Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is hosting an in-person meeting of the Council of Atlantic Premiers (CAP) today in Pictou. Premier Houston and his colleagues Andrew Furey, Dennis King and Blaine Higgs are discussing affordability, inflation and renewable energy.
Atlantic Canada’s Green leaders are once again calling on the premiers to agree to formal collaboration to accelerate the roll-out of renewable energy and to establish a regional approach to provide public transportation.
The leader of PEI’s Official Opposition, Peter Bevan-Baker pointed to the success of PEI’s “toonie transit” system as a model for the region that makes travel more affordable while cutting fossil fuel consumption. “More than ever, in the face of high gasoline prices and the deepening climate crisis, we need a seamless system to link our provinces and our communities together,” he said. “Leadership is needed from our premiers to power the growth of a regional public transportation system.”
Anthony Edmonds, the leader of the Nova Scotia Greens, said that a rapid response to climbing electricity prices and the looming coal phase-out requires active cooperation among all four premiers and their electrical utilities. “To accelerate the roll-out of renewable power generation, the cheapest and greenest source of new electricity, requires an integrated power grid managed by an independent regional service operator,” said Edmonds. “To maximize the contribution of our abundant sources of wind power there needs to be strategic siting decisions and stronger interconnections between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This can be done immediately and need not wait for decisions on the rest of the Atlantic Loop.”
David Coon, the leader of the third party in the New Brunswick Legislature, said that the four Atlantic premiers can make life more affordable for their citizens more quickly if they direct their governments to work more closely together. “It would be an impressive show of leadership if our premiers would break out of their provincial silos to deliver more affordable and cleaner public transportation and renewable electricity on a regional basis,” said Coon.
The three Green leaders also want to see the region’s premiers present a common front to the Council of the Federation meeting next month, to get agreement on putting gas money back into the pockets of Canadians by taxing back the excessive profits the oil companies are reaping.
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