Premiers expressed support for the wide range of initiatives already underway in provinces and territories and agreed that:
- Integrated Community Energy Systems (ICES) is an innovative approach that coordinates the planning of energy delivery across multiple sectors. Premiers look forward to seeing the results of ICES-related pilot projects in Canada and asked Energy Ministers to look at ways to incorporate green building policies, low-temperature geothermal, energy efficient housing measures under the ICES model.
- It is important that Canada’s wetlands and boreal forest be protected. The boreal forest is one of the world’s largest remaining intact forests, totaling 1.4 billion acres. Premiers called on businesses and communities to partner with us towards the UN goal of planting one tree for every person on the planet.
- Having just returned from the “Polar Bear Capital of the World” (Churchill, Manitoba), Premiers look forward to Ministers concluding their work with the federal government towards a National Polar Bear Conservation Strategy.
It is essential that major infrastructure projects in our provinces and territories be reviewed through a comprehensive and scientifically sound environmental assessment process. However, billions of dollars in projects and thousands of jobs can be tied up by duplicative environmental assessment processes – without improving environmental protection.
Premiers welcomed the progress the federal government has made to enhance existing processes but agreed more work needs to be done. Premiers urge the federal government to agree to a one project–one assessment approach to reduce wasteful duplication and delays while ensuring the highest standards of environmental protection. An effective process lowers risks for all critical economic development projects.
The single environmental assessments in the Yukon and Nunavut and in the offshore areas of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia are examples of assessment processes that should be maintained.
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For more information:
Government of Manitoba