It's time to plot our national energy strategy9/12/2012
Over the last year, we have heard more discussion about energy than we have in decades. Many views exist but, now more than ever, Canadians understand the giant role that energy plays in Canada, the world and in the lives of every person across the globe. Here at home, dialogue around an energy strategy to help enhance our role in an energy future has been steadily increasing.
Provincial and federal government leaders have weighed in on the subject. Most have supported the idea of an energy strategy and have pledged to move forward with the creation of a holistic national plan for energy.
This week, another opportunity has presented itself to advance a Canadian energy strategy at the Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference in Charlottetown.
I emphasize that this is an opportunity to advance the strategy not just discuss it. The discussion is, for the most part, complete. Canadians are increasingly more aware that an energy strategy will benefit them. Our leaders understand a comprehensive strategy is necessary for Canada to maximize the value of our resources and develop them in an efficient way. Our academics know that a strategy will strengthen energy research and knowledge and create a new energy export for Canada: knowledge.
The discussion around energy strategy has been important and valuable. But today is time for disciplined planning on how we move forward and the will to act upon these plans. This will not be fully decided through one conference or one week or even one year. Building an energy strategy will become a journey all its own and will not be the easiest or shortest endeavour we have undertaken. But starting now will be essential to ensure our position on the world energy stage. Many countries are prepared to compete with us as they realize that energy is rapidly becoming the new global currency.
We are not starting from scratch. The Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC) has charted a path toward a sensible energy strategy through its 39 recommendations released in August, 2012. The federal government has already acted upon some of these recommendations by making true and meaningful changes to the energy regulatory framework to develop efficiencies. The momentum is on our side and we must do our part in maintaining it.
An energy strategy requires national effort-from all levels of government along with complete engagement of the energy sector, the industrial sec-tor and individual Canadians. All of us, from CEO to high school student, have a role to play in establishing Canada as a future energy leader.
Conversation this week will obviously be one that touches on many subjects; many of them controversial and difficult. EPIC encourages Ministers to think about these issues in a national context and to find solutions that move Canada forward as a nation. The benefits of energy in Canada extend far beyond the well head or wind turbine and touch the lives of all Canadians, providing us with a way of life that we cherish and honour.
So let the energy action begin. Canada is ready to lead the way to the world's energy future.
Doug Black is the founding president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada(EPIC). EPIC has presented its strategic recommendations to provincial an federal governments for consideration, addressing the crucial issues facing energy development today. EPIC's report is available at www.canadasenergy.com
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