P.E.I. committed to create jobs through renewable energy and more efficiency
Charlottetown—Energy workers and environmentalists today called on Premier Ghiz to take a first step to keeping his promise to lower emissions. They said the upcoming provincial and territorial energy ministers’ meeting in Charlottetown is an ideal opportunity to make one specific announcement that honours the promise Premier Ghiz made in Halifax in July.
At that meeting, Premier Ghiz committed to a plan with, “a strategic, forward thinking approach for sustainable energy development.” P.E.I. also specifically agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, in part by embracing renewable energy, greater energy efficiency and a low-carbon economy.
“Whether it’s a program to spur energy efficiency, a commitment to transit, or support for renewable energy, thousands of good jobs can be created right here in P.E.I. In these tough economic times, more jobs is exactly what is needed,” says Dave Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP).
“Premier Ghiz promised that P.E.I. would lower emissions and the good news is that there are countless ways to create good jobs while doing that. All we need is the political will to make it happen—and for the commitment made in Halifax to become real.”
There are examples across Canada that are consistent with the promise made in Halifax. Manitoba has a good energy efficiency program that costs taxpayers nothing; Quebec and British Columbia are expanding public transit; and Ontario and Nova Scotia are creating manufacturing jobs making windmills and solar panels.
“There are so many good ways to cut emissions and create jobs, all we’re asking is that Premier Ghiz pick one and get to work,” said Dr. Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence Canada. “The fact is, the rest of the world is moving away from fossil fuels like oil and towards more renewable energy, and creating thousands of jobs in the process. Canada should be doing more to capture a larger share of this burgeoning market, instead of letting the oil industry decide our economic and environmental priorities.”
“People in P.E.I. have experienced the wild weather this summer,” continued Smith. “And Islanders know we need to create jobs. The upcoming energy ministers’ meeting is an ideal time for the premier to show he has listened.”
The Canadian energy plan, agreed to at the Council of the Federation meeting in Halifax, was an initiative of Alberta Premier Alison Redford. It was agreed to by all provinces except British Columbia and provides an ideal avenue for provincial leadership in reducing emissions and creating jobs. Shortly afterwards, a poll found only two per cent of Canadians did not believe global warming was real.
Blue Green Canada was founded in 2008 as a way to put old fights aside and bring workers and environmentalists together. It hopes the new consensus among provinces and territories will allow for practical ways to create jobs, cut emissions and lower energy bills for families.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Roxanne Dubois, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, 613-230-5200 rdubois@cep.ca
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 232; 647-280-9521 (cell) skohls@environmentaldefence.ca