18 FEBRUARY 2016
Part IV: Broken Pipe Dreams
Fredericton – Two weeks from now, Premier Gallant will participate in a First Ministers conference hosted by Prime Minister Trudeau to discuss a national climate action strategy. David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick has some suggestions for Premier Gallant.
“There are steps Premier Gallant can take immediately to create jobs that don't involve a massive investment in the old carbon economy, by supporting my Green Jobs bill, for example. The Energy East pipeline is coming up against a brick wall of opposition and may very well never come to fruition,” said Coon.
The Pembina Institute has estimated that the upstream emissions that would result from filling the Energy East pipeline with bitumen for export markets would be double New Brunswick's entire carbon emissions, and would cancel out the progress Ontario made in shrinking its carbon footprint by phasing out all of its coal-fired power plants. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that operating the pipeline would create only 132 permanent jobs in New Brunswick.
"Instead of investing time in perpetuating the carbon-based economy with a pipeline to the Bay of Fundy, the Premier could be creating the conditions to create green jobs by retrofitting our housing, increasing the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial enterprises, accelerating the adoption of renewable energy to provide heat, power and transportation, and championing the smart electrical grid that NB Power wishes to establish in New Brunswick. This would create lasting jobs now," said Coon.
Montreal-area mayors came out against building the pipeline two weeks ago. Last week the Wolastoq Grand Council announced it would not permit the pipeline in its traditional territory.
“Our Premier should create the conditions to drive real job growth today,” said Coon. “My Green Jobs bill, like my Local Food Security bill before it, lays the framework for growing a green economy in New Brunswick to create jobs that work for people and the environment by making us more self-sufficient.”
It was 26 years ago, that provincial environment ministers first called for a national action strategy to combat climate change. Now is the time for action.