Robust energy transportation and transmission is critical to supporting Canada’s competitiveness, and a strong, sustainable and environmentally responsible economy. Canada’s oil and gas industries currently ship 4.59 million barrels per day of oil and 16.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day to markets in Canada and abroad via Canada’s existing network of pipelines, roads, rail and ports. Recent investments by industry mean that the industry’s productive capacity now exceeds the capacity of the transportation network. Premiers expressed their ongoing commitment to ensuring a predictable regulatory environment that enables market driven investments in safe, efficient, environmentally responsible energy infrastructure. Premiers also recognized the importance of partnering with Indigenous communities as projects are developed and implemented. Likewise, energy transmission projects that can help reduce carbon emissions in North America, as well as provide reliable and flexible electricity supply, should be fostered.
Premiers discussed serious challenges in getting their products to domestic and international markets. There is a need to increase certainty for investors and help get major infrastructure and transmission projects done in a timely fashion while minimizing environmental impacts, lowering the costs of environmental assessments, and maintaining high standards of Indigenous consultation and science-based assessments. These options should include further discussions on pan-Canadian economic corridors, both east-west and north-south, to increase productivity by distributing energy, communications, and economic potential currently locked in a single province or territory to other jurisdictions.
Economic corridors could expand markets for Canadian energy, including hydroelectricity and natural gas. This will also create vital transportation and economic links between Canada’s North and the rest of Canada.
Quebec restated there is no social acceptability with respect to the passage of new oil pipelines on its territory, but remains open to promote, in an environmentally responsible manner, the transmission of hydroelectricity and the transport of natural gas toward markets.
Federal Infrastructure Funding
Provinces and territories determine their unique infrastructure needs. In order to get needed local and regional infrastructure projects approved and built in a timely fashion, Premiers are seeking federal cooperation through the provision of:
- flexibility to direct federal funding to provincial and territorial priority projects and needs, which vary significantly across the country;
- fewer administrative and reporting requirements in order not to hold up projects and create undue burden and costs;
- transparent and consistent project eligibility requirements; and
- funding consistent with established base plus per capita approaches.
Premiers agreed that diverging policy views and disagreements between orders of government should not preclude provinces and territories from accessing federal infrastructure funding.
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