Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly newsletters:
The Governments of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia agreed to a Joint Policy Statement on Developing and Transmitting Clean, Reliable and Affordable Power, which includes advancing two tracks of collaborative work to help enable the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 and to drive to net-zero electricity by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050. The mounting costs associated with the Atlantic Loop, and questions about how much energy is actually available from Quebec, led the provinces to pursue a pared-back version of the plan that includes building the Salisbury-Onslow Reliability Tie, and puts a greater focus on renewable energy generated within the two provinces, including wind, solar and nuclear.
The Albertans Against Extremism Party, a new political group in Alberta, aims to counteract what it calls the ‘vitriolic rhetoric’ seen in the recent Alberta election. Led by lifelong conservative Len Olson, the party aims to offer a moderate alternative for right-leaning voters who are disheartened by certain segments of the UCP base. Their mission is to promote honest and inclusive politics while raising awareness against extremism in all forms, not just in politics. They’ve garnered significant support and are working towards becoming an official party, intending to run a full slate of candidates in the next provincial election. In just two weeks, they gathered one quarter of the required 8,473 names to register the organization. Their platform, set to be released soon, opposes the UCP’s Alberta pension plan and favors free votes on issues like abortion, based on MLAs’ constituents and personal beliefs.
First Nations, stakeholders, BC Hydro Task Force shaping B.C.’s clean-power future
The Province, alongside BC Hydro, First Nations, and clean-energy entities, has outlined plans for BC Hydro’s call for clean and renewable power resources in spring 2024, responding to the growing electricity demand in B.C.
In June 2023, an official statement from the Province declared BC Hydro’s intentions for this initiative. Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, remarked on B.C.’s clean energy capacity and highlighted the necessity for more renewable electricity in the coming years.
BC Hydro’s engagement process consisted of 30 individual meetings with 24 First Nations, various regional workshops, and discussions about new transmission lines. The key discussion topics included:
- First Nations involvement in projects.
- Developmental challenges for projects.
- Specifics of the call process.
- Issues related to transmission infrastructure.
- Future calls for power.
Chris O’Riley, the president and CEO of BC Hydro, provided insights on the open and adaptable approach of the upcoming call. He stressed the importance of ongoing feedback in refining its structure. Over the next months, BC Hydro is set to continue discussions with stakeholders regarding the procurement process details, touching on aspects like First Nations’ economic participation and terms of electricity purchase agreements.
The BC Hydro Task Force, a newly established advisory body, is now actively involved in directing the call’s course. Their primary recommendations involve:
- Recognizing the 2024 call as the beginning of further energy procurements.
- Augmented engagement with First Nations.
- Faster execution for the 2024 call.
- Governmental support mechanisms for renewable energy ventures.
- Efficient strategies for the evaluation of clean-energy projects.
Following these proposals, the Province has confirmed its commitment to their implementation.
Stakeholders, businesses, and the general public are encouraged to share their views on the matter through the BC Hydro Task Force’s online platform.
The Ontario government plans to develop 5,900 new residential units
The Ontario government plans to construct approximately 5,900 new residential units near six future transit stations along the Ontario Line subway and Scarborough Subway Extension. These transit-oriented communities will not only provide housing options but also incorporate affordable housing, boost transit accessibility, and create over 1,900 jobs. The initiative aims to build vibrant, mixed-use communities with amenities like parks and libraries close to transit, offering convenience to residents.
World ‘should be worried’ about India’s threat to strip Canadian diplomats of immunity, Trudeau says – October 20, 2023
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says every country in the world should be concerned about India’s threat to strip more than 40 Canadian diplomats of their diplomat immunity in the South Asian country. Earlier this week, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats from India, significantly scaling back its mission in India after the threat from New Delhi. Only 21 remain. The U.S. government on Friday publicly signalled its concern about India’s conduct.
100 days in, mayor Chow advances agenda but challenges loom at Toronto city hall – October 16, 2023
In her first 100 days as Toronto Mayor, Olivia Chow has focused on key initiatives, including shelter support for asylum seekers, increased transit service, a raised vacant home tax, and expedited approvals for the CafeTO program. However, challenges lie ahead in addressing affordable housing and the city’s finances, with a $1.5 billion shortfall heading into the 2024 budget process. While Chow has made considerable strides, the effectiveness of her leadership will be tested in the coming months, particularly in fulfilling her promise to build affordable rental housing and navigating financial challenges.