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Canadian News Update 25th March 2019

Posted by: Chris Rocheleau
Industry News

Billions earmarked for energy industry

Plans are being made to significantly increase spending on energy transition as part of Canada’s 2019 federal budget. 

Among the planned spending is $1.1bn has been earmarked to improve the energy efficiency across the country, as well as $2.2bn to support community energy systems and the planning of clean energy projects. 

The plans are part of the government’s goals to improve efficiency standards through wider adoption of distributed energy assets and to make a move towards clean energy projects, smoothing Canada’s transition away from coal-fired power.

The plans are expected to lower energy costs for Canadian households “by partnering with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to increase energy efficiency in residential, commercial and multi-use buildings, and by introducing a new incentive for buying electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”

John Gorman, president and CEO of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), said: “Our sector applauds the Government of Canada’s continued investments in energy system transition – in particular in the deployment of clean, renewable resources like solar power.” 

The plans also detail a spend of $300m for purchase incentives for electric vehicles, further highlighting Canada’s commitment to clean, renewable energy.

The funds are expected to trigger a wealth of energy projects across the country which will consequently result in a high demand for specialist industry professionals.

“The benefits of these investments will span far beyond the businesses and homeowners eager to embrace solar energy,” Gorman said. “They will extend throughout our entire economy and will create skilled trades jobs for generations.” Full story.

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$2.2 billion for infrastructure projects

As part of the federal budget, $2.2bn has been earmarked to improve roads, bridges, highways and water systems nationwide. 

The budgets are set to be delivered directly to cities which will double the money they receive through the federal gas-tax fund, which sends money directly to municipalities each year.

The government has already approved over 33,000 projects worth $19.9bn in federal financing under new and existing infrastructure programs.

The spend is in response to recent difficulty in getting new projects off the ground and it’s hoped that this sudden injection of funds will do the job. 

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said: “We haven’t been able to do exactly what we expected and that was the reason for the municipal infrastructure top-up. What you shouldn’t do is take this as a conclusion on how we will go forward, but what it is, is an important way for us to move forward now in getting some projects that are stalled going.”

Under the federal Liberal government’s infrastructure program, federal spending will top $186bn over the next decade. Full story.

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