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Energy experts urge eastern provinces to develop strategies focused on shared goals

Press Release

TORONTO, December 4, 2014 – Several university researchers have jointly published a white paper on energy policy in eastern Canada, even as Alberta’s Premier Jim Prentice met with his counterparts Ontario’s Kathleen Wynn and Quebec’s Philippe Couillard this week to promote the Energy East project.

The white paper, identifying key goals and priorities for action on energy from the perspective of eastern Canada, has been created by scholars from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Quebec and Ontario, who came together for a workshop at the University of Montreal in November.

According to these experts, cooperation in the energy sector could facilitate the adoption of efficient climate mitigation strategies . The white paper contains substantive proposals building on the energy-trade agreement announced by the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec in late November.

Citing the successful bilateral and multilateral initiatives undertaken in North America and Europe to develop common energy strategies, the researchers say the eastern provinces will also benefit from working together on a number of shared goals:

Opportunities for short term cooperation

  • Building on the Ontario/Quebec November agreement, establish a strategic plan regarding the strengthening of interconnections and long-term electricity supply in Eastern Canada.
  • Building on the Ontario/Quebec November Agreement, expand common policies and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Develop a common position/approach for evaluating and managing the risks, costs and benefits associated with the interprovincial transportation of energy, including fossil fuels.

Priorities for a long-term transformation

  • Promote energy efficiency by implementing more stringent regulatory frameworks (e.g., building codes; appliance and equipment efficiency standards; fuel standards) and effective price signals.
  • Use existing hydroelectric storage capacity to support large-scale renewable energy development and integration across Eastern Canada.
  • Strengthen the focus on sustainable transportation, including the role of the electrification of transportation, intermodal shift for commercial transportation and improved commercial and passenger fuel standards.
  • Develop and implement a common regulatory framework for evaluating the impacts and benefits of non-conventional hydrocarbon exploration and development.

“These actions would deliver significant short- and long-term economic, social and environmental gains for all participating provinces. They would facilitate exchanges between the different markets, encourage economic efficiency and better leverage the important renewable and low-impact energy resources found in eastern Canada,” notes Mark Winfield, York professor of Environmental Studies and co-chair of the university’s Sustainable Energy Initiative, who is one the co-authors of the white paper.

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York U’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York U is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York U’s 11 faculties and 25 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 280 leading universities worldwide. York U’s community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 275,000 alumni.

Media Contact:
Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 22094, [email protected]

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