Senate defines priorities for Canada’s energy policy
"Dynamic transformation" of the global energy landscape was underway during the three years the committee developed its report.
OTTAWA—A new report from The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources (ENEV) outlines 13 priorities to define an energy strategy for Canada.
“We see Canada’s potential as the most productive energy nation in the world, with the highest levels of environmental performance,” said Conservative Sen. David Angus, Committee Chair in a release. “But we also conclude that there is a great sense of urgency—and we need an energy literacy that includes a profound recognition that energy pervades all aspects of our lives, and is a key element of our social fabric. The future is fraught with peril if we don’t get it right.”
Dynamic transformation of the global energy landscape was underway during the three years the committee developed its report, with aggressive competition for international energy markets becoming a major factor.
Here are the 13 policy points:
- Canada must strive for collaborative energy leadership
All levels of government, industry, environmental groups and Aboriginal leaders need to come together to chart a course for responsible development and marketing of our energy resources.
- Advance nation-building through energy infrastructure
Modernize and expand electricity systems and oil and gas pipelines to connect regions and diversify export markets.
- Natural gas: a game-changing fuel
Natural gas is becoming a platform fuel for the Canadian economy and its expansion should be encouraged.
- Encourage efficiency, conservation and energy literacy
Efficiency and conservation represent the most important elements of Canada’s energy future. Every citizen must be part of the solution and start by becoming more energy literate.
- Frame a strong strategy for energy employment
Governments must work proactively to ensure recruitment and training meet the needs of the growing Canadian energy sector.
- Strengthen the foundation for energy innovation
Canada’s full potential depends on effectively designing and funding R&D to unlock innovation throughout the energy system.
- Pursue high-level environmental performance of non-renewable sources
Continuous improvement of the environmental footprint of non-renewable energy resources is required, including the minimization of energy sector activities on water, land and air.
- Hydropower superpower: energy of the past for the future
This reliable, low-emitting source of energy is a key priority for the country and every opportunity for its responsible expansion must be undertaken.
- Foster renewable fuels
Canada foster its substantial renewable energy resources, including massive supplies of water, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and marine energy.
- Regulatory reform
The committee supports the ongoing commitment of federal, provincial and territorial governments to streamline environmental reviews while ensuring rigorous environmental oversight, especially for major projects.
- Responsible Northern and Arctic energy exploration & development
The development of these resources may reshape the country’s energy landscape and has the potential to create tremendous economic and social benefits.
- Maintain strong support for Canada’s nuclear industry
Nuclear energy has an important role to play in Canada energy future.
- Speak for Canada
The federal government must fulfill a leadership role in clearly, accurately and forcefully communicating Canada’s energy story to the world.