Apr.03, 2012 posted by adminSENATE COMMITTEE ENGAGES YOUTH IN ENERGY DISCUSSIONS
OTTAWA (April 3, 2012) – The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and National Resources (ENEV) will hear from a group of four Canadian high school students during a roundtable discussion in Ottawa today, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, as part of its long-term study examining the current and future state of Canada’s energy systems.
The students’ presentation to the Senate committee will speak to the youth perspective on what Canada’s energy future should look like. This youth-focused meeting format reflects how the ENEV Committee is continually finding new ways to engage with Canadians.
“We are delighted to welcome these student representatives to our committee and congratulate the Centre for Global Education for providing us with the opportunity to learn from these engaged young Canadians,” said Senator David Angus, chair of the committee. “When it comes to our energy, we face complex challenges and today’s appearance is a poignant reminder that future generations of Canadians are counting on us to get it right. I offer my sincere congratulations to Senator Grant Mitchell, the committee’s deputy chair, who is the driving force behind this creative initiative.”
“Since embarking on our long term study on the future of Canada’s energy systems, we have had the opportunity to hear from energy sector experts, government leaders and policy makers, aboriginal and industry leaders, environmental organizations and concerned citizens from every corner of the country,” said Senator Mitchell. “Given that our youth will soon be our future, it only makes sense that the committee also hear from young Canadians about their vision for Canada’s energy systems.”
The four students appearing before the committee represent over 400 students and six high schools from across the country that have come together to discuss sustainable energy in Canada – an initiative organized by the Centre for Global Education in Edmonton. Their presentation to the Senate committee is the culmination of the National Virtual Youth Town Hall project on the Future of Sustainable Energy in Canada.
“The objective of the project is to have students understand the Canadian energy system and to recognize key issues that policy makers face,” said Terry Godwaldt, International Coordinator, The Centre for Global Education at Queen Elizabeth High School Edmonton, AB. “ Over the last six weeks, students from across the country have collectively spent over 4000 hours analyzing data, participating in weekly web conferences, engaging in group discussions through various social media channels and planning and executing a virtual youth town hall.”
“This initiative is an archetype of the future of grassroots democracy, said Senator Mitchell. “We look forward with great anticipation to hearing from the students and witnessing firsthand the result of true national youth engagement.”
Since June 2009, the Senate ENEV Committee has undertaken a comprehensive examination of Canada’s energy systems involving the participation of over 250 witnesses. This has included hearings in virtually every region of Canada. The purpose of the study is to make policy recommendations for a strategic policy framework designed to ensure an efficient and sustainable energy future for Canada.
The committee is now in the final stages of writing its report on Canada’s energy systems, which is scheduled for release in June 2012.
To learn more about the work of the committee, please visit: www.canadianenergyfuture.ca .
For up to the minute updates, follow the committee on Twitter @SCEENR_SAYS and use the hashtag #ENEV.
Feb.14, 2012 posted by adminFebruary 16, 2012
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Feb.14, 2012 posted by adminFebruary 14, 2012
When the Senate rises but not before 5:00 PM
Jan.05, 2012 posted by adminEnergy and the Environment: We Need a National Discussion
This article was published in the Hill Times on December 5, 2011
The Keystone XL pipeline decision splashed across major newspaper and twitter feeds illustrates an increased appetite by the public to engage with energy issues. As heated debate swirls among pundits, environmental groups and energy stakeholders, it can be difficult for Canadians and policy makers alike to evaluate competing claims and interests. So where does Canada go from here?
There are complex challenges facing us today and we need to collaborate widely to transform rhetoric into viable long term solutions. Future generations of Canadians are counting on us to get this right.
For our part, as members of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources’ we identified that there is an urgent need for a national energy discussion and we launched a comprehensive study on Canada’s energy future over two and a half years ago. Our study provides a discussion venue for energy sector experts, government policy makers, aboriginal and industry leaders, environmental organizations and concerned citizens. Our study is enriched by the collaboration of over 200 witnesses from across the country.
Our hearings highlighted a fragmented energy conversation in this country. Individuals and organizations are passionately involved in the energy future debate, but many of these discussions are occurring in silos. Without bringing together environmental and economic interests, without recognizing a strong national discussion can only take place with increased energy literacy, we are not fully capitalizing on the home-grown ideas, innovations and efforts needed for Canada to prosper.
Not enough Canadians celebrate Canada as a major energy producer and exporter. As a nation our quality of life is shaped by our abundant natural resources and our ingenuity to develop them responsibly. Addressing our climate change challenge requires enhanced energy literacy among all Canadians. Collectively, we need to better understand how the lights go on in our homes and our individual impacts on the environment. Informed energy citizens of today are the energy heroes of tomorrow. Our clean energy future will involve tradeoffs and difficult policy making decisions. Informed energy citizens will support and encourage smart energy choices.
Just this past week, we completed public hearings in part of Canada’s energy heartland, Alberta and British Columbia. A variety of witnesses provided a wide spectrum of opinions and viewpoints. Here is a summary of highlighted challenges and opportunities we heard.
Canada needs to gain access to new energy markets in order to get a competitive price for our products and to diversify away from reliance solely on the US market. Delay can mean being locked out from opportunities to meet Asian energy demand. Massive deployment of new energy infrastructure is needed. We heard, however, repeated concerns about the capacity of the regulatory process to approve major new projects in a timely way. The pace and duplication in the regulatory process must be addressed while we continue to demand the highest environmental standards and while respecting our Constitutional commitment to First Nations peoples.
Innovation across all energy sources and production processes must be dramatically ramped up. Witnesses stressed that technological deployment and innovation is key to both addressing climate change challenges and sustainably supplying growing global energy demand. One witness stressed, that funding everything produces mediocre results, not game-changing technologies.
Industry abhors a regulatory vacuum. We have heard consistent calls from industry for greater certainty regarding emission reduction regulations. After our hearings in the West, we are left with no doubt that the federal government has set itself very ambitious emission reduction targets. Industry, however, is missing the necessary signals it needs about the policies to meet these target that are essential to long term planning and investment decisions. Many witnesses called for market based policy instruments to allow industry the maximum flexibility in their compliance, and at the most efficient cost.
The committee was impressed with the Horn River Basin Producers group approach to aboriginal community engagement. This group brings together stakeholders and producers to address in a collaborative way concerns like aboriginal employment and job training opportunities. This model is being studied by other producers and even being exported to other countries.
We toured Westport Innovations, a Vancouver based company that leads the industry in developing liquid natural gas technologies for medium and heavy vehicle fleets. This company has partnered with Robert Transport, a Quebec transport company deploying LNG engines in their trucking fleet. This is an example of the pan-Canadian collaboration that will drive our energy future. On another site visit the Natural Resource Canada’s CanmetENERGY Research Centre in Devon Alberta, Committee members were shown leading edge technology by passionate researchers who were committed to excellence in oil sands production and processing.
After completing public hearings in all ten provinces we are in the homestretch of our study. We hope our report, due June 2012, based on the testimony we have heard will serve as a resource for all Canadian as they collaborate on a Canadian Energy Strategy.
Senator David Angus serves as Chair and Senator Grant Mitchell serves as Vice-Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. The Committee is holding public hearings in Saskatchewan and Manitoba December 6th -9th, 2011. Find out more about the Committee’s study at www.canadianenergyfuture.ca or follow us on twitter @sceenr_says.
Dec.06, 2011 posted by adminSENATE COMMITTEE STUDYING FUTURE OF CANADIAN ENERGY SYSTEMS HOLDS PUBLIC HEARINGS ACROSS WESTERN CANADA
SENATE COMMITTEE STUDYING FUTURE OF CANADIAN ENERGY SYSTEMS HOLDS PUBLIC HEARINGS ACROSS WESTERN CANADA
(OTTAWA) November 25, 2011 – To gain first-hand perspectives on Western Canada’s energy systems and to better understand the energy sector challenges and opportunities faced in Western Canada, the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources (ENEV) will kick off a two-week Western visit, beginning Monday, in Vancouver.
“Our committee is engaged in and has been promoting a full national discussion on energy literacy and on Canada’s energy future. We heard Central and Eastern Canadian perspectives earlier this year during our hearings in Ontario, Quebec and in Atlantic Canada. Now it is time to hear what Western Canadians have to say. Understanding Canada’s very diverse regional interests are a critical part of our study,” said Senator David Angus, chair of the committee. “We have been working on this for nearly two and half years and we are now in the home stretch. We intend to table our report in the Senate in early June of 2012.”
“As an Albertan senator, I am pleased my Senate colleagues are coming out West to gain a better understanding of the issues and concerns of Western Canadians,” said Senator Grant Mitchell, deputy chair of the committee. “I look forward to hearing from and meeting with a variety of Canadians who are all committed, in their different capacities, to a sustainable energy future for our country.”
The public hearings and fact-finding activities in the West will emphasize the need for more pan-Canadian collaboration on energy, the environment and the economy. Committee activities and discussions will touch upon a wide range of issues aimed at strengthening Canada’s energy systems including energy literacy, improving energy use, sustainable resource development and the development of export markets. Committee members look forward to engaging with journalists and editorial boards across the Western provinces on these vital issues impacting all Canadians.
Senators on the committee are well aware of the complex challenges facing both Canada’s federal and provincial policy makers and stakeholders in our energy sectors as a result of climate change. The reality is that Canada’s energy systems, its environment and the national economy are closely intertwined. Policy makers must balance issues arising from federal/provincial jurisdiction disparities, as well as how environmental regulations can materially affect the economy.
ENEV embarked on this study with the intent of making recommendations as to a strategic policy framework for Canada’s energy future in all regions of the nation.
You can follow the committee on Twitter: @SCEENR_SAYS and use the hashtag #ENEV to get involved in the conversation.
To book media interviews, please contact:
For additional information on the committee, please contact:
Nov.23, 2011 posted by adminSENATE COMMITTEE KICKS OFF WESTERN CANADA ENERGY DISCUSSIONS IN VANCOUVER
SENATE COMMITTEE KICKS OFF WESTERN CANADA ENERGY DISCUSSIONS IN VANCOUVER
OTTAWA (November 23, 2011) – The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and National Resources (ENEV) will conduct fact-finding activities and hold public hearings in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary (November 28 – December 1, 2011) and Winnipeg and Regina (December 6-9, 2011), as part of its long-term study examining the current and future state of Canada’s energy systems. The purpose of the study is to make recommendations as to a strategic policy framework designed to ensure an efficient and sustainable energy future in all regions of Canada, while respecting provincial jurisdiction on energy and environmental matters.
ENEV recognizes a national discussion on Canada’s energy future is needed given the many and varied challenges governments face in achieving energy and economic objectives while also meeting their environmental responsibilities. Travelling to various regions of the country provides senators with first-hand perspectives on regional energy issues, complementing the knowledge gained during Ottawa-based hearings. Earlier this year, the committee held public hearings in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
A more detailed itinerary of public hearings in Western Canada will be available shortly.
For up to the minute updates, follow the committee on Twitter @SCEENR_SAYS and use the hashtag #ENEV.
Jun.21, 2011 posted by adminIs Canada prepared to meet future energy challenges?
Is Canada prepared to meet future energy challenges?
OTTAWA (June 21, 2011) – Given the recent higher prices at the gasoline pumps, Canadians know all too well about the volatility of gasoline prices and our collective reliance on energy. The cost of gasoline is just one of many energy issues which lie at the forefront of public consciousness. Canadians are asking: is Canada ready to meet future energy challenges?
During the past session of Parliament, the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources tackled that question with its ongoing study on Canada’s energy future. Public hearings in Ottawa, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces gave senators a deepened understanding of regional energy diversity as well as priorities and areas where governments can work together to meet the nation’s energy challenges.
With the opening of the 41st Parliament and the re-election of Senator David Angus as chair of the committee and Senator Grant Mitchell as deputy chair of the committee, senators will continue their efforts to promote a national dialogue on how to move forward in developing a pan-Canadian energy strategy. The committee’s second interim report examining elements of a strategy will be issued next month. The committee will be asking Canadians to post comments about the report on the study website: www.canadianenergyfuture.ca or share them via Twitter @SCEENR_SAYS.
In the coming months, the committee will move into the final phase of its study and continue cross-country consultations with provincial authorities, municipal governments, energy sector stakeholders, Aboriginal organizations and other interested groups and individuals.
“Improving how we produce, transport and use energy in Canada will enhance the standard of living for all Canadians and ensure a brighter future for generations to come,” says Senator David Angus, chair of the committee. “So far, we’ve heard from over 50 individuals and organizations from provincial premiers and CEOs of electric utilities to scientists studying emerging energy sources and concerned young Canadians. I am proud of the variety of voices we have heard from and look forward to hearing from an equally diverse group during our central and western Canadian hearings.”
“The goal of our study is to make recommendations to strengthen Canada’s energy future in all regions while respecting provincial and territorial jurisdiction on energy matters,” says Senator Grant Mitchell, deputy chair of the committee. “I believe a sustainable energy future for Canada means taking responsibility to address climate change.”
For more information:
Mar.23, 2011 posted by adminMarch 24, 2011
Witnesses: Sierra Club Canada, Coal Association of Canada (continue reading…)
Mar.09, 2011 posted by adminMarch 10, 2011
Office of the Auditor General of Canada
Scott Vaughan, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development
James McKenzie, Principal
Andrew Ferguson, Principal
Mar.07, 2011 posted by adminMarch 8, 2011
Canadian Propane Association
Jim Facette, President and CEO
Guy Marchand, Member, Board of Directors