors, NRCan promotes the Mining Essentials Program, developed by MiHR to help ensure skills are targeted to gain entry-level employment in the local mining sector.

  1. Promote and improve responsible mining practices in Canada and abroad by ensuring that enough financial securities are available to conduct environmental reclamation effectively regardless of the profitability of mining projects and in cases of unexpected spills or accidents, in collaboration with industry, Indigenous governments and communities, provincial/territorial governments, as well as international governments and organizations

Actions taken:

Domestically, NRCan works closely with provinces and territories to promote environmentally sustainable practices, including reclamation. NRCan is the secretariat for the National Orphaned/Abandoned Mines Initiative (NOAMI) aimed at addressing environmental and safety issues related to orphaned and abandoned mines. NRCan also supports meaningful partnership and Indigenous engagement through a number of information products to support Indigenous participation in mining both domestically and internationally.

NRcan encourages companies to adopt best practices domestically and internationally by implementing principles and guidelines into their day-to-day operations. These include the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on responsible business conduct, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability, and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, all of which deal with environmental, safety and security issues. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy also promotes other risk management tools like the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector, and the Global Reporting Initiative.

House Committee on Natural Resources’ Report 5 - The Nuclear Sector at a Crossroads: Fostering Innovation and Energy Security for Canada and the World

Overview: The report examines the future of the nuclear sector in Canada by first looking at its governance, safety and waste management practices. The report also describes the state of Canada’s current nuclear technologies, the development of the next generation of nuclear reactors, and Canadian research beyond the National Research Universal reactor.

Report Recommendations Departmental Response
The report makes 7 recommendations for the government to:

The Government’s response outlined federal activities, programs, and engagement mechanisms – as well as the contributions of other nuclear sector stakeholders – to foster innovation, increase coordination, and support a strategic vision for the future of nuclear energy and nuclear science and technology in Canada.

  1. Ensure that Canada’s nuclear sector Continue to advance its rigorous regulatory and safety practices, in collaboration with industry, Indigenous governments and communities, provincial/territorial governments, and international partners.

Actions taken:

The Government committed to work with stakeholders from the nuclear research and development sector and the broader community of users to explore the full range of options and models for access to high-flux neutrons following the shutdown of the National Research Universal reactor.

Recognizing Canada’s long-standing leadership in nuclear research and development over the past 60 years, the Government has invested $1.2 billion over ten years towards the revitalization of the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories to ensure researchers and industry have access to the facilities and infrastructure needed for Canada to continue to be a hub for nuclear innovation.

The Government committed to continue to promote a safe, secure, and diversified global supply of medical isotopes through engagement with Canadian medical isotope stakeholders and international fora.

  1. Continue its support for Canadian nuclear R&D and innovation in the short, medium and long-term by:
    1. considering long-term options to provide a reliable, high-flux neutron source for Canadian researchers;
    2. working in collaboration with industry, especially small companies, to ensure that researchers and experts have access to the services and infrastructure they need to excel in their innovation and R&D pursuits; and
    3. working with industry, the healthcare community and provincial/territorial governments to ensure that the Canadian supply of medical isotopes remains uninterrupted in the short, medium and long term.

Actions taken:

The Government committed to work with stakeholders from the nuclear research and development sector and the broader community of users to explore the full range of options and models for access to high-flux neutrons following the shutdown of the National Research Universal reactor.

Recognizing Canada’s long-standing leadership in nuclear research and development over the past 60 years, the Government has invested $1.2 billion over ten years towards the revitalization of the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories to ensure researchers and industry have access to the facilities and infrastructure needed for Canada to continue to be a hub for nuclear innovation.

The Government committed to continue to promote a safe, secure, and diversified global supply of medical isotopes through engagement with Canadian medical isotope stakeholders and international fora.

  1. Support the development and commercialization of Canadian nuclear technologies in Canada and abroad;
    1. continuing to provide funding that applies to the full spectrum of the sector’s operations, while allowing industry experts the flexibility to invest these funds according to their business needs and market research; and
    2. providing financial support to help small businesses cover their capital expenditures for large projects (e.g., through the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development program).

Actions taken:

The response noted that there were a number of avenues to provide funding across the full spectrum of the sector’s operations, including Budget 2017 announcements on clean technology and innovation, which—while not exclusively targeted to the nuclear sector— could support nuclear technologies, recognizing that nuclear energy is an important part of Canada’s clean energy mix.

The Government has also created a $35 billion Canada Infrastructure Bank in order to invest in projects to contribute to the country’s long-term economic growth, along with ensuring middle-class jobs and lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Government provides support in various ways to small and medium-sized enterprises, including those in the nuclear sector. For research and development activities, the Government provides support through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program. The Government also provides support to help small businesses access financing, investment, and funding to cover capital expenditures needed to support their growth.

  1. Continue to work with industry, Indigenous governments and communities, provincial/territorial governments, as well as international partners to promote and advance Canadian leadership in nuclear power generation technologies at home and abroad by:
    1. addressing any knowledge gaps or misinformation pertaining to Canadian nuclear products and technologies;
    2. providing industry with the necessary regulatory and/or diplomatic resources to support their international exports and operations; and
    3. considering the expansion of export credits to include the full scope of Canadian nuclear exports.

Actions taken:

Leveraging initiatives such as Generation Energy—a national dialogue on Canada’s energy future—the Government is committed to creating partnerships with non-government actors, including youth and indigenous communities, to engage the public on nuclear science and technology applications.

To address knowledge gaps related to economic information on nuclear products and services, the Government included nuclear energy technologies in the Clean Technology Data Strategy to provide comprehensive information on sales, investment, jobs, and exports.

To foster international trade and strategic relationships, the Government is advancing partnerships on nuclear science and technology in areas of mutual interest with key bilateral partners. The Government supports international business opportunities in the nuclear sector through the Trade Commissioner Service and Export Development Canada.

  1. work in collaboration with industry, the academic community, Indigenous governments and communities, and provincial/territorial governments to sustain and improve Canadian expertise in the nuclear sector by:
    1. supporting efforts by Canadian universities and research/training organizations to build new facilities and equipment and/or to advance education and research in areas that benefit the sector’s development;
    2. supporting programs that can train the high-skilled professionals needed to operate the full spectrum of the sector’s activities, including nuclear fuel development and transport; reactor construction, operation, maintenance, refurbishment and inspection; as well as waste management and decommissioning operations; and
    3. supporting programs that can train the high-skilled professionals needed to develop future nuclear technologies and industries, namely spin-off Candu technologies and advanced nuclear reactors.

Actions taken:

The Government supports post-secondary research and research training through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canada Research Chairs Program, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. In addition, the renewal of science infrastructure at CNL will enable a world-class science campus equipped to serve the needs of Canadian researchers.

The Government is committed to maintaining highly-skilled personnel and expertise in the nuclear sector in Canada. To provide opportunities for learning, training, and the development of next generation leaders, Canada joined the Nuclear Energy Agency’s Nuclear Education, Skills, and Technology (NEST) initiative, and provides support through various programs, including funding for Mitacs, NSERC Industrial Research Chair Grants, Collaborative Research and Development Grants and the College and Community Innovation Program, and the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) programs.

  1. Support the development of small modular reactors (SMRs), recognizing the potential for SMRs to provide clean and reliable power to remote and northern communities and open new areas to economically valuable resource development.

Actions taken:

The Government committed to use its convening power to bring together provinces, territories, utilities, national laboratories, the regulator, the waste management organization, industry, academia, demand-side stakeholders, and Indigenous and northern people to develop a Canadian Roadmap for SMRs.

  1. Participate in an industry-led nuclear innovation council with representatives from the federal and provincial governments to leverage non-power applications (e.g., for health care, agriculture, manufacturing, etc.) of the nuclear sector for national benefit.

Actions taken:

The Government committed to participate in a nuclear innovation council if established by industry, in partnership with academia and innovators. This could serve as one of the vehicles for a common vision on the future of nuclear in Canada.

House Committee on Natural Resources’ Report 6 - De-Risking the Adoption of Clean Technology in Canada’s Natural Resources Sector

Overview: The report examines the issues surrounding the adoption of clean technology by the natural resources sector. It focuses on the areas of addressing market distortions, bridging the commercialization gap, maximizing the impact of federal subsidies and services, and fostering cross-sectoral and international cooperation.

Report Recommendations Departmental Response
The report makes 8 recommendations for the government to: Clean technology provides opportunities for the natural resources sector to reduce environmental impacts, to decrease the costs associated with reducing GHG emissions, and to enhance their competitiveness and access global markets.
  1. Develop market-based, technology-neutral policies that create a market value for the environmental and social benefits of clean technology, while allowing companies to choose the most suitable innovations for their respective industries, according to their own expertise and market research.

Actions taken:

To support the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, several measures, including in Budget 2017, have been put in place to specifically support the research, development, demonstration and deployment of clean technologies. Program designs include capacity building and mission-oriented innovation aimed at accelerating solutions to public challenges and providing environmental and economic outcomes (refer to Recommendation 3).

The Clean Technology Economic Strategy Table is expected in fall 2018 to propose several recommendations targeted around jobs and skills; policy and regulations to drive market adoption; market development and trade; and innovation and growing firms to scale, to support the growth of Canada’s clean technology sector.

  1. Ensure that the forthcoming national price on carbon pollution is evidence-based and transparent, can drive innovation and productivity, and can support the competitiveness and profitability of Canada’s natural resources sector.

Actions taken:

NRCan provides peer review and subject-matter expert support to ECCC with respect to carbon pricing.

NRCan uses its data and expertise to advocate for carbon pricing legislation and regulations that ensure the sustainability, innovation, and competitiveness of the natural resources sector.

  1. De-risk the development of clean technology through the commercialization gap, by;
    1. continuing to fund the full clean technology innovation cycle with more emphasis on commercialization activities;
    2. supporting programs, such as the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) and flow-through programs to include commercialization incentives;
    3. supporting existing and new financial and policy instruments with the explicit purpose of mitigating the financial risk of new clean technologies – for example, through project development programs designed to help firms, especially SMEs, attract private capital to demonstrate and/or scale up their new innovations, or by covering the performance risk of new technologies; and
    4. stimulating clean technology markets through government procurement, especially for SMEs, and ensuring transparency and accountability of public investment and project life-cycle performance reviews based on measurable performance targets.

Actions taken:

Budget 2017 announced the renewal of the Energy Innovation Program in the order of $210M/4 years starting in 2018-19, followed by $52.9M/year ongoing, to continue core clean energy innovation programming. Budget 2017 announced $200M/4 years to support clean technology in the natural resource sectors through the Clean Growth Program, which was launched in November 2017. The program co-funds clean technology RD&D projects with provinces and territories (through Trusted Partnerships), in Canada’s energy, mining and forestry sectors, and aims to advance clean technologies so that natural resource operations can better reduce their environmental impacts on air, land, and water.

The program successfully closed for applications on March 5, 2018, and received over 750 letters of interest with representation across all provinces and territories. The energy component of the program was oversubscribed by 29 times the level of available funding.

Budget 2017 announced the Impact Canada Initiative, including a $75M/4 years clean tech stream. Key principles:

  • Challenged-based approach
  • Focus on outcomes
  • Co-creation with stakeholders
  • Experimentation for results

Results to date: Women in Cleantech Challenge launched on May 10, 2018, with MaRS, Canada Cleantech and ÉcotechQuébec, to incubate clean tech ideas of five women innovators into new businesses. Four other challenges are expected to be launched in 2018.

The Government is investing $21.9B over 11 years in Green Infrastructure (GI). Under the GI envelope, NRCan received $820M over 8 years – starting in 2018-19 – for five national programs that will support the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change and commitments under the Canadian Energy Strategy.

A significant portion of the $820M envelope is being invested in the development of clean technology through several programs using co-design models to maximize impact:

  • Smart Grid Demonstration Program ($35M/4 years)
  • Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration Program ($30M/4 years)
  • Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities ($59.4M/6 years)
  • Energy Efficient Buildings RD&D Program ($48.4M/8 years)
  • The programs were launched in January 2018 and are significantly oversubscribed across 4 streams.

Greening government operations - Last year, the Government announced that it would reduce its GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 or earlier, using 2005 as the baseline year. NRCan has reduced emissions by 38% relative to 2005, and is on track to meeting 40% target by 2030 and 80% by 2050. NRCan energy efficiency technical expertise is being deployed to help federal partners reduce their emissions from internal operations.

Budget 2017 announced $50 to launch Innovative Solutions Canada which seeks outcome-based procurement solutions to departmental challenges; helps small businesses scale up and innovate by supporting early stage, pre-commercial R&D and helps accelerate commercialization. NRCan’s departmental target is $2.6M by end of 2019-20 (approx. 2-3 challenges in 2018-19).

Budget 2017 established the Clean Growth Hub, which is a whole-of-government focal point (co-led by NRCan and ISED) for clean technology focused on supporting companies and projects, coordinating programs and tracking results. Since its inception in January 2018, 14 departments and agencies have joined the Hub. It has engaged with more than 490 industry and company stakeholders, conducted more than 30 outreach activities and has had over 12,000 website visits.

  1. Improve the efficiency, accessibility and transparency of clean technology funding and taxation incentives, by;
    1. establishing a navigation support system to help clean technology firms, especially SMEs, make the best use of the resources and services available to them; and
    2. ensuring that grant applications are simple, accessible, and adaptable to the practical needs of different businesses and technology developers.

Actions taken:

Refer to Clean Growth Hub (in recommendation 3).

Budget 2017 identified other measures to support Canada’s clean technology sector, including expanding the eligibility criteria to include a broader range of geothermal projects and expenses under the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance.

Budget 2017 announced a horizontal review of federal programs that support business innovation and clean technology. The review is looking to simplify programming so that it is more effective and client-centric. This will reduce administrative burden and ultimately put more money in the hands of Canadian innovators.

NRCan continues to work to simplify and improve the effectiveness of its innovation and clean technology programs in response to the recommendations of this horizontal review.

  1. Streamline regulatory approval processes and environmental assessments.

Actions taken:

As part of the Government’s Environmental and Regulatory review, NRCan is working closely with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to advance a Regional Assessment of Offshore Exploratory Drilling in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador offshore. The intent is to streamline the review of offshore exploratory drilling projects while ensuring strong environmental protection. In particular, the Government is considering exempting offshore exploratory drilling from the requirement of a project-level Impact Assessment in certain situations, such as where a Regional Assessment is in place.

NRCan has been engaged throughout Bill C-69’s parliamentary process to introduce legislative reform that addresses environmental assessment of major resource development projects, modernizes the National Energy Board (NEB) and ensures project reviews are more predictable and timely. Relevant changes include:

  • One project-one review: streamlined processes and coordination with provinces and territories and life-cycle regulators to reduce red tape for companies and avoid duplicating efforts in reviewing proposed projects;
  • New early planning and engagement phase that provides clarity to companies on what is required and more certainty about the process ahead;
  • Regional and strategic issues and the cumulative effects of development would be evaluated outside of project reviews (e.g., climate change, biodiversity, and species at risk).
  1. Ensure that all policy decisions and environmental assessments are based on scientific evidence and reflect state-of-the art technologies and practices.

Actions taken:

NRCan continued to provide expert science and technical advice to federal environmental assessments (EAs) and participated in the federal review of environmental assessment and regulatory processes. The Department applied the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals and its guidelines to all policy proposals subject to Natural Resource Canada’s Strategic Environmental Assessment process (e.g., Memoranda to Cabinet, Treasury Board Submissions).

The Department is reviewing its processes to respond to the Government commitment to provide a better understanding of the “big picture” of environmental issues (e.g. cumulative effects), and provide increased online access to science and evidence to support environmental assessments and policy decisions.

The Federal Geospatial Platform (FGP) leverages the Open Science Data Platform (OSDP) and brings together authoritative and science-based data from federal, provincial and territorial sources including socio-economic and environmental themes related to cumulative effects. OSDP will also make project assessment data accessible, so that Canadians can explore and understand project impacts within a regional socio-economic and environmental context. Federal science and technology Satellite Earth observation capacity will be leveraged to establish a baseline and measure trends regarding Canada’s land surface and forest ecosystem conditions. National and regional information will be accessible through the OSDP to enhance transparent, evidence-based decision-making, and to support project assessments.

  1. More clearly define clean technology and to ensure that Canada is a global leader in championing holistic evidence-based measurement and adoption of clean technology.

Actions taken:

Through the Clean Technology Data Strategy (CTDS), Canada is a global leader in measuring the clean technology economy. The CTDS provides the foundation for measuring the economic, environmental and social impacts of clean technology in Canada. Budget 2017 provided $14.5 million over four years, starting in 2017–18, to NRCan and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to develop the CTDS.

As a result, StatCan released data in December 2017 that provided, for the first time ever, a comprehensive picture of the economic contribution of clean technologies and environmental goods and services to the Canadian economy from 2007 to 2016.

  1. Foster stronger cross-sectorial and international clean technology partnerships and clusters.

Actions taken:

Refer to Clean Growth Hub (in recommendation 3).

Refer to the Clean Technology Strategy Table (in recommendation 1)

The Clean Growth Program ($200M/4 years) is built on a strong partnership and collaboration model. To date since the inception of the program in November 2017, seven Trusted Partnerships with provinces and territories have been established to facilitate co-funding which reduces barriers and streamlines processes. A virtual collaboration community has been established as a networking tool to foster collaboration and facilitate access to information on funding programs (refer to recommendation 3).

NRCan has put in place a new online portal, Integro, to streamline its program delivery process for proponent intake, case management, workflow management, and reporting.

In 2017-18, Canada played a leading role with its international partners, as demonstrated through Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) initiatives and campaigns that advance clean energy technology and encourage the global transition to a clean energy economy. Canada began its leadership of the Energy Management Working Group and Campaign, which aim to strengthen alignment with North American and other governments to advance industrial energy efficiency, as well as the Electrical Vehicle Initiative and EV30@30 Campaign, which calls for policy and program action to accelerate introduction and adoption of electric vehicles worldwide. In addition, Canada plays a significant leadership role on the Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative, which aims to accelerate the participation of women in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Canada also continued to collaborate with international partners to share best practices and deploy clean energy technology in the areas of energy efficient equipment, appliances and buildings, smart grids, clean energy policy, and power plant flexibility.

Canada will be hosting the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and Mission Innovation (MI) in Vancouver in 2019. In January 2018, Canada hosted the preparatory meeting for the CEM/MI 2018 meeting, welcoming delegates from more than 25 countries that are working to the transition to a global clean energy economy.

Canada plays an active leadership role within the Mission Innovation initiative, as the Chair of the Steering Committee, co-lead of the of the Analysis and Joint Research sub-group, Chair of the Ministerial Planning Team, and participant on the Business and Investor Engagement subgroup. Additionally, Canada provides resources to the Mission Innovation Secretariat, is co-leading two of the eight Innovation Challenges, including the Sustainable Biofuels and Clean Energy Materials Challenges, and is one of five countries working with Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC).

House Committee on Natural Resources’ Report 7 – Strategic Electricity Interties

Overview: The report examines the need for new investments in electricity transmission interties, and the optimal locations to place them. It first addresses the need and benefits for new interties investments, and then it outlines the opportunities to strengthen Canada’s intertie capacity and enhance regional cooperation.

Report Recommendations Departmental Response
The report makes 6 recommendations for the government to:

The Regional Electricity Cooperation and Strategic Infrastructure Initiative (RESCI) is a collaborative effort between the federal government, the provinces, and utilities to identify the most promising electricity infrastructure projects with the potential to achieve significant GHG reductions. In order to deliver this initiative, NRCan formed dialogues with the Atlantic and Western Provinces and utilities. Studies from these dialogues will be available in summer 2018. In addition, NRCan launched new programs in 2018, including the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program, the Emerging Renewable Power program, and the Smart Grid program.

NRCan continues to work with the US Department of Energy on collaborative projects that help to demonstrate the benefits of increased electrical integration, including the North American Renewable Integration Study (NARIS), which is studying how the US, Mexico, and Canada can increase their share of renewables in the electricity supply mix, through increased system planning, trade, and transmission.

Recommendation #1 and 3 (grouped together in the government response)

1. Assess the economic opportunities of increased electricity interties in different regions across Canada.

3. Improve low-carbon electricity delivery

Actions taken:

The Government undertook the RESCI Initiative to study strategic interties within Canada, the results of which will be available in 2018.

The Government continues to work with our North American partners on initiatives such as NARIS, which will study the benefits of increased electrical integration.

  1. Explore ways to maximize the value of Canadian electricity exports to the U.S., by;
    1. Evaluating how emerging regulatory reforms in certain U.S. markets could create opportunities for Canadian electric utilities to export more electricity;
    2. Encouraging provinces, territories and utilities to implement systems to tag and track the emissions attributes of electricity, potentially adding value to, and facilitating increased exports of, verified, low-carbon Canadian electricity;
    3. Including international GHG emission accounting rules in negotiations to leverage the low GHG emissions of Canadian electricity and increase the value of electricity exports to the U.S.

Actions taken:

The results of the NARIS study will contribute towards identifying potential projects and pathways that could augment Canada’s electricity trade with the US.

Recommendation #4 and 5

  1. Improve low-carbon energy access, affordability, security and storage in northern and remote communities.
  2. Improve low-carbon electric energy access for resource development projects across Canada.

Actions taken:

Several funding opportunities are available for communities, provinces, companies, and utilities who are interested in reducing reliance on diesel and pursuing renewable energy solutions including the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities, which will provide $217.8 million over six years for funding renewable electricity and heat systems and supporting technology demonstrations in rural and remote communities and industrial sites.

The Government is contributing $60 million to the grid connection project of the Pikangikum First Nation in collaboration with the Ontario government and First Nations. The project is lead by the Wataynikaneyap Power, an Indigenous-controlled company. This project exemplifies collaboration between federal, provincial, and First Nations partners.

  1. Identify and address regulatory barriers between jurisdictions to facilitate developing transmission interties, increasing interprovincial and Canada-U.S. electricity trade, and modernizing electric systems and markets.

Actions taken:

The Government launched two programs in early 2018 to modernize Canada’s electricity systems and support emerging technologies: the Smart Grid and the Emerging Renewable Power programs. These programs will help pave the way towards modernizing Canada’s electricity trade, by deploying more renewables, and modernizing electric systems and markets.

The Smart Grid program provides $100 million in funding opportunities for the deployment of smart grid integrated systems and the demonstration of new-commercial technologies by utilities, electricity system operators, and transmission owners and operators.