This press release is also available in French.
WHITEHORSE -- Canada's energy ministers concluded their annual meeting yesterday by confirming their ongoing commitment to improving collaboration between jurisdictions to better address energy issues of concern to Canadians.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, and the Honourable Archie Lang, Yukon Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources.
Given the projected growth in Canada's energy production to meet demand for both domestic use and export over the next two decades, the ministers emphasized that energy supply, infrastructure, efficiency and conservation options must be developed in a timely and responsible manner. The ministers committed to ensuring that Canadians have a secure, reliable and competitively priced supply of energy that maximizes economic benefits and minimizes environmental impacts.
"Canada is an emerging energy superpower. Our energy sector is prosperous and innovative, and we are exploring new methods and technologies to produce cleaner energy," said Minister Lunn. "The agreements reached today are critical to Canada's approach to energy and to addressing the environmental challenges resulting from increasing energy demand in Canada."
"The approach being taken by the Council of Energy Ministers to work collaboratively with industry will help Canada secure investment in, and support for, new, clean and efficient energy supplies," said Minister Lang. "Ministers today recognize that developing more sustainable energy supplies will require additional infrastructure like pipelines and electricity transmission lines."
Ministers reviewed a new model of technology collaboration that would bring together industry, academia and governments in public/private partnerships to strengthen the development and demonstration of energy technologies. The model focuses on priority technologies needed to deliver a secure, prosperous and clean energy future and will link with other domestic and international programs. Ministers asked their officials to continue to develop the model so that it can be finalized in early 2007.
Ministers also identified the need for further work in the area of regulatory efficiency. They tasked their officials to identify and develop pilot projects demonstrating the effectiveness of single-window approaches for regulatory processes. Ministers were also strongly supportive of setting timelines for the environmental assessment and permitting of energy projects.
As a follow-up to a federal, provincial and territorial meeting held in Regina in May 2006, the ministers discussed recommendations for a bio-fuels strategy in preparation for a dedicated intergovernmental meeting planned for November 2006.
Given consumer concerns with rising energy prices, efficiency, conservation, supply and reliability, the ministers also discussed the growing importance of ensuring that Canadians have access to reliable information about energy and energy issues. Ministers agreed to work together on energy awareness and public outreach to help Canadians better understand the challenges of energy supply and demand, and make informed decisions about their energy choices and consumption patterns.
The ministers agreed to reconvene in early 2007 to confirm progress on identified priorities and prepare for the next Council of Energy Ministers' Meeting to be held in September 2007 in Whistler, British Columbia.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Energy ministers from the Government of Canada, the provinces and the territories have confirmed their commitment to improving collaboration to address energy challenges in Canada. Meeting in Whitehorse yesterday, they agreed to focus their efforts on energy supply, infrastructure, efficiency and conservation options.
For more information, media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Government of Yukon
Director of Communications
Energy, Mines and Resources