ABmunis gives input on proposed 'green economy' framework

President Cathy Heron appeared before a federal standing committee on October 17 to present Alberta Municipalities’ perspective on a proposed framework that will guide the creation of a “green economy” in Canada’s Prairie provinces.

The Standing Committee on Industry and Technology invited ABmunis to appear before it to discuss Bill C-235, An Act respecting the building of a green economy in the Prairies. Representatives of the Alberta Federation of Labour and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada also appeared before this committee.

President Heron presented some potential amendments that would strengthen this bill. She pointed out that, to date, little or no consultation with municipal governments has occurred on this bill. She also suggested the language used in the bill should more accurately reflect the role that Alberta’s oil and gas industry could play in helping transition Canada towards a low-carbon economy.

Alberta Municipalities’ analysis of Bill C-235 identified several sections that could be improved.

Section 3a of the bill speaks to “addressing the limited or non-existent transportation options in small cities and communities and advancing innovative solutions for public transportation services in those cities and communities.” President Heron corrected this assertion, sharing examples of public transit in Alberta and calling on the federal government to step up its support for these existing systems to further improve them.

Section 3b of the bill refers to “fostering job creation and retraining in regions that rely on traditional energy industries to enable them to build a zero-emissions green economy and mitigate their impact on climate change.” This section fundamentally misrepresents the role that Alberta’s energy industry will play in the move to a net-zero economy.

President Heron emphasized that leveraging the expertise of the oil and gas industry to implement emission-reducing technology would be a better way to proceed. A strong example of this is the potential for locally produced hydrogen produced from Alberta’s abundant natural gas supply to drastically reduce the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions.

A link to the committee proceedings can be found here