Canada has long been a world energy leader. The light bulb was invented and patented by James Woodward and Mathew Evans of Toronto in 1874. (The father of Thomas Edison, who later purchased half the light bulb patent, had emigrated from Ontario and Nova Scotia.) Some of the earliest hydroelectric stations were at Niagara; many of the world’s largest and most advanced are in Québec. The first fission reaction outside the US was sustained in Canada. The CANDU reactor retains one of the world’s best safety records. Canada remains the world’s second largest uranium producer, responsible for 22% of global output.
The first gas transmission pipeline in Canada was built at Trois-Rivières in 1853. North America’s first oil well was drilled at Oil Springs (Petrolia), Ontario in 1858; the first gas was discovered in New Brunswick in 1859. Today the Alberta oil sands rank among the world’s largest proven reserves. Canada’s known reserves of natural gas could supply current domestic demand for the next 300 years. The world’s second-largest solar module producer is Canadian.
Over the past decade Canadian oil production has increased by over one million barrels per day (bpd), to 3.5 million bpd. Canada is the seventh largest producer – supplying about 4% of the global production. At 160 billion cubic metres per day, Canada is the world’s fifth largest gas producer (after the US, Russia, Iran and Qatar), supplying 4.5% of the world’s needs.
Canada has the potential to be self-sufficient in energy – and to be a strategic supplier to Asia, Europe and beyond. To unlock this potential, we need to pursue six goals: investment; clean production; safe transportation and transmission; conservation; innovation; and exports.
A Conservative government led by Chris Alexander would:
(i) lower taxes and eliminate the federal carbon tax to attract investment to oil and gas production, particularly in the oil sands, clean tech and solar;
(ii) set a goal of making Canada the world’s low-cost clean energy producer;
(iii) launch a global campaign to promote Canadian energy in partnership with the oil and gas, hydro, nuclear, clean tech, engineering and financial sectors;
(iv) advocate new nuclear reactors, CANDU exports and fusion research in Canada;
(v) build Energy East, Northern Gateway and all other oil and gas pipelines proposed to achieve energy self-sufficiency, export and job growth;
(vi) require for every pipeline project stringent environmental assessment, full engagement with local communities and First Nations, and the safest available pipeline construction and monitoring technology;
(vii) promote LNG export projects and oil refineries in Canada;
(viii) achieve oil and energy self-sufficiency for all of Canada by 2022;
(ix) take action to reduce energy costs and promote self-sufficiency for Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon;
(x) support Manitoba hydro projects and transmission links to other provinces;
(xi) after consultation with Canadians and the clean energy sector, provide tax incentives to homeowners, builders and developers to achieve conservation goals using custom and syndicated clean energy solutions, including those backed by green bonds;
(xii) pursue long-term energy partnerships in Asia and Europe;
(xiii) increase the intensity of private sector research and development, commercialization, startup, incubator, accelerator, growth phase, venture capital and IPO activity for the following sectors and projects: clean tech, solar, zero emissions (including driverless) vehicles, carbon capture and storage (including ag soil sequestering), power transmission, pipeline, home and commercial conservation, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy generation;
(xiv) support completion of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project and associated power lines; advocate for natural gas production in New Brunswick; champion the resumption of coal production on Cape Breton Island; and
(xv) provide full support for offshore oil and gas exploration and development, including the Hebron oil project and exploration in the Flemish Pass (Newfoundland and Labrador), Shelburne Basin (Nova Scotia) and in the Arctic.