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“2050 is going to be tough” – from the editor, April 2023

April 6, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

“You can’t just wish it, and expect it to happen”

April 6, 2023 – That is how Lisa Raitt answered the question as to whether Canada can actually meet its 2050 net-zero aspirations: “2050 is going to be tough,” she said.

(The question was posed by John Gorman, president & CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, at CNA’s annual conference, during a “fireside chat” with the former deputy leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, now a VIP with CIBC Capital Markets).

Even though she has left politics, Raitt said—without hesitation—that the left and the right “are all on the same page” with regard to energy transition and achieving net-zero. However, with all the work and resources required (i.e. time and money), she doesn’t see 2050 as realistic.

“You can’t just wish it,” and expect it to happen, she noted, before warning “As you set targets—and don’t achieve them—people lose faith.” Raitt suggested that governments should be honest with people, especially with regard to timelines.


Several ministers also attended CNA to discuss nuclear energy in their respective provinces. Ontario’s Todd Smith insisted nuclear will continue to play an important role in Ontario, and he wants Ottawa to move faster: “It cannot take 10 years just to site a new nuclear plant”.

He called on Ottawa to extend Canadian Investment Tax Credits for Clean Technologies to the nuclear sector, and Saskatchewan’s Don Morgan agreed.

“There are tax credits for wind and solar, but not yet for nuclear. If it’s clean, it’s clean.” Morgan noted that 70% of his province’s energy comes from fossils, and most of that is coal, so he is very keen on new nuclear. “I’d like to see 5, 10 or more [small modular reactors] spread around the province.”

“Government has got to move at the speed of business,” echoed New Brunswick’s Mike Holland. “Let’s look at all the roadblocks and tackle them.”

As a non-emitting baseload energy source, nuclear is poised for a renaissance. For our part, we’ll be watching, reporting and investigating new nuclear to uncover any opportunities for you, the electrical contractor.

— Anthony Capkun, acapkun@ebmag.com.

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