Monthly Archives: July 2014

Uncategorized

CNA Attends Classroom Energy Diet Challenge

By John Stewart
Director, Policy and Research
Canadian Nuclear Association

Energy literacy and correcting public misperceptions were key topics at a July 16 educational event in Ottawa that brought together 15 teachers from all provinces and territories to talk and learn about Canada’s energy systems.

CNA Policy and Research Director John Stewart (back right in photo below) represented nuclear on a two-hour panel that also included representatives from petroleum, wind power and hydro producers.

The annual Classroom Energy Diet Challenge is sponsored by Shell Canada and organized by Canadian Geographic Magazine to raise awareness about energy literacy.

The panel members from the differing industries were collegial, and corrected misconceptions about their respective energy sources.

Also discussed was the importance of energy sources and the need to decarbonizes and make our energy systems greener.

ohn Stewart at the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge
The CNA’s John Stewart (back right) speaks up at the annual Classroom Energy Diet Challenge.
Uncategorized

Budget Remains the Same, but Now Governing Liberals will Ensure its Passage

By George Christidis
Director, Government Affairs
Canadian Nuclear Association

On July 14, 2014, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government retabled, as promised, its previous budget. This is the same budget that triggered the last Ontario election.

The government had indicated its intention to reintroduce the previous budget, which attracted the support of many labour and union groups.

The budget focuses on strategic investments to enable growth in the Ontario economy while at the same time seeks to review Crown assets as a means of maximizing provincial returns.

Key investments and initiatives include $130 billion in infrastructure investments over 10 years and a mandatory provincial pension plan that will build on the Canada Pension Plan.

The Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, indicated that the government of Ontario is seeking to move forward with more than 80 per cent of Don Drummond’s recommendations for increasing efficiencies in the public sector.

The political context of the budget’s reintroduction has changed. The governing Liberals now have a majority that will ensure its passage.

However, since the election, some external factors have arisen that the government will be watching closely. This includes the recent credit rating warnings issued by Moody’s bond rating agency. The bond credit rating issues and upcoming labour negotiations will be very important factors in government’s planning moving forward.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Nuclear Policy Uncategorized

Speech from the Throne Reaffirms Key Elements of Pre-Election Budget

By George Christidis
Director, Government Affairs
Canadian Nuclear Association

On July 3, 2014, the recently re-elected Liberal government opened the 41st Ontario Parliamentary session with a new Speech From the Throne (SFT) titled ‘Building Ontario Up.’ Premier Wynne’s government outlined the priorities that will flow into the next provincial budget. The government has announced it will table this budget on July 14, 2014.

The key messages in the SFT reaffirm the key elements of the pre-election budget that triggered the last provincial election. Premier Wynne has publicly stated that the Ontario government will be re-tabling the previous budget which formed the basis of the provincial Liberal election platform. This included a commitment for strategic investment to create jobs and opportunities while eliminating the debt by 2018. External factors such as the provincial credit rating and public service union negotiations will be important factors to monitor in future government  initiatives and policies.

Key messages in the SFT included:

Education

  • The building of new university campuses to meet enrollment demands
  • The expansion of the Youth Jobs Strategy to help connect young people to jobs

Infrastructure

  • A 10-year $29 billion investment in transportation infrastructure, with $15 billion dedicated to the Greater Toronto – Hamilton region

Business Climate

  • A predictable, stable corporate tax rate
  • Participation in trade missions to create access and new markets for Ontario products and attract investment

Fiscal Outlook

  • The elimination of the deficit in three years
  • An increase in income taxes for the top 2% of income earners, and no increase in the HST or gas tax
  • No additional money for compensation
  • Actions to get returns from Crown assets

Natural Resource Development

  • The establishment of a Ring of Fire development corporation within 60 days and the commitment of $1 billion for infrastructure to support development, as well as a search for federal participation (outside the New Building Canada Fund)

Energy and the Environment

  • The appointment of the new Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to work on adaptation measures
  • The development of a Canadian Energy Strategy in conjunction with other provinces
  • The desire to export knowledge and products associated with renewables and energy innovation in order to take advantage of opportunities created by climate change initiatives in other provinces and other countries around the world

Social Policy

  • The introduction of a poverty reduction strategy
  • The introduction of legislation to increase minimum wages and link future increases to the rate of inflation

The House is adjourned until Monday, July 7, 2014.

On July 14, 2014, the budget that was originally tabled on May 1, 2014, will be re-introduced.