13
May
NDP Energy

NDP Leader Outlines Vision for Energy and the Environment

Energized by the NDP landslide victory in Alberta, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair outlined his party’s vision for energy and the environment in a May 4 address to students at the University of Ottawa. The party continues to pledge strong support to the renewable energy sector, which the NDP says will create tens of thousands of middle-class jobs. In addition, the party is backing domestic processing and upgrading of Canadian non- renewable natural resources.

Like the Liberals, Mulcair blames the Conservatives for mismanagement of the review process for major projects and promises the NDP can restore public trust. On climate change, the NDP distinguishes itself from both the Liberals and the Conservatives by supporting a national cap-and-trade system, not unlike the one currently operating in Québec, and soon to be rolled out in Ontario.

The speech did not include any new policies but summed up the party’s positions on key natural resources issues, positions that will likely form the basis of an NDP election platform. With the NDP now in control of Canada’s largest energy producing province, some of these policy ideas will be tested on the ground.

Highlights from the speech include:

  • Investment in the clean energy sector as a “made-in-Canada” solution to create jobs. Specifically, producing more renewable energy (wind, solar, geo-thermal, hydro-electric) and eliminating “fossil fuel subsidies.”
  • Undoing Conservative government changes to the NEB review process by: eliminating Cabinet ability to overrule the NEB on project approval; removing restrictions to participate in hearings; taking into account provincial positions and consultations with First Nations; and, introducing climate change considerations to project reviews.
  • Strengthening the polluter-pay principal and additional funding for spill response.  Mulcair stopped short of saying he would remove caps on liability but said stricter regulations will be imposed on oil transported by rail and tankers. He raised the fuel spill off of Vancouver’s English Bay to illustrate what he sees as slow and inadequate response mechanisms.
  • Encouraging the processing of resources in Canada, particularly bitumen, to create value-added jobs.
  • Roll out national carbon pricing through a pan-Canadian cap-and-trade mechanism.

My vision for sustainable prosperity seizes new opportunities for clean energy, effectively cuts carbon pollution, reduces risks to our communities and coast lines and establishes an assessment and review process that Canadians can put their trust in. once and for all.

Thomas Mulcair- Leader of the NDP