58

‘We require active, engaged federal leadership’


 

The prepared text of Michael Ignatieff’s remarks to the Vancouver Board of Trade this afternoon.

Thank you Zach (Bhatia) for those kind words.

I’d also like to thank the Board of Trade for hosting us, and Jason (McLean) for your introduction.

It’s good to be back in Vancouver.

I started my working life out at UBC and I love this place. Every time Zsuzsanna and I come back we feel the excitement of a great world city.

Now the Olympics will spread the excitement of Vancouver to the whole country. When the torch relay starts, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will be lining the streets to watch them pass.

We owe British Columbians a debt of gratitude for what you’ve given our country. You’ve brought us together.

Yesterday I came in on the Canada Line. Did the same thing last time I was here.

You’ll allow me a little partisan pride here. The federal partner that invested in the Canada Line was the Liberal government of Paul Martin and Jean Chretien.

Compare the record of the Conservative government:

According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, it’s impossible to say how many jobs their stimulus program is actually creating.

Nos propres chiffres indiquent que seulement douze pourcent des sommes prévues pour les infrastructures ont véritablement atteint nos communautés; et trop souvent, ce sont pour des projets électoralistes dans des comtés conservateurs.

Our Party invested in the Canada Line and the Pacific Gateway—and delivered both.

Our Party balanced the books in the 90s.

Eleven years ago, Paul Martin came to this Board of Trade and stopped the National Debt Clock.

Now it’s back. It’s up on your website.

The Conservatives spent us into deficit before the recession began. When the crisis hit, the Canadian cupboard was bare. And they still haven’t told us where our finances are headed.

Thirty-two billion. Fifty billion. Fifty-six billion.

You can’t count on a government that can’t count.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer has been right when the Conservatives have been wrong. A Liberal government would make his office fully independent, with the resources necessary to do his job.

Because no government should ever get between Canadians and the truth we deserve.

Right now, recovery is neither steady nor certain.

Employment is rising in the public sector, but it is stalled in the private sector.

Freight movements are down between twenty and thirty percent.

Ocean shipping rates are the lowest they’ve been in a quarter of a century.

No one yet knows whether recovery will take hold, or how strong it will be next year.

We Liberals believe in markets. But we don’t believe in market miracles. We don’t believe we will get sustained growth back into the economy without a strategy. And you don’t get a strategy without a strong, active federal government that invests for the future.

Smart investments now—like the Canada Line—will sustain growth in this city and this province for decades to come.

Now is the time to invest more, not less, in Canadian know-how, innovation and discovery.

Our universities, our colleges, our institutes of research: these are the incubators of our future. The federal government needs to sustain them, not cut them.

We need to stand up for Canadian champions and Canadian high-tech, not stand by and watch them get sold off to our competitors.

Now is the time to go where the growth is. The U.S. consumer is not likely to dig us out of recession. We need to boost Canadian market share in India and China.

In B.C., you know that Canada is a Pacific power. I don’t think they understand that in Ottawa.

Now is the time for Canada to lead at the G-20 in proposing new global financial regulations—to provide stability for Canadian pensions and investments in a turbulent global market place.

We’ve got a great central banker, Mark Carney. Our banking and financial system enjoys global prestige. Let’s leverage those assets at the Huntsville G-8 to lead the way to a more stable, secure and reliable financial system.

Now is the time, above all, for Canada to get serious about clean energy. That’s my core message today.

Nous devons investir aujourd’hui dans l’énergie propre et renouvelable.  Ces investissements vont débloquer l’économie verte de demain.

We can’t afford the price of indifference.

We’ve just seen an entire Fraser River sockeye run evaporate. Millions of salmon just didn’t show up.

Ask upstream communities about the consequences. Ask Aboriginal communities. Ask fishers. Experts are already talking about a connection with climate change.

We need an urgent, independent public inquiry, using the best ocean and climate scientists to figure out what happened, and how we can to keep it from happening again.

We’ve also seen B.C.’s forest landscape scarred by the Mountain Pine Beetle. We aren’t getting the cold snaps up in the Interior that we’ve had for thousands of years, and it’s killing our forests, leaving us more vulnerable to fires in the summer.

So for British Columbians, climate change is not a distant abstraction. It’s here, and it’s hurting, right now.

Under the Conservative government, we’ve had three plans on climate change, and no action. We’ve wasted nearly four years of vital time.

So there is an imperative to act now, to make us more energy efficient, to grow our renewable energy and clean technology sector and, by doing both, to tackle climate change.

L’énergie propre, c’est un moyen pour développer notre économie et pour que nos enfants et nos petits-enfants grandissent dans un Canada meilleur, plus fort et plus prospère.

Look what the rest of the world is doing:

Global investment in clean energy technologies was a hundred and fifty billion last year.

Germany has created more than two-hundred-and-fifty thousand clean energy jobs. They’ve cornered sixteen percent of the global market.

Denmark gets a fifth of its electricity from wind. In Spain, it’s thirteen percent.

And Canada? Where do you think we stand?

Just one percent of our power comes from renewables like wind and solar.

We’re not partnering with Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs—some of whom are in this room—to take our best clean energy ideas global.

We can do better.

China’s stimulus package is putting two-hundred-and-thirty billion dollars into clean energy and green infrastructure projects. Two-hundred-and-thirty billion.

In the U.S., President Obama is putting six times more per capita into clean energy and research than Stephen Harper.

Canada is investing less in renewables per capita than the State of Alaska.

So when it comes to clean energy, Stephen Harper isn’t just behind Barack Obama. He’s behind Sarah Palin.

Clean energy changes everything. Not getting into the game now is like taking a pass on the internet back in 1995, and investing in transistor radios.

The jobs of tomorrow are being created elsewhere as we speak. Either we act now, or we spend the next decade wishing we had.

Pendant que notre gouvernement ignore les possibilités de l’énergie propre, le Canada est devenu l’un des dix pires pollueurs de la planète.

Le pire du G8.

For more than two decades, Canadian leadership on the environment didn’t belong to one party.

Liberals and Progressive Conservatives each made environmental progress in their turn.

But today, when the whole world is coming together to fight climate change, Canada is nowhere to be found.

A few weeks ago, the U.N. Secretary-General hosted a global summit on climate change. Mr. Harper didn’t even show up.

At another international meeting last week, in Thailand, Canada’s position actually prompted a walk-out by the Group of 77 developing countries.

I’ve talked recently about restoring Canada’s place in the world. It’s very simple: we won’t be taken seriously until we are serious about the environment.

Notre stratégie libérale commence par un engagement simple :

Au cœur de notre prochaine plateforme se trouvera le plus important investissement jamais vu au Canada pour développer les énergies propres et créer de nouveaux emplois durables.

Our Liberal strategy begins with one, simple commitment:

At the heart of our next platform will be the most significant national investment in clean energy jobs this country has ever seen.

What does that mean?

It means we start with a relentless commitment to power Canada on clean energy.

Right now, in the middle of a recession, oil is trading at about seventy dollars a barrel. A year ago, it was twice that. And as the global economy recovers and demand picks up, we’ll face a fresh round of high energy costs.

In one respect, this is good for Canada and good for British Columbia. We are a resource economy with a strong energy sector. Natural gas in B.C. and the Maritimes. Oil in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

But high energy costs hurt Canadian families—and every other sector of our economy.

That’s why a Liberal government would make renewable power a national priority. We would work with business, communities, and all orders of government to design effective fiscal and tax incentives that encourage new renewable power projects.

This morning I was at the Day4 Energy plant in Burnaby, where they’re re-inventing the solar panel. The engineering that’s going on there, and the innovations in electrode design, are world-leading.

B.C.’s own NexTerra is a world leader in biomass energy technology. Westport Innovations is leading the world in efficient fuel systems for the trucking industry.

There’s work like this happening all over Canada. But our scientists and our entrepreneurs need the backing and the incentives only a strong federal government can provide.

We also need to work with the provinces and territories to be a catalyst for promising new technologies. By encouraging expanded feed-in tariffs for wave, tidal, geothermal, biomass, and other renewables, we can make Canada a clean energy leader.

The Conservatives are cancelling the flagship federal renewable power program, ecoENERGY. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the comparable program was extended until 2012.

Cancelling ecoENERGY sends the wrong message to investors, scientists and entrepreneurs.  We Liberals would send a different message: go for it!

But we’d do more than develop new renewable power sources. We want Canada to become the most efficient user of energy in the world.

A Liberal government would make landmark investments in clean energy infrastructure, especially “smart” electrical grids. We can’t afford the electricity that we generate to be wasted on its way to our homes.

Smart grids are the kind of strategic infrastructure we should be building now, as we look beyond the recession, to kick-start our economy and get us growing again.

Forward-looking clean energy investments will give us real credibility in the global fight against climate change. We should back that up with Canadian proposals for a continental cap-and-trade system, with hard caps.

We need to work with Washington, but we can’t just wait for Washington. If we keep refusing to drive the agenda, our vital interests, our cross-border trade, and our future competitiveness will all be put at risk.

En investissant massivement et à long terme dans les énergies propres, nous allons restaurer la crédibilité du Canada dans la lutte contre les changements climatiques.

Nous allons militer en faveur d’un système continental de plafonnement et d’échange de carbone associé à des cibles de réduction d’émissions absolues.

Let me be clear: investing in renewables, technology, efficiency and clean energy infrastructure does not mean we undermine our own energy sector. Quite the opposite: our energy resources will be the most powerful tool we have for creating clean energy jobs.

Canada is an energy powerhouse. But we have work to do before we can be a clean energy powerhouse. Our energy industry knows this.

We need to invest aggressively to clean our own fossil fuels—through emerging technologies like carbon capture and sequestration—to keep our energy sector strong and globally competitive. We need to maintain our export advantages in oil and gas within an integrated North American energy market—and in other markets.

We can do this. Right here, right now, at the Clean Energy Research Centre at UBC, researchers are working on clean-burning engines, biomass storage techniques, fuel cell and hydrogen systems, and carbon capture.

We can thank B.C.’s technology pioneers—firms like McDonald Dettweiler and Ballard Power—for setting the stage for Canada’s “CleanTech” innovators.

But these firms are being courted by governments all over the world. We need to give them reasons to keep building in Canada.

We have the talent. We have the know-how. What we need is real commitment to supporting Canadian research and innovation. A Liberal government will provide it.

The next challenge is getting Canadian clean energy and environmental technologies to market.

China and India are investing billions in technology development and clean energy infrastructure. This is a colossal opportunity for Canada—one we can’t afford to sleep through.

But our market share in both China and India has fallen since the Conservatives took office. We’ve run our first trade deficits in thirty years.

A Liberal government would learn from our success under Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin—and bring back the Team Canada trade missions.

We’d enhance our commitment to our Pacific Gateway, and harness the power of our own population—the incredible diversity that makes Vancouver what it is—to build bridges to new markets and new opportunities.

We’d also build a new understanding with the Americans. “Buy American” protectionism, Country of Origin Labelling, and new passport rules are hurting our manufacturers and farmers, our trade and tourism—and the Americans’, too.

We can reduce demand for imported energy by investing in clean energy at home. Investing in clean energy at home means we can create technologies that we can export to emerging markets overseas.

Our trade deficit stood at two billion dollars in August. Investing in clean energy is central to digging ourselves out.

But there’s an even more direct role that government can play.

The federal government is Canada’s biggest employer, biggest landlord, and biggest consumer of goods and services. A Liberal government will use our capacity to “test bed” new technologies. We would set mandatory clean-energy procurement standards.

Government vehicles will be cleaner and government buildings will be energy-efficient. We will follow the B.C. government’s lead and look at ways to introduce telecommuting to our public service, to keep cars off the road.

These are the three steps a Liberal government will take, to power Canada on clean energy:

We’ll invest in clean energy in new and traditional sectors.

We’ll build our “smart grid” infrastructure and help businesses and families become more energy efficient.

And we’ll set an example as a federal government.

Three steps to create the clean energy jobs of tomorrow.

Nous allons brancher le Canada sur l’énergie propre. Nous allons créer les emplois verts de demain. Nous allons faire mieux que nous relever de la crise. Nous allons restaurer ce leadership mondial qui a fait la réputation du Canada.

We require active, engaged federal leadership.

In the last few years, the provinces, territories, and municipalities have done an admirable job filling the void left by Ottawa.

Le Québec développe de nouveaux projets hydroélectriques, notamment pour exporter de l’énergie propre en Ontario et aux États-Unis.

Two weeks ago, speaking to this Board of Trade, Mayor (Gregor) Robertson set out his Vancouver Green Capital strategy. He plans to make Vancouver the Greenest City on Earth by 2020—building on the Olympic legacy and setting an example for the country.

And just a week ago, the B.C. government, B.C. Hydro, and the City of Vancouver announced a new agreement with Nissan to bring its new electric car to B.C. in 2011—a year before it arrives elsewhere.

Canadians are embracing the clean-energy revolution that’s coming right at us. It’s time the federal government did the same.

What this all comes down to is a sharp contrast in visions of what government can and must do.

The Conservatives are waiting for recovery, waiting for the private economy to pick up the slack when the public investment winds down. We Liberals believe in a more active vision. We must invest now to make recovery sustainable and enduring.

Think of the Canada Line: investments begun a decade ago will help Vancouver’s economy for a generation.

Think of those Liberal investments in Canadian science and technology. We rebuilt Canadian higher education in the 1990s, so the jobs of tomorrow will be there—if we sustain investment—when the recession grinds to an end.

It’s the same with clean energy investment. If we do this now, we will be in the game a decade from now. If we don’t, the world will pass us by, and our children will pay the price.

That’s what we have government for. To anticipate. To plan. To look beyond the immediate horizon to grasp the unseen challenge and turn it into an opportunity.

This is the kind of government Canadians are looking for. Responsible in the deepest sense. Responsible to Canadians. Responsible for Canadians. And responsible for the future we want to leave our children.

Thank you.


 

‘We require active, engaged federal leadership’

    • You are less offensive when you sleep talk

    • So much less interesting than pooping puffins and ringo starr songs eh psiclone?

  1. Did someone say , 'go west young man"? that's where the votes are.

  2. I'm going to have to agree with Garth Turner. Its hard to take such stunning dishonesty seriously.

    Ignatieff's plan:

    1) Pledge to eliminate the deficit
    2) Pledge to spend loads of money
    3) Pledge not to raise taxes or cut spending

    I'm sorry but "Growth" is not an acceptable answer. These three promises cannot all be kept. They are contradictory in nature.

    I'm a Conservative, i'm fine with taking option 2 off the table. The Liberals aren't, so they should be honest with us and take option 3 off the table.

    • That could easily be Harper's plan. The only thing he's pledged to do is limit the growth of public spending. Something that considering his record up to now many pundits consider unlikely.

    • Hmmm, surprisingly I find myself in agreement with you.

  3. Ugh, everytime I hear a politician say "Let me be clear", it makes me want to smack Obama. Since he started saying it, it's become the "in" line.

    • The 'let me be clear' line is sign that whatever they say next is complete and utter bs. When Obama says it, and now Iggy, I know what's coming next is attempt to bamboozle listeners, which means it will be as clear as mud.

      "Let me be clear: investing in renewables, technology, efficiency and clean energy infrastructure does not mean we undermine our own energy sector. Quite the opposite: our energy resources will be the most powerful tool we have for creating clean energy jobs."

      Lets say, arguendo, that this is true. The energy sector won't be undermined but what Iggy fails to mention is that rest of economy will be buggered and what use is a thriving energy sector if everyone else is poorer.

    • It’s what ‘Make no mistake’ was to G W Bush. It infected Paul Martin at the time, and Harper to a slightly lesser extent. Political speechwriters must be lazy to not detect these cliches are try to moderate their use.

      • They need to get Clichecheck on their word processors …

      • It's not really written down in the speech, is it? Surely its an ad-lib by the politician (Harper does it too, usually preceded by "Look") to give emphasis or candor to something. Maybe it worked the first half-dozen times, I don't know.

        As for Ignatieff's speech overall, I thought it was great! I'd heard a lot of it before, but it's certainly better than the no-vision of the Conservatives.

        • Great.?.It doesn't take much to please you.I wonder if his party thinks it's great.Or, while he's away, are they busy planning who will leave and who will take over.

  4. The Conservatives have taken option 1 off the table for several years by being the largest spending (option2) Government in Canadian history .

    Conservatives now have credibility problems which nullifies option 3 . Instead of copying Howard's speech I think Harper should have copied Howard's replacement non conservative Government on the handling of the world economic crisis . Canada lead Australia before the recession now their dollar is soaring past ours .

    • Australia increased their interest rates…

      DUH.

      Sigh, haven't you listened to a single economist ? The guys from the banks and economist in chief Harper were out in force today explaining the rise of the dollar and its impact.

      Yes, one of the factors is economic stability and performance but that is only one of many different factors and increasing your interest rates is a sure fire way to increase the value of your dollar.

  5. "This is the kind of government Canadians are looking for… Responsible for Canadians."

    And therein lies the problem. They're determined to believe that this is the kind of government we are all looking for.
    I do not want a government that is responsible for me; I am my responsibility. Rather, I consider myself responsible for the government.

  6. "This is the kind of government Canadians are looking for… Responsible for Canadians."

    And therein lies the problem. They're determined to believe that this is the kind of government a lot of us are looking for.
    I do not want a government that is responsible for me; I am my responsibility. Rather, I consider myself responsible for the government.

    • "I consider myself responsible for the government."

      I have a bone to pick with you!

  7. I look forward to action on new energy. The economy and the environment are inextricably intertwined.

    Time for you enthusiastic unfettered capitalists to put your intelligence to work for the green economy. You can't ALL be in oil.

  8. "We can't count on a government that can't count."

    That's a keeper.

    Lots of good stuff in the speech. He needs to be direct, like that, more often.

    • The question is, can we count on the Count to count any better on his own account?

      Canadian politics has come to this kind of cutesie wordplay, has it. Terrific.

    • The question is, can we count on the Count to count any better on his own account?

      Has it really come to this sort of cutesie wordplay in lieu of actual policy? Terrific.

      • To be fair, in this instance at least, he has outlined a policy – a commitment to renewable energy, and not just because it makes us feel all fuzzy and warm, but because high enegy prices do hurt Canadians. And because to some extent that is where the jobs of the future are. We can debate whether this is good policy and how we're going to pay for it, but to be fair he has put it out there.

    • Diane, you really need to practice with that new keyboard!

      But I agree with you.

    • Ignatieff's address was impressive, covered pretty much all the bases, and all the moreso when you see him speaking (CPAC) – briskly, no stumbles, no notes, and no prompter. Gives the impression that he's on top of his game.

  9. It wasn't bad at all as far as such speeches go. He made some good points. Of course what will wind up a lot of Cons is: he didn't say how we're going to pay for a brighter, cleaner future. He needs to address this. It is not automatic that the money has to all come from the tax-payer. There are P3s and other cost sharing initiatives. I have no problem with the federal govt beng the initiator ,but Ignatieef has to address the money/investment question more directly, or leave himself open to charges of being a tax and spender. Harper of couse is able credibly to attack him on only one of these issues.

    • "It is not automatic that the money has to all come from the tax-payer."

      One way or another, the money always comes from the taxpayer.

      I wish Harper/Flaherty would remember they are meant to be conservatives and table a proper plan to eliminate deficit, ideally through reductions in spending. Canadians are more economically conservative than Cons give them credit for and fortune favours the brave.

      • No it doesn't. Chretien made cuts in the mid 90's (though economic growth played a bigger part in reducing the deficit), and, while he retained his majority, he did so barely, and solely because of the vote split on the right. Before making cuts Chretien's Liberals were polling around 50+% territory.

        Making major cuts right now would cause the Tories to tank in the polls. Sensing an opportunity, the opposition parties would vote them down. They would be defeated in a subsequent election, and have no opportunity to enact their policies. Canada's political system faces structural inhibitors that ensure our governments live in the short-term.

        Moreover, the status quo isn't that bad. Stimulus spending will mostly drop off after next year, which will take care of a large chunk of deficit reduction. The hike in social security premiums will also provide additional billions to the treasury. Canada should run a balanced budget – but balanced over the long term. In bad years, you are going to have large deficits. In good years, we should be running surpluses. The six years of deficits, generally in the range of a few % of GDP will have a very minor impact on long-term growth (particularly as Canada looks like an island of stability next to the United States).

        • I was thinking of a reasonable plan to eliminate deficit over five years instead of the voodoo economics we are getting now. I agree that major cuts don't have to happen right now but Cons could say cuts will be made once we have 6 quarters of growth or whatever. I think people are getting tired of how pols solution to everything is to raise taxes – people are waiting for pols to start making some choices here and stop thinking of themselves as brave when they don't do anything to balance budget.

      • Wow. A Liberal criticizing Liberals immediately followed by a Conservative criticizing Conservatives.

        What a great board! Way to go, guys.

  10. The only renewable energy that really makes sense in Canada is wind power, and to a much lesser extent geothermal power.

    Large scale solar projects are unlikely to become economically viable in Canada, simply because of our harsh climate and relatively low insolation (kWh solar radiation / year). Major solar "hot spots" of the future will be places like Arizona, Nevada, and Western Australia. No investor in his right mind would build a major solar power facility in Canada, without the benefit of massive government subsidies.

    • Hopefully we can still corner the market on the technology behind large scale solar and other such projects. We already lost Arise to the Germans. Who's next?

      • We did? They aren't here anymore? Physically, I mean? I admit, I've driven down that road recently and don't remember seeing the big sign . . .

        • Their HQ is still in Cambridge but they've moved the bulk of their manufacturing to Germany, as they were given a much better deal by their federal government.

      • We did? They aren't here anymore? Physically, I mean? I admit, I've driven down that road recently and don't remember seeing the big sign . . .

    • You're forgetting biomass and related technologies…we do still have lots of trees. You miss the point on solar, hydrogen etc. We canstill export these technologies if we're world leaders. Germany for for instance is anexporter of technologies that may ot have mass appeal or application.

      • Ah within Germany of course.

    • No investor in his right mind would build a major solar power facility in Canada, without the benefit of massive government subsidies.

      True but how about labs/factories that make solar panels, which we can then sell to people with big empty areas full of sunlight? Or big vats of algae for biofuel? Or tidal power generation? Or [insert something novel here]?

      • I support this kind of R&D, and I'm sure that there are plenty of research niches in Canada that could make excellent use of public funds, but I'm skeptical of grandiose promises like the ones made by Ignatieff above. We can't transform Canada into a world leader in renewable energy research overnight just by writing a bunch of cheques.

        • Not to say that I approve, but subsidies have always followed hydrocarbons.

          And didn't KT get his ethanol subsidies before he joined the Harper circle of
          wagons for a year or so ?

          Goose, meet gander ?

    • Never you fret. Mr. Ignatieff wants to provide exactly that kind of massive subsidy.

      • Better that subsidy than letting the banks off the hook and switching it to CMHC as the cons have done.

    • "Large scale solar projects are unlikely to become economically viable in Canada, simply because of our harsh climate and relatively low insolation…"

      I think you're wrong there. As I understand it large swaths of Canada sit at about 4.5 kWh/m^2 per day, averaged annually, and there are areas in the prairies that hit 5.5-6, which is about the same as Nevada and Arizona.

      People tend to think cold climate equals lower insolation, but actually it has little to do with temperature and everything to do with cloud cover.

      • And what's the problem with nuclear?? We have boatloads of uranium. In the sense that we'll never run out, it's essentially renewable. Granted, waste storage needs to be handled well, but it's pretty compact and can certainly be done.

    • "Large scale solar projects are unlikely to become economically viable in Canada, simply because of our harsh climate and relatively low insolation…"

      I think you're wrong there. As I understand it large swaths of Canada sit at about 4.5 kWh/m^2 per day, averaged annually, and there are areas in the prairies that hit 5.5-6, which is about the same as Nevada and Arizona.

      People tend to think cold climate equals lower insolation, but actually it has little to do with temperature and everything to do with cloud cover.

      Also, what makes you think geothermal makes less sense than wind power? And what about hydroelectric, the one we already depend on all across Ontario? It's totally renewable. In fact it's just solar via natural means.

    • "Large scale solar projects are unlikely to become economically viable in Canada, simply because of our harsh climate and relatively low insolation…"

      I think you're wrong there. As I understand it large swaths of Canada sit at about 4.5 kWh/m^2 per day, averaged annually, and there are areas in the prairies that hit 5.5-6 (for panels tilted at latitude), which is about the same as Nevada and Arizona.

      People tend to think cold climate equals lower insolation, but actually it has little to do with temperature and everything to do with cloud cover.

      Also, what makes you think geothermal makes less sense than wind power? And what about hydroelectric, the one we already depend on all across Ontario? It's totally renewable. In fact it's just solar via natural means.

      • There are places in the US Southwest that receive an average of 7.5 kWh/m^2/day, which trumps anything that Canada has to offer. Also, Canada's harsh winters wreak havoc on large-scale solar panel or heliostat fields – a problem that would not exist in Arizona or Australia.

        I think that geothermal energy has lots of potential in select Canadian locations, but "hot spot" countries like Iceland have a tremendous advantage for any kind of large scale geothermal electricity generation.

  11. And just to reply to myself ( I'm the only one who understands me, so I talk to
    myself a lot ) none of it really matters since we're already years behind Europe
    on green R&D.

    • I completely agree. It will be very difficult for Canada to play catch-up on this file after wealthy countries like Germany have invested tens (if not hundreds) of billions of dollars over the last decade.

  12. What is this? Anyone can cut and paste whole speeches.

  13. Just one percent of our power comes from renewables like wind and solar.

    Ignatieff is being deceptive if this excludes hydro. Quebec alone has only hydro electricity. That means at least 20% of the Canadian population is using clean renewable energy. Throw in Ontario and BC's hydro plants, and the % increases greatly.

    I'd like to know how much of our energy comes from "dirty" sources, such as coal. We should focus on & attack those "dirty" sources of power, replace those with renewables.

    Another item that stood out : Ignatieff discusses carbon sequestration as an emerging technology. Ironically, Harper is going to make an announcement on this very subject in Edmonton tomorrow.

    • Hydro tends to have a large destructive impact. Very few such projects could be considered 'clean' or 'renewable' given this fact. There may be no emissions but the negative effect on habitat, water cycle and biodiversity are very real. There is a movement to solve these challenges:

      http://www.lowimpacthydro.org/

    • So where does the irony come into the picture?

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