Clean energy and hydropower key to our economic and environmental objectives
By Anthony Capkun
May 15, 2012 – Speaking at the 2012 Forum on Hydropower, sponsored by the Canadian Hydropower Association, David Anderson (parliamentary secretary to Joe Oliver, minister of natural resources) emphasized the importance of responsible energy development to Canada’s economic growth.
“The opportunities for the expansion of this vital sector of our economy are vast, and they continue to grow,” said Anderson. “However, major energy projects, including hydro projects, are currently subject to long and unpredictable delays because of a needlessly complex and duplicative regulatory process. This is why our government has introduced the plan for Responsible Resource Development.”
The plan focuses on improving four areas: making reviews for major resource projects more predictable and timely; reducing duplication of project reviews; strengthening environmental protection; and enhancing consultations with Aboriginal peoples.
The Canadian Hydropower Association says it has made it clear that reform is needed for the hydropower industry to continue to develop and prosper.
“The electricity sector requires regulatory efficiency and predictability. Unfortunately, the current federal environmental assessment regime causes considerable duplication, delays and uncertainty,” said Ed Wojczynski, chair, Canadian Hydropower Association. “These problems jeopardize Canada’s capacity to modernize and expand its electricity infrastructure.”
Anderson underscored that the ongoing growth and success of Canada’s hydropower industry are essential to both meeting Canada’s economic and environmental goals, and to the Government of Canada’s objective of “creating jobs, growth and prosperity for all Canadians”.
He also emphasized that a regulatory system that is efficient as well as effective will help bolster Canada’s long-term economic strengths and promote job growth while attracting investment and encouraging national competitiveness.