Interventions in Committee
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Mary-Luisa Kapelus
View Mary-Luisa Kapelus Profile
Mary-Luisa Kapelus
2019-02-19 9:09
Thank you.
My name is Mary Kapelus and I'm the acting assistant deputy minister of the indigenous affairs and reconciliation sector at Natural Resources Canada.
I'll begin by acknowledging that we are gathered today on the traditional unceded territory of Algonquin people. I'd also like to thank you for the opportunity to address this committee as you undertake your community capacity-building and retention of talent study.
This important work is timely at Natural Resources Canada, as we deliver on the government's commitment to advance reconciliation and renew Canada's relationship with indigenous peoples.
Before going further, I would like to introduce my colleague, John Kozij, director general of the trade, economics and industry branch in the Canadian Forest Service; and Jean Gagnon, surveyor general in the lands and mineral sector.
As my CIRNAC and ISC colleagues have referenced, we too believe it is essential to support capacity-building in indigenous communities.
As you may be aware, Natural Resources Canada is responsible for forestry, mining, energy and land-related sciences and geospatial information. This involves collaboration with provincial and territorial partners, universities, industry, and indigenous peoples. At Natural Resources Canada, it is paramount that this work recognize the importance of partnerships and mutual capacity building with indigenous communities.
lt's with this vision in mind that NRCan recently created the sector for which I am responsible, indigenous affairs and reconciliation. This new sector provides a coordinated approach in the department's engagement and consultation efforts with indigenous peoples. This includes enhancing our relationships with national indigenous organizations, supporting the various sectors at NRCan in their activities with indigenous people, and advancing the federal whole-of-government approach to reconciliation.
I'll now go over five initiatives where NRCan directly supports community capacity-building.
First, the Canadian Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation supports capacity-building through the lnuvik satellite station facility. It's making lnuvik and Canada a global data destination. This $20 million satellite reception facility is a global hub for geospatial services and data science in the Arctic built on partnerships with the Gwich'in, the lnuvialiut, the town of lnuvik, the Government of the Northwest Territories, Canadian and international space agencies, and the private sector.
This project also supports skill and capacity development of indigenous students who are recruited to work on projects related to collecting, managing and applying geospatial data, while providing an understanding of satellite operations.
Natural Resources Canada has also sponsored the development of user needs assessments for geospatial data in indigenous communities to increase data relevance for issues such as climate change, disaster management and ocean management.
The second area of NRCan's capacity-building is within the forest sector, which is an important generator of jobs, particularly in rural and remote parts of the country. The indigenous forestry initiative is the latest iteration of NRCan's 30 year legacy of capacity support for indigenous forestry.
Natural Resources Canada is working with communities to build capacity to manage forest resources and support the development of indigenous-owned and operated businesses.
For example, since 2016, NRCan has supported forestry management capacity-building with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq, who directly manage forest crown lands in Nova Scotia by integrating indigenous knowledge and western science, leading to broader support for various forestry activities.
NRCan investments have also aided Chapleau Cree First Nation to develop the northeast superior regional chiefs conservation economy strategy, a cornerstone for forest sector economic development. This work has helped to establish the Wahkohtowin, an indigenous-led development corporation that includes a birch syrup business and a forest harvesting operation, bringing jobs and revenue to the local community.
The Indigenous Forestry Initiative fosters partnerships with indigenous communities. lt isn't just program results—it is about how we build lasting relationships. Our boots-on-the-ground presence through regional forestry offices means that we are able to co-develop projects in communities.
The third area I would like to touch on is our innovative and joint efforts to build a cleaner energy future. Through the clean energy for rural and remote communities program, NRCan was provided with $220 million over six years to support clean energy projects. We're collaborating with indigenous communities and organizations as they advance renewable energy and capacity-building projects to reduce their reliance on diesel.
With federal support, the Teslin Tlingit Council in the Yukon has built a forest-based bioenergy plant to heat their community. Teslin maximized the community benefits in each stage of the project. They oversaw the planning, construction and ultimately the operation and ongoing maintenance of their bioenergy systems.
Our off-diesel program has also allocated $10 million in funding toward capacity-building projects related to clean energy. Through this first round of funding we're advancing 11 projects across Canada that range from community energy planning and energy literacy to youth training programs.
These projects are at the very heart of ensuring indigenous communities have greater decision-making regarding their energy future. Every project is community driven and aims to achieve broader socio-economic impacts.
For example, NRCan is supporting a project that will recruit, train and offer professional development to new full-time indigenous energy managers across multiple remote communities in western Canada.
We've also launched the $20 million “Generating New Opportunities”, or indigenous off-diesel, initiative in Whitehorse last week. The goal of the initiative is to help transition up to 15 remote indigenous communities off diesel as their primary energy source.
Over the past 18 months, Natural Resources Canada engaged across the country to ensure diverse needs and perspectives were incorporated into the design of the initiative. This engagement resulted in a flexible design where participants can access the training and support needed to develop a clean energy project that meets the needs of their community.
Investment in clean energy solutions to reduce reliance on diesel in remote indigenous communities is one small but vitally important link in supporting reconciliation and self-determination.
The fourth area is the first nations land management program. Budget 2018 invested $8.4 million over five years to pilot a land surveying capacity development program for first nations communities to address and remove barriers to effective land management.
Under this program, NRCan will provide 24 first nations communities with 12 weeks of in-community and customized hands-on training in the fundamentals of surveying.
The program aims to increase knowledge of the role and benefits of land surveys to support land governance and decision-making.
The retention of acquired skills in the community is important and will be maintained by training in the community, rather than requiring participants to leave the community, and by the development of in-house tools and procedures.
Finally, in 2014, NRCan embarked on early and ongoing engagement with indigenous peoples through the west coast energy infrastructure initiative. This initiative provides capacity for engagement between federal officials and indigenous communities on energy infrastructure projects. Working with partner departments, 235 projects were approved, valued at nearly $61 million. For example, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation undertook numerous initiatives focused on restoring ecosystem health to Burrard Inlet, including establishing an environmental action plan, convening a co-managed round table to update the water quality objectives for the inlet, and installing a network of scientific instruments to monitor water quality.
Through this work, the community harvested clams out of the inlet for the first time in 44 years.
In response to this situation, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council developed the First Nations Referrals Officer Certification Training Program, a technical training initiative for first nations communities in B.C. The purpose of this initiative is to better understand and manage consultation-related referrals and improve natural resource management decision-making in their territories.
View Mike Bossio Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Mary-Luisa, I love the idea of this program that you have set up on site for land surveyors. Are there any other areas that you have identified where a similar type of approach can be taken with regard to a different skill set locally, directly? As we know, in the natural resources sector, there's a huge opportunity in many indigenous communities, but a lot of them, once again, don't want to travel outside of their communities to get the training.
John Kozij
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John Kozij
2019-02-19 10:25
Thank you for the question.
Maybe I could focus on what we're doing in the off-diesel space. Under our clean energy for rural and remote communities, there's a $220-million program over five years that has been created to really address our Paris climate change targets. Embedded in that program is a capacity stream. We understood that, if we're going to embark upon a set of initiatives to reduce diesel use in communities, it's going to take some time. We'd be establishing relationships with communities, and we needed a capacity stream that looked at that front-end piece of moving communities into clean, renewable projects.
In the area of biomass, which I'm more familiar with, we've often talked about how there could be a 10- or 12-step program to move to biomass for heat or power generation. That's because you're talking about the front end, understanding how to do forestry management; training people in forestry operations; looking at the types of systems you can use and whether or not you're just going to use them for heat or power, combined heat and power; and then looking at host capital installation, the capacity of the people to be able to run those facilities over time. In terms of that whole gamut of activities, from the front end to the back end, we have to have capacity right through.
In addition, we've just announced the challenge-based program, where we're working with the Indigenous Clean Energy Network to build on their 20/20 catalysts program to build a series of clean energy community champions in a number of different first nations, primarily, but also in Métis communities across Canada, so that they can go back to their communities, develop clean energy plans and come back to us with funding proposals to be able to proceed forward.
View Mike Bossio Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay, good.
On the move away from diesel, once again, that capacity-building you're trying to do at the same time, how far have you progressed on that? Have you been able to move any communities off of diesel yet? Are any communities managing that process 100% indigenous-led right now?
John Kozij
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John Kozij
2019-02-19 10:30
We just launched the program. We rolled out some of our first projects in Gitxsan in the fall. In that circumstance, it was putting a boiler system on an arena, and now they have more ambitious plans.
View Mike Bossio Profile
Lib. (ON)
Also, is this the first time this has been, once again, attempted in this way, local training and capacity-building like this?
John Kozij
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John Kozij
2019-02-19 10:30
We partnered with ISC prior to launching the CERRC program on the biomass side. We had a biomass north program, and then we also developed a biomass program, what we call south of 60°. It has a range of activities. We've done fuel stove switching to more efficient stoves, which has had remarkable outcomes in terms of reducing biomass consumption, as well as reducing particulates in the air, which is important. We built this program off of a record that we had both in biomass north and biomass south that intimately links capacity-building with our development program.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
Sunday, I was in Yellowknife. Forty semis were loading diesel to go to the mines for the diamonds. It's all diesel. With a winter road, they have two to three months to get the product into them so they can continue throughout the year. You talk about diesel in the north. How far are we from not needing diesel? They have a hydro system there that costs $1.2 billion to build and yet you talk $220 million, which is really not a lot of money. I spent three days in Yellowknife, and they are absolutely 100% dependent on diesel.
John Kozij
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John Kozij
2019-02-19 10:32
Yellowknife is a very interesting community. If you ever have an opportunity to do a tour in Yellowknife, you'll find a number of biomass boilers attached to various public buildings, not unlike what you'd see in communities in P.E.I. There are opportunities to have renewable solutions in even those communities that we think can't do that fuel switching.
In our biomass program, our emphasis has been on helping indigenous communities get off diesel. There are obviously a number of opportunities to move off diesel in those commercial circumstances, but our emphasis has been moving those indigenous communities off diesel because of the tremendous co-benefits that go with that, the reduction in hydrocarbons in their communities.
Prior to coming to NRCan four years ago, I worked in the lands and economic development services program. I was responsible for the federal contaminated sites program on reserve. The number one federal contaminated site on reserve, as you probably know, is failing fuel tank farms. It's not the dumps. The more we can get communities off diesel, the greater the co-benefits in—
Bruno Pereira
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Bruno Pereira
2018-10-29 16:43
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Qulliq Energy Corporation is the territorial power corporation for Nunavut.
I would like to begin by thanking you and the members of the standing committee for inviting me as the representative from Qulliq Energy Corporation to appear before you today. Opportunities such as this provide us with a chance to identify some areas of improvement and provide recommendations to the federal government. I will keep my comments short. I'm going to focus primarily on Qulliq Energy Corporation, QEC.
QEC is relatively small in size, with about 200 employees, 15,000 customers, and an annual operating revenue of about $134 million. However, our reach is quite vast. The territory, Nunavut, is two million square kilometres, making up approximately 20% of Canada's land mass. This sizable area is serviced by our 25 power plants, one in each of Nunavut's communities. Every power plant is a stand-alone, so there is no grid connection between the communities or to the south.
The territory's lack of basic infrastructure—roads, ports, housing—and telecom infrastructure has a profound impact on the energy sector. Most importantly, each of the power plants generates electricity through the burning of diesel, something that has both financial and environmental impacts.
Funding infrastructure projects remains the corporation's biggest challenge as the territory's sole provider of electricity. QEC has 11 of the 25 remaining power plants that have exceeded their expected service life. This existing burden on capital resources means there is a significant restriction on the projects we're able to pursue or fund. I'm thinking about alternative energy projects as one aspect.
These restrictions hamper the corporation's ability to reduce the territory's reliance on diesel and to reduce carbon emissions. Expanding our use of renewable and alternative energy resources is, right now, largely dependent on federal funding. QEC has benefited from federal funding programs, but these programs are not always realizable in the north, specifically by Nunavut and QEC. However, QEC continues to apply to these various programs.
Financial support for the north and its residents must be accessible and relevant to really improve the lives of Nunavummiut. There should be discussions on the development of funding opportunities and how those apply specifically to the region.
I'm going a bit off-script here, but in Nunavut a significant cost of living is the energy cost—the cost of electricity, the cost of heating and the cost of transportation. Nunavut is the only jurisdiction in Canada that is 100% diesel or fossil fuel-based. All of our electricity is generated by diesel. All of our heat comes from fossil fuels. Of course, our transportation is, likewise, fossil fuel-based.
To really impact the energy picture in Nunavut, meaning the affordability, you would need to hit both electricity and heat. Collectively, for those two, if we could impact the price that our customers pay and that Nunavummiut have to bear, it would have a meaningful impact on their financial and economic prospects.
It's critical that the standing committee and the federal government as a whole understand the infrastructure challenges faced by QEC, the Government of Nunavut and all Nunavummiut. Without your support, our corporation will be challenged to rebuild critical infrastructure and to expand our use of renewable and alternative energy. I said “expand”, but right now, we have none, although we're hoping to change that in the near future.
A number of things that conspire against us—again off-script—are geography, logistics and capacity. In terms of geography, our 25 communities are spread out over two million square kilometres with no interconnecting infrastructure. We can't do anything about that.
On logistics, there are the costs and the sealift season. As many of you are probably aware, if you want to take anything of significance in terms of construction material up to Nunavut, you do it during the sealift season. That's basically the only time you can do it unless you're willing to fly it up at some other time, assuming the material is small enough.
Of course, even in terms of our neighbouring territories such as Yukon, with a lot of their population based in Whitehorse and to a lesser extent in Yellowknife, and with connecting infrastructure to a certain extent, we have none of that.
Also, of course, it's about capacity. We have small communities, so it's about the financing. It's about the human capacity and the partnering with organizations that have the skill sets, etc.
Those are all challenges that are tied to the infrastructure picture.
Madam Chair, this concludes my opening remarks. I'd be pleased to answer any questions. Thank you.
Jay Grewal
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Jay Grewal
2018-10-29 16:50
Good afternoon. My name is Jay Grewal. I'm the president and CEO of Northwest Territories Power Corporation, NTPC. Joining me today in Yellowknife is Paul Guy, chair of NTPC's board of directors and deputy minister of the Northwest Territories Department of Infrastructure.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today, not only about the challenge that we have here in the north, in terms of power generation and distribution, but also about the opportunities that will help stabilize the cost of energy and foster a clean growth economy, for the benefit of northerners and all Canadians.
NTPC is a territorial crown corporation with the Government of the Northwest Territories being our sole shareholder. Our mission is to generate, transmit and distribute clean, reliable and affordable energy to residents, communities and businesses in the Northwest Territories. We do this to enrich the lives of northerners by providing power that encourages living, working and investing in the territory.
The reality is that this is becoming increasingly challenging. We serve a population of approximately 44,000 people in the third largest region in Canada, with an area of 1.3 million square kilometres. Fifty per cent of the customers we serve are indigenous. They are living in remote communities, the majority of which are only accessible by air, barge or winter road. These small communities have limited employment opportunity, yet unfortunately, the reality is that they have among the highest power rates in the country.
Though we are doing our best at NTPC to operate as cost-effectively as possible, electricity rates in the NWT are approximately five times the Canadian national average. We are at the point where, for some of our customers, they have to choose between buying groceries to feed their family or paying their utility bill to ensure they continue to have power. This is not a choice any Canadian should have to make.
The reality is that what many Canadians take for granted, we northerners live without. Only eight of the 33 Northwest Territories communities have access to hydroelectricity. Some of these facilities were built almost 80 years ago, thanks to federal investments. Unfortunately, there have not been significant investments in new hydro capacity for many decades. Thus, the remaining 25 communities in our territory are powered primarily by stand-alone diesel generation, at great financial and environmental expense.
Not only does this impact our residents, in terms of a high cost of living and their quality of life, but it also creates economic challenges and challenges for economic growth.
The Northwest Territories is rich in resources, which will remain largely untapped, unless we are able to provide cost-effective and green energy solutions. The lack of roads leaves mineral resources, like cobalt, gold, lithium, bismuth and rare earth elements necessary to fuel the global green economy, mostly inaccessible.
Power is typically the largest component of any mine's operating cost. In the Northwest Territories, the lack of energy infrastructure, particularly new hydro capacity and transmission lines, means remote mines have to rely on fossil fuels. They are trucked or flown thousands of miles to meet the power needs.
The likelihood of these potential mine projects coming into operation is low, as this is costly, so project economics are not viable. If this does not change, these valuable, globally desirable minerals will most likely never be extracted.
Our current reality is that we have a small customer base. Our two hydro systems are not connected to each other, nor are they connected to the North American grid. We have changing weather patterns, which result in low water levels one out of every 10 years. All of this leads to a greater reliance on costly diesel for backup generation and that results in higher power costs.
Investment in energy infrastructure is necessary to address the fundamental challenges we are facing in the Northwest Territories, as it will support the development of a stronger growing economy, lower the cost of living for all residents, create opportunities for indigenous partnerships and support Canada's international commitments on climate change through reduction of greenhouse gases.
To help address our challenges, NTPC has developed a 20-year strategic plan that is based on three pillars: reliability, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability. These pillars are well aligned with our shareholders' 2030 energy strategy, which we were a key participant in developing.
A key focus of the Northwest Territories' 2030 energy strategy is a reduction in GHG emissions from electricity generation. The Northwest Territories' plan will benefit our customers, since a foundational component is long-term investments in energy infrastructure that will address the cost of energy without negatively impacting reliability. With strong federal funding support through the investing in Canada infrastructure program, ICIP, important electricity projects such as the Inuvik wind project, the first megawatt-scale wind project built north of the Arctic Circle in Canada, will be able to proceed.
The project will be built in partnership with the regional Gwich'in and Nihtat first nations.
With the support of ICIP and other federal and territorial funding programs, NTPC plans to integrate solar and wind into the communities that currently rely primarily on diesel. We are also looking to displace diesel and reduce GHG emissions by constructing liquefied natural gas plants.
While these investments are beneficial and will support the Northwest Territories in its carbon footprint reduction commitments, it is not enough nor will it meaningfully contribute to reducing the gap between residential electricity rates here and the Canadian national average.
In order to achieve these goals, significant change is necessary. A transformational project would ensure that the NWT can do its part to meet commitments under the pan-Canadian framework, green the mining sector, create mutually beneficial indigenous partnerships and support long-term economic development for residents of the north.
The Taltson hydroelectric expansion is the project that can and must proceed, as it will transform the reality Northwest Territories residents face. We currently have two separate hydroelectric systems on either side of Great Slave Lake. The plan to expand Taltson's capacity and connect the north and south systems will result in cleaner and more reliable energy for over 70% of our residents and businesses. Significantly, it will also lay the foundation for greening current and future mining developments. The Taltson River currently has 18 megawatts of installed hydro power, but has 200 megawatts of potential capacity that could be harnessed through a phased approach. All phases of expansion would rely on run-of-the-river technology, with no need for flooding.
Phase 1 of the Taltson hydroelectric expansion would result in 60 additional megawatts of clean electricity being available to customers and would include the installation of a transmission line to connect the north and south systems. Over the longer term, the expansion would also make it possible to install a transmission line in the proposed Slave geological province access corridor. The combined benefit of increased road access, for more efficient resupply and development of mines in a resource-rich region, and reduced energy costs, through the Taltson project, would completely transform the investment environment for industry and the economic future of the territory.
Sergio Marchi
View Sergio Marchi Profile
Hon. Sergio Marchi
2018-10-29 17:00
Thanks to you, Madam Chair, and the members of your committee for inviting CEA to testify before your very timely mandate. I am Sergio Marchi, president and CEO. I am accompanied by Doug Tenney, who was vice-president of northern development with ATCO.
Together with the remarks that you heard from Bruno and Jay, I think the committee will get a good perspective on the northern infrastructure needs as it relates to power.
Unfortunately, Madam Chair, our submission did not get back from the translators in time. You have a copy of my remarks, but we will have that submission to you ASAP in both official languages.
We offer five strategic recommendations for the government. Together, they outline ways to address the unique challenges and opportunities facing Canada's north, to ensure no one is left behind in Canada's energy transition to a low-carbon future.
First, a few quick words about the association. CEA, as you may know, is the national voice for the Canadian electricity sector. Our membership is comprised of generation, transmission and distribution companies right across Canada, as well as manufacturers, technology companies and consulting firms, representing the full spectrum of electricity suppliers.
The sector is uniquely positioned to contribute to a cleaner and greener energy era; however, Canada's remote and northern communities suffer from a significant level of energy inequality, where the cost of electricity in many communities is about 10 times higher than the Canadian average. This lack of affordable power has limited economic potential, and stifles the region's economic development and prosperity. It also impacts their social fabric; the three previous speakers spoke to this.
Simply put, this must change because the federal government has to recognize that this is demanded by the region's uniqueness. It has small and scattered populations, is isolated from power grids, and has limited economic development and harsh winter conditions.
This past June, CEA brought a rich variety of leaders to Carcross, Yukon, for an energy symposium entitled “Powering the Future: Partnering in Energy Development”. It was a for-the-north, by-the-north session. We had a very engaging discussion, and we produced the report of those proceedings. Our submission today is an extract of that report to keep within the stated rules of length of submissions, as specified by your committee.
As I mentioned, we offer five recommendations. First, the federal government must support transformative renewable energy infrastructure projects in Canada's north, in terms of financial capital, as well as research, development and deployment. Access to capital must be improved, and technical barriers and operational constraints must be alleviated.
Second, the government must work to accelerate research under way to find innovate efficiencies in diesel generation, while concurrently promoting non-diesel alternatives. Diesel, as we heard from Bruno, will continue to play a significant role in the foreseeable future, as many northern communities have no option but to rely on diesel generation.
Third, the federal government should work to facilitate transmission interconnections within the territories and between the north and south in an effort to end its energy isolation. The three northern territories have isolated electricity grids, and in many cases, as we heard this afternoon already, the local communities within these territories themselves are further isolated from the main power grid.
Fourth, the federal government must find and implement flexible funding mechanisms for the territorial governments to achieve their climate objectives and targets. A flexible approach will help make transformative changes to the energy systems and chart a long-term path to energy sustainability in these regions.
Finally, the federal government must continue to build new and dynamic partnerships with indigenous communities, if those communities are to be economically prosperous and sustainable.
In good part, economic development and a sustainable future for these indigenous communities will indeed depend on such relationships.
Madam Chair, I would like to now invite Doug to share his thoughts on this topic from where the so-called rubber hits the road.
Thank you.
Michael Spence
View Michael Spence Profile
Michael Spence
2018-10-22 15:31
Thank you. I am honoured to address the committee this afternoon.
As mayor of the town of Churchill, I am keenly aware of the importance of northern infrastructure projects and strategies. It is vitally important that infrastructure in the north be improved to meet the needs of residents, local governments, and business in the Arctic and sub-Arctic. We have been part of the emerging federal government Arctic policy framework. Actually, the first hearing in our community was held about a year ago. Later today, I'll be presenting to the Senate Special Committee on the Arctic. I am looking forward to that.
As you know, Churchill has had a long history of working with Inuit from the Keewatin, which is now the Kivalliq region of Canada. The Inuit have lived at and near Churchill for thousands of years, and continue to do so today. For us as a sub-Arctic community, this is an important part of our history and Canadian history.
Churchill was part of the Northwest Territories until 1911. Churchill itself was the administrative capital of the Keewatin district of the NWT until the early 1970s. In fact, students from the region came to Churchill for their high school. Our hospital continues to serve the region.
Resupply for the region came almost exclusively from Churchill through the Hudson Bay Railway and the port for several decades, a long-standing connection. As a sub-Arctic port, rail line terminal and airport, Churchill shares common goals with our Nunavut neighbours for developing Arctic infrastructure and a strong Arctic economy, while protecting the environment and preserving the Arctic biodiversity. Our infrastructure can continue to serve a regional purpose and contribute to a more prosperous Arctic. That's our goal.
As most committee members are aware, Churchill recently faced its most challenging time with the loss of the rail and the layoff of port workers. However, about a month ago, on August 31, the federal government announced a major investment to the Churchill port, marine tank farm, and railway.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge this significant and strategic investment by the federal government into our region. It allowed the transfer of these assets to the new ownership, called the Arctic Gateway Group, a joint local and private sector co-ownership group. This is a historic partnership that will truly lead to greater prosperity for our region.
Immediately following the acquisition, repairs to the rail line were initiated, and we are now in the final stages of finishing the repairs. We anticipate the first train into our community hopefully within two weeks. Our rail line and port can serve the broader Arctic community through resupply. They have in the past, and we look forward to re-establishing important relationships.
Along with the only rail line that reaches the Arctic, our marine tank farm and our port, the Churchill airport is a critical part of the supply chain and already has some major assets. It was built as a military airstrip and can handle the largest aircraft on the planet. Currently, it is underutilized, and it has great potential to serve as a seamless partner with the rail line to ship goods across the north.
We began discussions with the federal government over expanded use of the airport and tying it to the port and rail line as part of the efforts to create a true Arctic gateway. We will position the airport to take on an expanded mandate to serve the greater needs of the Arctic, and we look forward to discussions with leaders and residents of the north regarding the Churchill airport initiative.
We want to partner on further investments linking our airport to the existing infrastructure of our port and rail line. It only makes sense to maximize this infrastructure for the benefit of all Arctic communities. We see this as a new strategic investment. In this, you'll have climate-controlled warehousing; linking railway tracks directly to the tarmac, creating an integrated supply chain; and the installation of specialized off-loading equipment.
Churchill can play an important role in further reducing food insecurity in the north through investments to bring resupply costs down.
The Hudson Bay regional round table, which consists of the governments of Manitoba and Nunavut, the seven Kivalliq hamlets in Nunavut, the towns of Churchill and Gillam, the Sayisi Dene First Nation and the Fox Lake Cree Nation, has worked to promote regional interests and development. We have held meetings in Manitoba and Nunavut on a variety of joint initiatives.
One of the top priorities has been the need to replace diesel use in the Kivalliq communities. In 2014, following a Hudson Bay regional round table proposal, a scoping study was initiated for a hydroelectric transmission line from northern Manitoba to the communities and mines in the Kivalliq district. This followed the 1999 study by Manitoba Hydro. The scoping study found that there was a strong economic and environmental case to be made for the transmission line, which would bring clean, reliable and affordable energy and fibre optics to the Kivalliq region.
The Kivalliq Inuit Association has taken that report to the next step and has made major progress in advancing that project. We support their efforts to get the transmission line and fibre optics project funded and built. This is a nation-building project that will contribute to economic growth and clean energy, as well as vastly improve Internet access to the Kivalliq region.
The federal government has taken a leadership role in efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Churchill is uniquely placed to contribute to Arctic and sub-Arctic science and to protecting our environment. The Churchill Northern Studies Centre has a strong reputation for its work on researching these issues. The Churchill marine observatory, for which construction will be completed next year, will be the only such project in the world carrying out specific studies on climate change. Churchill's other infrastructure, including the health centre, was built to serve the region and beyond.
We remain an international destination for tourism as the polar bear capital of the world, while expanding our markets for summer beluga and birding tours, and the winter northern lights.
In conclusion, we are proud to work with our Arctic partners on closing the infrastructure gaps in the north to promote clean growth and benefits to the Arctic and all of Canada.
I want to thank the committee for inviting me here this afternoon. I am confident that you will bring forward recommendations on northern infrastructure that will help advance economic development for the Arctic and Arctic communities. The federal government has the ability to unlock the potential of our region by supporting the power line and fibre optic project into Kivalliq, and by supporting our initiative to link our rail lines to the airport.
It's critically important to indicate that these assets are situated in our community, but they are assets that belong to the region. Let me be clear on that.
Thank you.
Merven Gruben
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Merven Gruben
2018-10-22 15:40
I'd like to thank you all for this opportunity to speak again on our cause. There are a couple of issues I wanted to address: our deep-sea port for our community of Tuk, and our natural gas location for the region. It's not necessarily just for Tuk. If you look at our community of Tuk, it's right on the Arctic Ocean.
First of all, sorry, I'm Merven Gruben, mayor of Tuktoyaktuk.
I'll go backwards here again. It's kind of déjà vu. In 2012, I was invited to come here and speak to a panel as well. I think it was just about the same people, or the same panel. We did such a good presentation in the fall of 2012, that in February 2013 our friend Mr. Flaherty—rest in peace—announced in the budget that we were going to get $199 million for our highway. That was the beginning of our Tuk-Inuvik highway. I don't know why we call it Tuk-Inuvik highway. I like to call it the highway to Tuk. It's just the finishing off of the Dempster Highway, the Diefenbaker highway. That's what it should be, the road to resources.
Anyway, we got this highway built, and unbelievably, this year we had 5,000 people come to Tuk—5,000 tourists. On a good year, we get maybe 2,500. You know, everybody wants to jump in the ocean, of course. It's just a total game-changer.
Yes, I hope to get the same response as we got in 2013 from the federal government here.
As you know—or you might not know—the Mackenzie River is continually lowering. The water level is getting lower and lower, and it's getting more unpredictable to ship. The times of the season when we can ship are getting later and later. You can't ship too late because the water goes down too low.
So we finished with the highway to Tuk, and then what I proposed to the GNWT and a lot of the powers that be was that you can truck anything from the south to Tuk all winter, stockpile all the material you need there. We have the infrastructure for storage and the fuel tank storage, and the land available, but we really need to develop our docking facilities and possibly dredge the entranceway a bit into the harbour.
One big advantage I propose is that, if we haul in the stuff all winter on the roads, then we can ship out a lot earlier to the communities. Paulatuk didn't get its sealift this year. They're flying everything in right now. Also Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk, they didn't get all of their shipment. Paulatuk didn't get anything at all. They didn't get any of their fuel, none of their food. Now they're flying their stuff in, right now. Just imagine what that's going to cost at the end of the day, what the government is going to pay at the end of the day. It's going to be coming from us.
You know, it would make all the sense in the world to work along with it, but it's falling on deaf ears.
I was just in Anchorage, speaking to a similar panel on expanding the Tuk port and trying to get the Coast Guard presence, talking about building up a bigger Coast Guard presence. You know the Northwest Passage is right there. It's at our front door. You can see the ships coming and going along, and we have nothing in the north, in our region, that's there for support, should anything go wrong. We have increased cruise ships passing. We have increased pleasure boats back and forth, and yet we're not prepared. You look at Trump. He's trying to open up the ANWR, and that's right next door to us. If something happens, we're not prepared. We're not ready.
I've been calling on the Coast Guard for many years to develop our region, just in case something happens, and yet they don't do anything. Actually, they did. They built the Coast Guard office in Inuvik, which is 80 miles to the south, nowhere near the coast, and it doesn't help anybody. As I said, I was just in Anchorage, and none of the Canadian Coast Guard was there. We had Coast Guard U.S.A. and all the national defence from the Americas. Some people from Ottawa were there as well, and I met with them. We were all shaking our heads at why the Coast Guard was not there. They were invited.
Things like that have to change. You know, you're putting Coast Guard boats all over, in different parts of the eastern Arctic, that are too far to be effective, to be helping anybody. So they have to give their heads a shake and come to work with us before something really drastic happens.
I was talking to Michael McLeod, our MP for the western Arctic, and he said, “Yes, Merven, we should be doing something. We should be helping you guys.”
I agree the Liberals should be helping us. They shut down our offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole freaking Arctic without even consulting us. They never said a word to us.
We're proud people who like to work for a living. We're not used to getting social assistance and that kind of stuff. Now we're getting tourists coming up, but that's small change compared to when you work in oil and gas and you're used to that kind of living. Our people are used to that. We're not used to selling trinkets and T-shirts and that kind of stuff. But oil and gas is going to come back, I think, if you guys help us build this port and make it more attractive and help us build it up a little better and safer.
Years ago, there were very good ports from old Dome and Canmar, Gulf and Imperial. They were good and they were very usable, but they've been slowly deteriorating over the years. There are three ports in Tuk, one of them owned by MTS, which is the Government of NWT. It's part of Bob's navy.
We need some help with that infrastructure.
The second part is about our natural gas. We're sitting on trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. It's right under our feet, yet we're shipping diesel and gasoline from far away. And in Inuvik they're getting their natural gas from Delta, B.C. They're paying $35 a gigajoule, and it's totally nuts.
Up in Tuk, we're still burning diesel, and yet 13 kilometres out of town we have trillions of cubic feet of natural gas sitting there. We just need a production well, and then we turn on the valve into the LNG plant and away we go.
Some of the stuff is simple for us, but again, it's so hard for the government to fathom and get around. It's so much easier for them to keep on doing what they're doing and shipping their dirty fuel up north. Everybody wants to go with the freaking fans or the wind turbines and pipe stuff, but that stuff never works up there. They've tried it in different areas and it just doesn't work.
I'm speaking too much. I have to let Jackie say a few words here, if I may.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
I'm surprised by that.
You also talked a bit about the use of diesel and how concerning that is for you. I'm also curious about the age of the infrastructure for the diesel. We've definitely heard from other people who have come to the committee and talked about how it's aging out and how much of a concern it is in some situations where the power has been knocked out in the middle of winter and you have to respond to that.
If you could you talk about the actual infrastructure for the diesel, I would appreciate it.
Merven Gruben
View Merven Gruben Profile
Merven Gruben
2018-10-22 16:10
The power station is not that old, maybe 15 or 20 years—
Hon. Jackie Jacobson: Yes.
Mr. Merven Gruben: —but you're always getting power outages in the wintertime. That's guaranteed. Storms are always knocking power lines off. The storms never stop. It's a given. I have a backup generator in my house. You know the power is going to go out, but it's the same in any other community.
What we're planning to do with natural gasification for our community is to run the whole community's generators on natural gas and power and heat the whole town on electricity. There are still going to be lines down sometimes and that kind of thing, of course, but you're burning a cleaner fossil fuel. For years and years, we've been burning diesel. I don't know why. We're sitting right on top of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas....
David Ningeongan
View David Ningeongan Profile
David Ningeongan
2018-10-17 16:48
Thank you.
I have some important comments to make today, so I'm going to read from a prepared statement. I look forward to speaking with you further following my remarks.
[Witness speaks in Inuktituk]
Good afternoon, Madam Chair. My name is David Ningeongan, and I am the president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association. With me are representatives who are working with us, David Chadwick and Tom Garrett, from Chadwick Consulting. As well, travelling here to join us today is Phil Duguay, vice president Canada, Anbaric Development Partners, who is also working with us.
I am pleased that the committee is addressing the important topic of northern infrastructure projects and strategies. Northern communities are remote and isolated, and they pay some of the highest costs in all of Canada for goods and services.
As president of Kivalliq Inuit Association, I represent seven communities in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, directly north of Manitoba. These are the communities of Arviat, Whale Cove, Rankin Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet, Naujaat, Coral Harbour and Baker Lake, representing a combined population of over 12,000 residents, roughly a third of Nunavut.
Our region is growing in both population and economic opportunities. Rankin Inlet alone has grown by 30% in the last three years. Our communities are young, and our youth are seeking opportunities. What holds us back the most from economic development opportunities is the lack of infrastructure that southern Canada takes for granted. The lack of broadband affects our education and health care. The lack of roads and proper port facilities affect the ability of communities to share resources or travel easily to a job.
This is a critical time for the federal government to be having these discussions. Through a new relationship of reconciliation, we have the opportunity to partner together to invest in infrastructure projects that will benefit communities and the federal government.
I am going to focus my remarks today on a critical national infrastructure project within our region, the Kivalliq hydro fibre link project.
The lack of renewable energy and reliable broadband infrastructure in the Kivalliq region is an issue faced by all of Nunavut. However, we have a unique opportunity before us right now. I'm going to highlight how this Inuit-led project is advancing at a critical time, with widespread government and private partner support.
I have come a long way to appear before you today. The fact is, I could not participate by video teleconference from my home community of Rankin Inlet because of the poor broadband Internet service in my community.
As mentioned, economic opportunities in our region are growing. The largest private sector employer in Nunavut, Agnico Eagle Mines, operates a gold mine north of Baker Lake. They are constructing a new open-pit mine north of Baker Lake, and are well into construction of a brand new large gold mine 25 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet.
These two construction projects alone represent a private sector investment of over $1.2 billion. It is estimated that next year, when these new mines are operating, they will employ over 2,000 people, a third of whom are Inuit. Each year, the federal government will receive over $60 million in payroll taxes alone from these new mines.
I mentioned these mines because they show that despite huge costs and the lack of basic infrastructure, our region has huge mining and other economic potential. What we need to do is unlock this potential with renewable, reliable, affordable energy and reliable broadband. The time to do so is now.
The seven communities and mines in the Kivalliq region, like all of Nunavut, depend entirely on burning diesel for electricity generation and heating. There is no access to North American electricity or natural gas grids and there are no roads in the Kivalliq region or connecting its communities.
Diesel fuel is transported by ship to the Kivalliq region during the summer months and is stored in each community. Diesel use leads to environmental problems, such as toxic fumes, the risk of ground contamination, spills and greenhouse gas emissions. Many of the diesel plants are operating beyond their life expectancy and need to be replaced. These plants were built and owned by the federal government some 40 years ago and are a federal government legacy.
We have a plan that would see our first community get off diesel power by June 2024. The Kivalliq region shares a border with the province of Manitoba, which has abundant renewable hydroelectric power. This creates the opportunity to connect the communities and mines in the Kivalliq region to Manitoba and the North American energy grid. The project also includes a plan for fibre optic cable networks so that for the first time we can have reliable cost-effective broadband Internet services in our region.
This project would link Nunavut to the rest of Canada for the first time.
As I mentioned, the time to advance the project is now. The Kivalliq Inuit have been working on this for many years. We completed an engineering scoping study on the project in 2015. The scoping study concluded that this project could save the federal government and the Nunavut government upwards of $40 million annually in reduced subsidies of diesel power, while addressing environmental concerns. The savings for the mining industry were estimated to be upwards of $60 million annually. With the pending price on carbon coming into effect soon, these numbers will go up, as will the urgency for renewable energy solutions.
The mining industry needs energy to operate and grow. We are at a critical time to ensure that private sector investment in renewable energy will maximize community benefits. The hydro and fibre transmission line will do that, and we prefer this project.
I am pleased to inform the committee today that we have also reached an important milestone in our planning process. We've launched a partnership with a private sector transmission company: Anbaric Development Partners. Anbaric is backed by an institutional investor. This will allow the federal government to leverage significant private sector capital to complete this project.
This is an incredible opportunity for the Inuit of Nunavut. With federal support, we will be able to enter into a joint equity partnership and advance the project. Our engineering and feasibility study planning is rapidly advancing.
This is a nation-building infrastructure project. It has the strong support of the Government of Nunavut; our territorial and national Inuit organizations, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; all local leadership within the Kivalliq communities; Qulliq Energy, our territory's power corporation; the mining sector; and Agnico Eagle Mines.
Earlier this summer we submitted a pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance that sets out the proposed project and the opportunity for private sector investment in partnership with the Inuit to advance this infrastructure project. I will provide the clerk with this submission, which includes letters of support for this project.
The project also has the potential to become a key component of a new federal Arctic policy framework. On Monday, you heard from federal government departments on how the new Arctic policy framework has identified the necessity for new approaches to address the needs of the territories.
In conclusion, the hydro fibre project will provide renewable, reliable and affordable energy. It will be a driver of economic development that will benefit all of Nunavut and Canada. The cable hydro-fibre link addresses reconciliation between Canada and the Nunavummiut in Kivalliq region. It is an infrastructure project that creates both economic opportunity and a cleaner environment.
Thank you for listening to a brief summary regarding northern infrastructure and the need for a hydro-fibre link between Nunavut and Manitoba.
I will be happy to answer any questions.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
It's an important infrastructure investment and would probably allow you to not always have to fly to Ottawa when you come to these meetings. I bet you'd appreciate that.
I know this is concrete and you may not have an answer for it, but it would be great if you could give it to the committee. One of the things I'm wondering about is what the cost difference will be between having the diesel power as opposed to when you're put into this system so that you can get hydro. I think it would be really helpful for our committee to understand that as we are making recommendations. If you can't answer that today and if you could give that to the committee, I'd really appreciate it.
Mr. David Ningeongan: Yes.
Ms. Rachel Blaney: I want to touch on the diesel a bit. In my riding in southern British Columbia, we get snow like this and everybody stays at home because they don't know what to do, so I will never compete with you about those realities. One of the indigenous communities that I represent, Dzawada'enuxw, has diesel as well for their really remote community. Their infrastructure for diesel is wearing out. It's aging rapidly. They have significant concerns.
You mentioned that in your presentation. Could you talk about what the risks are with this aging infrastructure for diesel?
David Ningeongan
View David Ningeongan Profile
David Ningeongan
2018-10-17 17:18
When we lost all our power, it happened in the winter.
The community scrambles to get temporary generators to be connected to the furnaces or a boiler. Not every house has that opportunity. Not every individual who owns a home has that option, and not even the public housing units have that option.
We do have issues with freeze-ups. It is a real challenge for our communities in the Kugluktuk region and in Nunavut, because it has happened in multiple different communities.
Marco Presutti
View Marco Presutti Profile
Marco Presutti
2018-10-15 15:43
Good afternoon, everyone.
My name is Marco Presutti, and I'm the Director General of the Electricity Resources Branch. I'm pleased to be here to share my perspective.
My branch is responsible for the electricity-related policy issues. We're also responsible for a number of federal programs that support the development of new energy infrastructure across Canada, including in the north.
One of our current areas of focus, on which we're working to support the government right now, is helping rural and remote communities reduce their dependency on diesel fuel and helping them to move toward newer and cleaner sources of electricity generation. To put the challenge into perspective, there are about 200 communities in Canada that are not connected to the North American electricity grid and are entirely dependent on diesel fuel for electricity. Most are located far from large population centres, of course. It can come at great expense to try to build transmission infrastructure to get electricity to these communities.
We're focused on these communities for a number of reasons. It's expensive to transport diesel fuel to them and to service them. It poses a number of risks to human health and the environment. We're talking about spills, greenhouse gases and air pollution from combustion. Also, the government has made a strong commitment to support indigenous communities. Two-thirds of the target communities here are indigenous. We know that energy projects can have a wider array of socio-economic benefits. Ownership of these assets can be a key part of self-determination.
Through budget 2017, the government launched a new program that's led by our department. It's called the clean energy for rural and remote communities program. It has about $220 million over six years to fund energy infrastructure projects that reduce diesel dependency in communities across Canada. It supports a number of federal priorities, including clean growth, climate change and indigenous reconciliation. We're not the only funding source. One of my colleagues has already talked about the others. The Arctic energy fund and the northern REACHE program are other important ones.
In terms of the program and where we're at, it's early days. We launched the program in the new year. Since then, we've received and reviewed about 130 project proposals. We've shortlisted 43 of them and we're considering them for funding. We're now conducting the due diligence to make sure we've picked the best projects across the country.
What I can tell you is that we've seen strong demand for the program. The program is oversubscribed. We have more proposals than we're able to fund. We're also very happy that 93% of the projects we're reviewing are targeting indigenous communities, and many of them are led by the communities themselves.
We're also happy about the types of new and innovative technologies that are being proposed. We're looking at demonstrations and deployments of small-scale hydro, biomass, wind and solar.
We have a continuous intake process for applications. The initial projects that we're funding are not the only projects. We're still looking at other projects. We have a small amount of funding, about 5% of the envelope, for community capacity. That's to ensure that communities that are less advanced, less prepared to present projects, have some funding to put their proposals together and work with us.
I'll keep it short. I'll conclude by saying again that we're very encouraged by the first wave of project proposals we've received. We're doing our homework to make sure they're solid. We know this is a long-term endeavour. The program is not going to eliminate diesel use in Canada—that's a much bigger challenge—but it's going to make an important contribution, a down payment, if you will.
Thank you.
View William Amos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View William Amos Profile
2018-10-15 15:51
I want to thank the public servants for their presentations. I agree that the subject of our study is very broad.
I want to address two aspects. I first want to look at the digital and cellular aspect, then at the diesel aspect referred to by Mr. Presutti.
Maybe I'll start with the diesel aspect. I'm very pleased that our government has seen it fit to invest so significantly in clean energy transmission for northern and remote communities. It's really important, and these communities have been calling for this for some time. I'd like to know what investments were made prior to 2015 to shift communities away from diesel and toward clean energy. I just don't know if this is the first time it's been done.
Second, I wonder how far south communities need to be in order to benefit from this program. For example, would a community like Rapid Lake, in the northern end of the Pontiac, be a potential beneficiary of this kind of transition, were it to seek funding to shift away? In that same context, there may be communities that seek to shift to hydroelectricity rather than wind or solar, so they need to be hooked up to the grid.
If that's the situation, what kind of support is available to such communities? Typically, they are not used to paying hydro rates. They're used to having diesel paid for by the federal government. I wonder how that transition happens, when the energy needs of a community cease to be provided for by the federal government and are suddenly provided for by a provincial energy company.
Marco Presutti
View Marco Presutti Profile
Marco Presutti
2018-10-15 15:53
To tackle the first part of your question in terms of programming prior to 2015, I can speak with fair certainty that within NRCan there wasn't any specific programming targeted at this particular objective. We've had programs in the past and continue to have programs that support the development of renewable energy, but not specifically targeted to rural or remote communities. I think it's the first of its kind within NRCan. I can't speak on behalf of my other colleagues; I think there may have been other programs within other departments that did target this particular focus.
In terms of your question about other communities and how far south they have to be to qualify for our particular program, the criteria are really simple. It's for communities that are not connected to the grid. It doesn't matter how far north or south the community is located. If they're disconnected from that grid, they're one of those 200-plus communities and they're eligible to be part of the program. The program's objective isn't to connect communities to the grid. It's specifically targeted at renewable energy and projects that are started to help communities become self-sufficient.
Within NRCan, we have been doing some work in terms of grid connections. Over the course of the last two years, we've had a program for regional dialogues on electricity co-operation. We've worked in eastern Canada and in western Canada with provinces and territories and with utilities to try to get a sense of where the most promising transmission lines and grid connections could exist. We've done some modelling work, and we've identified some promising projects. Of course, these types of investments are transformational. They're investments in the billions of dollars—I'm talking about a program here that's $220 million—so projects for establishing larger grid connections are usually generational. They take decades to put in place and are fairly expensive.
View William Amos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View William Amos Profile
2018-10-15 15:56
Thank you for that.
I'd like to give the opportunity to any of your federal colleagues to respond if there is any additional information about previous projects that had, as their objective, shifting rural and remote communities off diesel. Or is this new?
I'll take the silence to mean that there hasn't been anything in the past, then. Thank you.
You mentioned that this is a down payment, but the matter of getting northern and remote communities off diesel is a significant investment. What scale of investment are we talking about here? You mentioned there were 200 communities. Can you give us a number, even if it's rough?
Marco Presutti
View Marco Presutti Profile
Marco Presutti
2018-10-15 15:56
I don't have a number to offer. I could tell you that it would be in the billions, if not tens of billions of dollars, to try to get every single community off diesel. I think the bigger challenge is not so much cost, but the fact that there isn't the technical ability to do it right now with current technology. What we're trying to do is fund renewable energy projects in remote communities. Renewable energy is a variable source of energy. It depends on the wind blowing and the sun shining, so without the types of new technologies like storage capacity, it's still in its infancy. It is technically difficult and challenging to get every community off diesel. It's a longer-term objective.
What I can say is that there are a number of communities and we've surfaced some very promising projects that will start to reduce that diesel dependency. Of the 200 communities, we think our program will be able to fund projects in about 60 to 70 communities.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Thank you.
Mr. Presutti, are there any communities out of the 200 that are off diesel yet?
Marco Presutti
View Marco Presutti Profile
Marco Presutti
2018-10-15 16:04
No. We haven't funded any projects yet. It's still early days in the program. We've received applications, and we're reviewing the applications. We've shortlisted about 40 of them, and we'll be moving ahead with the projects. None of the—
View Cathy McLeod Profile
When do you think our first community might cut the ribbon and say, “Diesel's gone”?
Marco Presutti
View Marco Presutti Profile
Marco Presutti
2018-10-15 16:04
Well, getting communities completely off diesel is a particular challenge. A lot of the projects that we'll be moving forward on will be about reducing diesel dependency, just because, as I mentioned earlier, bringing wind and solar into communities is a variable form of energy. In a lot of instances, we're looking at projects that are hybrid systems, where there is still some dependency on diesel for backup generation combined with technologies such as wind and solar.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
I want to thank the three departments for coming here.
The Arctic is certainly different from most parts of Canada, as you know.
The last group talked about diesel. I'm glad the Department of the Environment talked about the shift to solar power not always being easily transferrable to the north. Thank you for that. Southerners often think that their plan fits elsewhere, and it doesn't.
When we talk about diesel, I want to know what part of diesel power contributes to climate change in northern Canada. It's been there for decades. What part of the use of diesel power contributes to climate change up north, and what would natural resources extraction contribute to that?
Chris Derksen
View Chris Derksen Profile
Chris Derksen
2018-10-15 17:02
I'll start to answer that question.
I think the major thing to keep in mind here is that the process driving the enhanced warming that we're seeing in the Arctic is not because of activities that are occurring in the Arctic.
We're seeing amplified warming in the north. The process of why this is happening.... There are a number of positive climate feedbacks. The scientific consensus and understanding of those is strong. It's not based on greenhouse gas emissions that are occurring in the Arctic, but it is a function of a global increase. In that sense, the Arctic is located in a place where the physical processes combine to amplify the warming in that region.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
I think you know where I'm going.
Southerners have a different opinion on the north. You talked about diesel, so I just want to know. Do we know what diesel is doing up there?
When you study greenhouse gases, do you have anything that we can go on?
Chris Derksen
View Chris Derksen Profile
Chris Derksen
2018-10-15 17:03
Again, the important thing to remember here is that the process of enhanced warming occurring in the north is a function of global processes. It's not because of what's happening in the north.
View Mike Bossio Profile
Lib. (ON)
Is there a plan to replace diesel power in indigenous communities? Some need more available powers at source.
View Jim Carr Profile
Lib. (MB)
Yes, there is. Those commitments are included in the budget. We understand there is dependence on diesel fuel in remote communities. We understand that's an issue. We also understand that there have to be viable alternatives to diesel power. The Minister of Indigenous Affairs is working diligently on that file, and so are we at Natural Resources Canada. We understand the issue. We've made initial investments in budget 2016 and we'll be very seriously looking at ways that we can be more impactful in the future.
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