News & Events


Gord Brown—Conservative Party

Nature Conservation:

Q: With 12% of public land and 1% of its ocean currently protected, Canada is far behind in protecting nature and its biodiversity.  What will you do to ensure Canada meets its international commitment of protecting at least 20% of land and 10% of its ocean by 2020?

A: Thank you for the opportunity to answer this question.

The best way to do so is to refer to the actions that our government is already undertaking to meet these goals.

And the easiest way to accomplish that is to refer to information already available.

Allow me to first explain the 2020 Biodiversity goals and targets for those who may not understand what this is about.

Beyond providing the necessities of life, Canada’s natural wealth is a cornerstone of the Canadian economy and the key to continued growth in sectors such as agriculture, ecotourism and recreation. Biodiversity also serves as the basis for the emerging bio-based economy, including the genomics, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Many Aboriginal communities, particularly in the North, depend on the sustainable harvesting of biological resources from intact ecosystems for their livelihoods, food, cultural and ceremonial needs. These communities also have interests and are involved in the commercial uses of biodiversity and the emerging bio-based economy.

By acting together, Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments in cooperation with Aboriginal governments, businesses, conservation groups, individual citizens and others, can build a sustainable future for tomorrow.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments have worked together for decades to sustain Canada’s biodiversity. Since the signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992, governments have collaborated on many initiatives, beginning with the development of the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy in 1995, the Biodiversity Outcomes Framework in 2006, and now the 2020 biodiversity goals and targets.

In order to achieve their long-term biodiversity outcomes, federal, provincial and territorial governments developed a set of four medium-term goals and 19 targets. Like many countries, Canada’s goals and targets were informed and inspired by the global Aichi targets and tuned to the domestic context

Canada’s goals are:

By 2020, Canada’s lands and waters are planned and managed using an ecosystem approach to support biodiversity conservation outcomes at local, regional and national scales.

By 2020, direct and indirect pressures as well as cumulative effects on biodiversity are reduced, and production and consumption of Canada’s biological resources are more sustainable.

By 2020, Canadians have easy access to adequate and relevant information about biodiversity and ecosystem services to support conservation planning and decision-making.

By 2020, Canadians are informed about the value of nature and more actively engaged in its stewardship.

These are supported by 19 targets addressing a range of topics including species and wetland conservation, sustainable forestry and aquaculture, Aboriginal traditional knowledge, and getting Canadians out into nature.

The goals and targets were developed through collaboration between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. A broad range of partners, Aboriginal organizations and stakeholders, as well as non-government organizations, academic and research organizations and the private sector were engaged.

Many provinces and territories have their own biodiversity strategies and policies that support the conservation of biodiversity.

For example, Alberta is developing Alberta’s Biodiversity Policy. The policy will provide provincial-scale direction for the conservation, restoration and maintenance of Alberta’s biodiversity.

Released in 2012, Tomorrow Now – Manitoba’s Green Plan is the government’s eight-year strategic plan for mobilizing Manitobans to work together to protect the environment while ensuring a prosperous and environmentally conscious economy.

The Ontario government developed Ontario’s first biodiversity strategy in 2005 and established the Ontario Biodiversity Council to guide its implementation. In 2011 the council developed Ontario’s Biodiversity Strategy, 2011 and the government published Biodiversity: It’s In Our Nature, an implementation plan for advancing biodiversity conservation under the Strategy.

In Quebec, the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets form the background for the renewed efforts toward conserving biological diversity leading to the adoption of the Orientations gouvernementales en matière de diversité biologique 2013.

In addition to overall biodiversity strategies, many jurisdictions have policies and initiatives in place or in development that support the conservation of biodiversity. These include, among others, species at risk management efforts, wetland conservation policies, protected area strategies, and invasive species management efforts.

All sectors of Canadian society have an important part to play. Progress will be made through a variety of efforts by governments at all levels, as well as the efforts of businesses, cities, research institutes, Aboriginal communities, private land owners and youth organizations. Also essential are the contributions made by aboriginal government initiatives as well as stewardship, restoration and monitoring projects by businesses, communities, schools and individuals.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was opened for signature at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development on June 5, 1992. Canada was the first industrialized country to sign and ratify the CBD, affixing its signature on June 11 and ratifying on December 4 of the same year. The Convention came into force on December 29, 1993. There are currently 193 Parties to the CBD, 192 member states and the European Union.

In October 2010, Canada and other Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity agreed on the Convention’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The Strategic Plan is a globally aspirational and flexible framework of goals and targets. Parties were urged to develop their own national targets adapted to their domestic situation.

The complete 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada can be found at this website: http://www.biodivcanada.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=DABC84B3-1

Our government has also taken steps to involve the public in conservation efforts.

On May 15, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the National Conservation Plan (NCP), which provides a more coordinated approach to conservation efforts across the country with an emphasis on enabling Canadians to conserve and restore lands and waters in and around their communities, and making it easier for citizens living in cities to connect with nature.

The NCP includes significant additional investments over five years for securing ecologically sensitive lands, supporting voluntary conservation and restoration actions, and strengthening marine and coastal conservation. In addition, it will contain new initiatives designed to restore wetlands and to encourage Canadians to connect with nature close to home through protected areas and green spaces located in or near urban areas.

More specifically, the Plan will expand opportunities for partners, including municipalities, environmental interest groups, hunters and anglers, landowners and community groups, to take practical actions to safeguard the land and water around them in the three following priority areas:

  • Conserving Canada’s lands and waters: safeguarding and enhancing biodiversity and ecosystems through conservation and stewardship actions, including on working landscapes and seascapes.
  • Restoring Canada’s ecosystems: supporting the restoration of degraded ecosystems, which, once restored, will provide habitat for wildlife and clean water, and are essential for the protection and recovery of species at risk.
  • Connecting Canadians to nature: leveraging existing successful initiatives to help foster an appreciation for nature and building a “community of stewards” among Canadians of all ages.

The Plan recognizes the efforts of countless Canadians who are working to conserve and protect our natural world. It will encourage on-the-ground action and partnerships leading to tangible conservation results. Views from stakeholders across all regions and sectors helped to shape the National Conservation Plan, including input from three conservation-related studies by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Progress under the NCP will be measured against a set of outcomes related to land and ocean conservation, restoration of lands and shorelines, opportunities for Canadians to experience nature, and access to improved information about Canada’s natural environment.

Building on the conservation measures announced in Budget 2014, the National Conservation Plan includes funding of $252 million, primarily over a five-year period (2014 to 2019) for a variety of conservation initiatives:

  • $100 million over five years to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to secure ecologically sensitive lands;
  • $37 million over five years to strengthen marine and coastal conservation;
  • $3.2 million over five years to support the development of a complete national inventory of Canadian conservation areas;
  • $50 million over five years to restore wetlands;
  • $50 million over five years to support voluntary actions to restore and conserve species and their habitats;
  • $9.2 million over five years to connect urban Canadians to nature;
  • $3 million over three years to Earth Rangers to expand family-oriented conservation programming.

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has taken important steps to conserve and restore our country’s natural environment and connect Canadians to our rich natural heritage:

  • We have made a six-fold expansion of the Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, considered to be a significant conservation achievement.
  • We have secured almost 4,000 km² of ecologically sensitive private lands.
  • We have added an area nearly twice the size of Vancouver Island to the network of federal protected areas, including the world’s first protected area extending from the mountain tops to the sea floor (Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site) and the world’s largest freshwater protected area (Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area).
  • We have created three National Wildlife Areas (Akpait, Ninginganiq and Qaqulluit) in Nunavut, protecting 4,554 km2 of marine, coastal and terrestrial habitats including the world’s sanctuary for bowhead whales.
  • We have designated three new Marine Protected Areas under the Oceans Act: Musquash Estuary in New Brunswick, Bowie Seamount off the coast of British Columbia, and Tarium Niryutait in the Beaufort Sea.
  • We have invested nearly $6 million under the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program to support 94 fisheries habitat restoration projects across Canada. Funding to support up to an additional 128 projects, for a total of up to $5.5 million, is underway.
  • We have advanced work to create the first national urban park.
  • We have taken steps to improve water quality in the Great Lakes, Lake Simcoe, and Lake Winnipeg, rehabilitated recreational fisheries habitat, and are working to clean up contaminated sites.
  • We have supported partners in the delivery of hundreds of local projects to protect species at risk and their habitats, for example:
    • Under the Habitat Stewardship Program, we have invested over $86 million to support 1,467 local conservation projects, benefitting the habitat of 431 species at risk.
    • In 2010 alone, EcoAction provided more than $2 million to support 58 local biodiversity conservation and restoration projects in communities across Canada.
    • We have successfully expanded the population of Blanding’s turtles in Kejimkujik National Park and are assisting in the recovery of Garry oak ecosystems in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site.
  • Under the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk program, we have invested over $23 million to support more than 680 local aquatic and terrestrial conservation projects, benefitting the recovery needs of 287 species at risk.
  • In April 2015 the  Rouge National Urban Park Act (Bill C-40), received Royal Assent which provides the Rouge Valley the highest level of ecological protection in its history and created Canada’s first national urban park.

The NCP complements the proposed 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada, which were developed together with our conservation partners, as part of our participation in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.  NCP initiatives will help us make progress on many of the targets. The goals and targets will also help to measure and report on progress for some areas of the NCP.

 

Energy East:

Q: If elected, what will you do to address the environmental concerns the community of North Grenville have on the proposed Energy East pipeline; specifically regarding the Rideau River, the Oxford Aquifer and the climate change impacts of expanding the tar sands? And how would you address the economic concerns of potential increased natural gas prices as a result in a decrease in supply?

A: Thank you for allowing me to answer this question as well.

There is a lot of mis-information in the public forums and I receive calls from landowners about their rights and responsibilities with pipelines on their property.

Under our constitution, the federal government is responsible for inter-provincial transportation of energy products.

In order to remove this from political interference at each change of government, the government created the National Energy Board in the 1950s, an independent third party review and regulatory agency.

The National Energy Board (NEB) currently regulates 73,000 kilometres of pipelines, which transport energy across Canada with a safety record of 99.999 percent.

However, the government can still pass laws to ensure the safety of Canadians.

In June 2015, our new Pipeline Safety Act (Bill C-46) received Royal Assent. The Pipeline Safety Act builds on Canada’s already impressive record of safely transporting energy. This legislation improves Canada’s safety system even further by:

  • Introducing absolute liability for all NEB-regulated pipelines, meaning that companies will be liable for costs and damages irrespective of fault — $1 billion for companies operating major oil pipelines — the only absolute liability that exists among our peer jurisdictions (U.S., the UK and Australia). Companies continue to have unlimited liability when at fault or negligent.
  • Providing the NEB authority to order reimbursement of any clean-up costs incurred by governments, communities or individuals;
  • Providing the NEB authority and resources to take control of incident response if a company is unable or unwilling to do so (i.e., in exceptional circumstances); and
  • Requiring companies operating pipelines to hold a minimum level of financial resources, set at $1 billion for companies operating major oil pipelines.

The $1-billion minimum financial capacity and absolute liability limit are unique to Canada. Countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom do not currently require pipeline operators to demonstrate a minimum financial capacity to respond to any incident and to remedy damage caused by pipeline spills, though they have similar “polluter pays” legislation in place. The Pipeline Safety Act represents the latest milestone in our government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development. Previous actions introduced by the Harper Government also include:

  • Increasing annual inspections of oil and gas pipelines by 50 percent and doubling the number of comprehensive audits to improve pipeline safety across Canada. There is now an inspector for every 1,217 miles of federally regulated oil and gas pipeline in Canada, compared with every 5,830 miles in the United States.
  • Introducing new financial penalties on pipeline companies for small infractions to prevent larger incidents from occurring; and
  • Giving the NEB the ability to provide guidance on the use of the best available technologies used in federally regulated pipeline projects. This includes materials, construction methods and emergency response techniques.

The Government of Canada will continue introducing measures that further enhance the safe transportation of energy while supporting jobs and growth.

It is my belief that pipelines are a far safer method of transporting oil and gas than by truck or by train. We have recently witnessed what can go wrong with above ground movement of petroleum products.

Let me now address the NEB and its role.

The NEB must approve a number of different portions of the Energy East Pipeline proposal – sale of assets from Canada Mainline to Energy East, conversion of a gas pipeline to oil service, construction of new pipeline facilities, certificate to own and operate new and converted facilities and approval of tarriff and tolling methodology.

These go through a regulatory process which include pre-application, hearing, post decision and construction.

Here is how the NEB interfaces with the public

The NEB provides information on its web site to help the landowners dealing with issues related to pipelines on their lands, which can be accessed at www.neb-one.gc.ca by clicking on “Land Matters”.

This includes a publication titled “Pipeline Regulation in Canada: A Guide for Landowners and the Public”, which is available at www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf nsi/rthnb/pblcprtcptn/pplnrgltncnd/pplnrgltncnd_ndx-eng.html.

For the entire life of a project, landowners are welcome to contact the NEB if they have concerns or issues to address.  The NEB facilitates discussion on ways to resolve the issue through their Appropriate Dispute Resolution process.  To initiate a landowner complaint or for land matters questions, landowners should contact the Board: Telephone – toll free: 1-800-899-1265; E-mail: landsinfo@neb-one.gc.ca.

When a landowner and a pipeline company cannot agree on compensation for lands that the company has acquired or damaged, either party may apply to the NRCan Minister: to receive the services of a negotiator, or to have the dispute settled by binding arbitration.  Information on the Secretariat is available at: www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/infrastructure/natural-gas/pipeline-arbitration-secretariat/5907 Telephone: 1-613-947-5664 E-mail: PAS-SAP@NRCan-RNCan.gc.ca.

The last part of your question deals with increased natural gas prices as a result of a decrease in supply.

Recently, an agreement has been put in place which will see natural gas supplies carried by a new pipeline that will guarantee low-cost supply to Ontarians.

 

Science:

Q: Canadians deserve a government that is open, transparent and committed to science. Will you support the free speech of federal scientists, opening up the review processes to all Canadians? Will you develop policy and other decisions based on best available scientific evidence?

A: This is another area where there seems to be a great deal of mis-information in the public domain.

Since being elected, our Government has made record investments in science, technology and innovation. Canada is ranked first in the G-7 for our support for research and development in our colleges, universities and other Research Institutes.

Science powers commerce, creates jobs, and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.  That is why our Government has invested more than $13 billion in new funding since 2006 for science, technology, and innovation in Canada.

We continue to provide strong support to Canada’s researchers through the three federal granting councils.

Economic Action Plan 2015 provided an additional $46 million per year to the granting councils, starting in 2016–17 including:

$15 million per year to Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, of which $10 million will be directed to partnerships between researchers and businesses. The remaining $5 million will be directed to the College and Community Innovation Program.

$7 million per year to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for Partnership Grants, to leverage more partnerships between researchers and community organizations and businesses

$15 million per year toward CIHR most of which will be put toward the health care innovation in partnership with the provinces.

$9 million per year toward the Research Support Fund for university and college overhead

Our government has a strong record of supporting researchers through the federal granting councils. Since 2006, we have increased funding to the granting councils by $3.4 billion, which includes:

$1.5 billion for the Canada First Research Excellence Fund
$3 billion in cumulative increases to the granting councils and
Nearly $900 million in cumulative funding increases for the Research Support Fund
This has significantly increased the impact of the councils to encourage greater collaboration between researchers, business and community partners while training the next generation of research talent.

For example:

  • Through SSHRC and NSERC, students and fellows supported increased by more than 7,500 in 2006 to 38,000 per year in 2014.
  • More than doubling the number of industry and community partnerships supported each year at SSHRC and NSERC since 2006 [SSHRC: 160 to 350; NSERC: 1,482 to 3,103. Total: 1640 to 3,453]

While Ministers are the primary spokespersons for government departments, government scientists and experts are readily available to share their research with the media and the public.

As I mentioned, Canada is ranked number one in the G-7 for our support for scientific research and development in our colleges, universities and other research institutes.

Canadian federal departments and agencies produce over 4,000 science publications per year and Canada produces a disproportionately higher number of internationally cited articles than other country.

 

Rural realities:

Q: Rural municipalities face a variety of trade-offs with respect to land use, infrastructure, climate change effects, transportation needs (NG has 80%+ commuters), ameliorating natural and human disasters (e.g. oil spills or flooding) and social housing. What supports will you, as federal representative, offer this region’s municipalities to ensure rural realities are addressed and these municipalities are ensured strong advocacy?

A: Having grown up, built a business, been a town councillor in Gananoque and represented Leeds-Grenville  in Ottawa, I know first-hand the difficulties our rural municipalities face.

These can be overcome in a variety of ways.

First, smaller municipalities like those found in our ridings face challenges developing and maintaining infrastructure because they do not have the tax base needed to sustain the provincially and sometimes federally mandated facilities.

North Grenville is a fast growing municipality because people are leaving Ottawa and moving to the region, preferring to commute to work for the lifestyle that is available to them in our riding.

In my role as Member of Parliament I have worked diligently with all the municipalities in Leeds-Grenville to ensure that we get more than our fair share of available infrastructure assistance. From sewage treatment plants, to roads, bridges, waterworks, and waste facilities I have fought long and hard to ensure that our infrastructure is renewed and maintained in a sustainable fashion.

Infrastructure helps drive economic development.

Hand-in-hand with this is ensuring that the riding receives economic development funding. Smaller, rural municipalities such as those found in Leeds-Grenville also have a difficult time funding economic development on their own.

I fought for sustained Eastern Ontario Development money that is being utilized to great advantage throughout the riding.

From assisting in plant expansion such as at 3M and Newterra in Brockville, Burnbrae Farms in Lyn and many others, to new constructions such as Greenfield Ethanol, I have worked hard to ensure that economic development money flows to the riding and jobs are created that will be here for the long-term.

Federal infrastructure also requires renewed investment by the government. After years of neglect by the previous government I have brought money for our borders and our national parks and heritage sites. This will ensure that these facilities serve our riding well into the future.

And finally, rural municipalities also have difficulty accessing money for smaller cultural and historic attractions such as the Spencerville Mill and I have spent a great deal of time making sure that these attractions are developed with federal government money. These facilities reflect our lifestyle and help us link to the past.

I have been a champion of development that suits the riding and fits with its goals.

 

Climate and the Economy:

Q: Canadians subsidize the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $1.3 Billion per year despite the industry being in a downturn. Major weather events have been induced by climate change and have cost lives and billions of tax dollars. Provinces that have put a price on carbon have seen emissions decrease with an increase in their economy. How will you address fossil fuel subsidies and what do you envision for a national carbon policy?

A: Especially in the oil and gas industries, talking about subsidies and trying to nail them down is a topic that can lead in many different directions and is as stretchy as a rubber band.

For example, some people claim that automobile accidents and their cost to society is a subsidy to the oil and gas industry.

The reality is that subsidies in the form of tax credits and other investment opportunities are a critical part of any country’s economy.

They help develop industry and help them gain a foothold in other markets.

The auto industry is subsidized, the agriculture and agri-food industries are subsidized, and most manufacturing is subsidized to some degree. Almost every business receives some form of subsidies.

In other words, subsidies are not a negative concept. They are an economic reality.

The oil and gas industry has enormous expenses up front before any profit is realized and if there were no write-offs for the original investment, there would be less of an industry. And this is true for almost every industry.

The popular figure of $1.3 billion for the oil and gas industry came from a study conducted earlier this decade.

The fact is, even this number is lower today, as the federal government reviews all programs that aid the industry.

This year for example, the petroleum sector will no longer be eligible to claim the Atlantic Investment Tax Credit. The AITC saves the sector about $85 million in taxes each year.

What we have to remember about the oil and gas industry – even though it is currently in a downturn because of excess production and new technologies that are allowing oil and gas to be produced less expensively than ever before – is that it creates tens of thousands of jobs and currently generates about $18 billion annually in royalties, taxes, and other payments to Canadian governments alone.

The trade-off of $1.3 billion is small in comparison.

The second part of your question concerns a carbon tax.

I think you would have trouble drawing a direct link to carbon taxes and economic improvement as your statement infers.

Carbon taxes, like all other taxes, take dollars out of the economy and make all products more expensive.

Canada is a trading nation and our economy depends on trade.

If we were to initiate a carbon tax and drive our prices for inputs higher than our trading partners, we would suffer economically.

We have seen in the past two decades what lower labor costs and lower electricity costs do to our jobs. They leave for less expensive alternatives.

I am not in favour of putting Canadian jobs and our economy at risk by instituting carbon taxes, unless our major trading partners and competitors do so as well to put us all on a level playing field.

What I am in favour of is setting targets through consultation with industries and other governments and helping industries through research and development meet goals of GHG reductions as our government has been doing for many years.

Following is an extensive list of our actions to date:

Our government is implementing a sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reduce GHG emissions that protects the environment and supports economic prosperity.

Our government is working to reduce emissions through the Canada-United States Clean Energy Dialogue launched with President Obama’s administration in 2009.

On January 11, 2010, the successful projects were announced under the renewable and clean energy demonstration component of the Clean Energy Fund, totalling up to $146 million.

In 2009, we announced we would invest in 19 new clean technology projects under the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, representing an investment of $8.4 million over two years. These projects included the design of green buildings for communities, research in solar and wind power, and the recovery of gas from landfills.

To further support Canada’s leadership in clean energy, Budget 2009 provided $1 billion over five years to support clean energy technologies. This includes $150 million over five years for research, and $850 million over five years for the development and demonstration of promising technologies, including large-scale carbon capture and storage projects.

The Atlantic Energy Gateway was created in 2009 with a $4 million investment to encourage the development of clean and renewable energy supplies in Atlantic Canada while promoting Atlantic Canadian renewable energy to new markets.

In 2006, amendments to the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations introduced tighter emission standards and, for the first time, extended the application of emission standards to small scooters and mopeds. It is estimated that smog-forming emissions will be progressively reduced as cleaner products replace an increasing proportion of older in-use motorcycles. These Regulations came into effect on December 1, 2006.

Budget 2007 provided $1.5 billion to the Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change for projects to cut air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, ecoTrust provided:

$23 million for Newfoundland and Labrador to support projects to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, announced on January 9, 2007

$53.8 million for Manitoba to support provincial projects that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions smog and air pollution, announced on March 3, 2007

$5 million for the Northwest Territories to support projects relating to energy conservation and efficiency, alternative and emerging technologies as well as development of hydro-electric resources, announced on March 11, 2007

$5 million for Yukon, announced March 30, 2007

$15 million for Prince Edward Island to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, announced April 24, 2007

$42.5 million for Nova Scotia to help the province reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, announced on May 12, 2007

Budget 2007 also included the following measures to combat greenhouse gasses:

phasing out the accelerated capital cost allowance for general investment in the oil sands by 2015

a rebate of up to $2,000 per vehicle to buyers of fuel-efficient vehicles and a Green Levy on new fuel-inefficient vehicles

$36 million over two years for “scrappage” programs to get older vehicles off the road

Budget 2008 provided $250 million for a full-scale commercial demonstration of carbon capture and storage in the coal-fired electricity sector, research on the potential for carbon storage in Nova Scotia and economic and technological issues.

In 2008, we provided $10 million over two years for scientific research and analysis on biofuels emissions to support the development of regulations and demonstration projects to verify that new blended renewable diesel is safe and effective for our Canadian climate and conditions.

The Harper Government moved forward in 2010 with regulations that require an average renewable fuel content of 5% in gasoline. When fully-implemented, the Strategy’s two regulatory requirements combined with provincial regulations will ensure a total volume of renewable fuel that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to about four megatons per year, about the equivalent of taking one million vehicles off the road. The regulations have been finalized and came into effect starting December 2010.

In 2008, we increased the capital cost allowance rate for carbon dioxide pipelines, a component of carbon capture and storage systems.

In 2008, our Government expanded the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean-energy generation equipment to additional applications involving ground-source heat pump and waste-to-energy systems.

In 2008, we extended GST/HST relief to land leased to situate wind- or solar-power equipment for the production of electricity.

The Harper Government announced in 2008 it would dedicate $100 million to international climate change adaptation through the World Bank to assist those countries that are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, such as least-developed countries and small island developing states. In addition to the $100 million adaptation fund through the World Bank, we are also contributing $400 million in new and additional climate change financing to the Fast-Start fund.

In 2014, our Government contributed an additional $300 million to the Green Climate Fund that is supporting projects, programs, policies and other activities to address climate change in developing countries. This builds on the $1.2 billion of funding already delivered by the Government of Canada.

We invested $5 million for a renewable energy project in Trenton, Ontario, which will see a former railcar manufacturing facility transformed into a factory that manufactures components for wind turbines.

In 2009, our Government announced $6 million over three years for 23 projects at universities across Canada to develop advanced nuclear energy systems.

A new Clean Energy Fund was set up in 2009 to support clean energy research development and demonstration projects, including carbon capture and storage.

Budget 2010 builds on Canada’s position as an energy superpower with a $100 million investment over four years to encourage investments in energy projects and clean energy generation.

To reduce water consumption and improve insulation and ventilation, our Government launched a new energy-efficient standard for Canadian homes in 2012.

Our Government has committed, through the signing of a term sheet agreement, to guarantee project-related debt of up to $6.3 billion for the Lower Churchill River Projects.

The federal loan guarantee will lower the costs of borrowing for the proponents, with projected savings of over a billion dollars for ratepayers in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

The projects will reduce up to 4.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which according to estimates is the equivalent of taking 3.2 million cars off the road.

The Lower Churchill projects will result in an average of 1,500 jobs during each year of construction with peak employment during construction of approximately 3,100 people.

It will also generate $1.9 billion in earnings for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Our Government has taken action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector by developing regulations on coal-fired electricity generation. With 11% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions coming from coal-fired electricity generation units, our new regulations, coming into force July 1, 2015, apply a stringent performance standard to new coal-fired electricity generation units and those coal-fired units that have reached the end of their economic life.

In the first 21 years, the regulations are expected to result in a cumulative GHG emissions reduction of about 2.4 megatons – equivalent to removing about 2.6 million personal vehicles off the road.

Our Conservative Government is establishing more stringent GHG emission standards for new vehicles:

in 2010, we announced final regulations for new passenger automobiles and light trucks for the 2011-2016 model years. The Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations provide certainty to the automotive industry and require significant technological improvements to vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of the regulations, it is projected that the average greenhouse gas emission performance of new vehicles for the 2016 model year will be about 25% lower than the vehicles that were sold in Canada in 2008. These regulations are aligned with the mandatory national standards of the United States

in 2010, Canada released a consultation document outlining the proposed elements of the future regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles

in 2025 passenger vehicles and light trucks will emit about half as many GHGs as 2008 models

in 2025 vehicles would also consume up to 50% less fuel than 2008 vehicles—leading to significant savings at the pump

GHG emissions from 2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles would be reduced by up to 23%

Our Conservative Government, in partnership with the United States and Mexico, is leading efforts to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – the world’s most potent and fastest growing GHG.

In 2010, we re-tabled a proposal to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.

Canada is a cofounder and major contributor to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which is helping advance efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutant like HFCs.

In 2010, we delivered on our commitment under the Copenhagen Accord to help the poorest and most vulnerable countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change by contributing $400 million for the 2010-2011 fiscal year to fast-start financing for developing countries.

In 2010, Canada invested in research that will help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced through building construction. The green building design project aims to reduce 75% of greenhouse gas emissions from the heating, cooling and construction of buildings, and is being delivered through the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP) funding for a project led by the Okanagan Science & Technology Council in partnership with Okanagan College.

Budget 2010 expanded the eligibility for accelerated capital cost allowance. This encourages investment in technologies that contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, and increase the diversification of Canada’s energy supply.

Our Government appointed an independent advisory panel of leading scientists in 2010 to advise on the current state of environmental research and monitoring in Alberta’s oil sands and to make recommendations to ensure that state-of-the-art monitoring and best practices are implemented.

Our Government introduced the ecoENERGY Retrofit. During its lifespan this program provided families with grants of up to $5,000 to help homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient and reduce the burden of high energy costs.

Canada agreed to the adoption of the Copenhagen Accord in 2009, which includes commitments by Canada and over 120 countries – representing 85% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In February 2010, Canada inscribed in the Copenhagen Accord a greenhouse gas reduction target of 17% by 2020 from 2005 levels, a target that is aligned with the United States’ target.

Our Government is working to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

This is in line with other major industrialized countries and reflects our position as a world leader in clean electricity generation.

This target has been formally submitted as Canada’s Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In 2013, Canada’s GHG emissions were 3.1% lower than 2005 levels, while the economy grew by 12.9% over the same time period.

In February of 2015, Bill C-22, the Energy Safety and Security Act , was enacted, enhancing safety and security in Canada’s offshore petroleum and nuclear energy industries to ensure that Canadians continue to have a world-class regime that is accountable, responsive and transparent and works to prevent incidents.

In 2012, our Government, in partnership with the Government of Alberta, launched the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring committing to a scientifically rigorous, comprehensive, integrated, and transparent environmental monitoring program for the region.

To improve the efficiency of environmental reviews, our Government has:

moved toward a “one project, one review” system to recognize provincial processes as substitutes or equivalents to federal reviews, so long as they meet the requirements under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

consolidated the number of organizations responsible for reviews

focused federal assessment efforts on major projects with significant environmental effects

enacted enforceable environmental assessment decision statements under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

enhanced the authority of federal inspectors to enforce the decisions of an environmental assessment

The Joint Oil Sands Monitoring program demonstrates our Government’s commitment to provide scientifically rigorous, comprehensive, integrated and transparent environmental analysis for the oil sands region.

This scientific undertaking – which is unprecedented in Canada – monitors the impacts of oil sands activity over an area covering some 140,000 square kilometres.

This world-class monitoring program continues to develop scientific understanding of the cumulative environmental effects from oil sands industrial activity.

The governments of Canada and Alberta remain committed to ensuring that data from the monitoring activities and the scientific methods used are transparent, supported by necessary quality assurance and made publicly available to allow independent scientific assessments and evaluations.

We continue to work with the Province of Alberta and the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA), along with Aboriginal organizations, to achieve the goals of the Joint Implementation Plan. Our joint-leadership of environmental monitoring is contributing to responsible and environmentally sustainable development of the oil sands for the benefit of all Canadians.