Work to date under CES includes collaboration on innovative solutions to reduce diesel use in remote communities, and joint work to support greater adoption of innovative technologies such as zero emission vehicles and renewable energy generation and storage. Through CES provinces and territories have also made significant progress in harmonization of energy efficiency standards and influencing of federal product efficiency standards and building codes. The CES has also advanced opportunities to enhance regional electricity interties and other energy transmission and transportation infrastructure. These achievements are in addition to ongoing work regionally and within individual provinces and territories supporting the goals and vision of CES.
Premiers discussed the need for more coordinated planning, funding and innovation in order to adapt communities, regions, industry and governments to long term changes in weather, temperature and environmental conditions. Premiers are encouraged by adaptation commitments made by the federal government in Budget 2017. However, given the urgency of ensuring climate change impacts are considered, particularly in infrastructure investments, they call on the federal government to clarify how this funding will directly support provincial and territorial adaptation plans and actions.
Premiers also called for improvements to Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements, including reinstatement of funding thresholds that existed before 2015, and reduced red tape to allow for faster reimbursement of upfront provincial and territorial disaster-related costs. Premiers further emphasize the need for strategic federal investment in resilient infrastructure, including support for “building back better” to mitigate future disasters.
Premiers call on the federal government to be a stronger partner in supporting pre-emptive strategic infrastructure. The federal government should accelerate previous commitments to adaptation and accommodation of northern communities that are especially vulnerable.
Canada can lead on new innovative technologies which can support adaptation measures such as reducing the reliance of northern communities on diesel.
Premiers welcome the federal government’s commitment to new infrastructure funding. This funding will support Canada’s economic growth. Premiers noted the significant level of provincial and territorial planned investment in infrastructure. Federal funding should be in addition to total PT investments in infrastructure over the lifespan of the agreements.
Based on their assessment of the results of the Phase I negotiations, Premiers emphasized that under Phase II:
- Federal funding including through the Canadian Infrastructure Bank must allow provinces and territories to fund planned priorities and commitments;
- Federal investments should be flexible enough to support a range of projects, from small to large;
- Federal funding should not result in additional fiscal pressure on provinces and territories, and municipalities, including cost-matching;
- Federal funding should be flexible and contribute towards advancing critical planning,environmental assessment, and design phases of infrastructure projects;
- Funds should be flowed directly to provinces and territories, and respect their existing relationships with municipalities.
- Agreement administration and reporting requirements should be streamlined, reasonable and appropriately resourced. Those requirements should recognize provinces and territories’ existing reporting mechanisms.
- Agreements should be global (not project by project) and provide sufficient flexibility to re- profile funding between programs to align with investment priorities and respond to areas of greatest infrastructure need.
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