The federal governments proposal for legislation that improves regulatory efficiency is a big step in the right direction, said Jim Burpee, President and CEO of CEA. The renewal of our electricity infrastructure is vital to maintaining our prosperity and quality of life. The Canadian Electricity Association is working with the federal government to ensure that Canadians continue to receive reliable, sustainable and cost-effective electricity in the years ahead.
The Economic Action Plan proposes new legislation that will modernize the federal review process for major economic projects. Focus will be on four major areas: establishing clear timelines, reducing duplication and regulatory burdens, strengthening environmental protection, and enhancing consultation with Aboriginal peoples.
A recent Conference Board of Canada report titled Shedding Light on the Economic Impact of Investing in Electricity Infrastructure projects that the renewal of Canadas electricity infrastructure between now and 2030 will contribute an average addition of $10.9 billion per year to real GDP, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and provide a boost to government finances. In current dollar terms, collective federal and provincial government balances are projected to increase by roughly $6 billion per year from 2011 to 2015.
Canada is a global leader in clean energy production, with over 80 percent of its electricity generated from non-emitting sources. Hydropower and nuclear, along with renewable energy such as wind and solar, emit few if any greenhouse gasses (GHG). However, much of Canadas electricity system was built 30 to 60 years ago, and now needs to be renewed in order to accommodate load growth. Regulatory reform on the federal level is absolutely crucial to ensuring projects are completed in a timely and cost effective manner.