The leaders of Canada’s provincial and territorial governments have agreed to a new Canadian Energy Strategy that they say balances the importance of the country’s energy industry with the need to address climate change.
Officials at the Council of the Federation said that the strategy now gives provinces certainty as to how energy will move across the country through pipelines and what needs to be addressed on the environmental side.
The plan was first introduced in 2012 by then Alberta Premier Alison Redford. B.C. Premier Christy Clark wouldn’t agree to that plan, but says this plan meets B.C.’s five conditions for oil pipelines and has her support.
“Canadians want jobs. Canadians want economic growth. The only way to do that is to get to yes on development of all kinds, but the only way we can get to yes and guarantee that those jobs will be created is if we can assure Canadians that we are doing it in an environmentally sound and responsible way. And that is ultimately the benefit for Canadians out of the energy strategy in my view,” Premier Clark said.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall was initially critical of the plan for what he considered its negative view on Canada’s oil and gas industry. “Oil is not a four-letter word,” he said. But he eventually approved the plan, explaining that additions related to Canadian energy self-reliance and the importance of value-added products won him over.