October 18, 2017

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Generation Energy set to light up

Carr touts Liberal energy strategies ahead of conference

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, at Weston Bakeries Tuesday. </p></p>

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, at Weston Bakeries Tuesday.

On the eve of the largest energy conference ever in this country in Winnipeg, Natural Resource Minister Jim Carr said Canada is about to unveil major new strategies related to the environmental assessment of energy projects.

Carr held a press conference at the sprawling Weston Bakeries location in south Winnipeg announcing an industrial component to the federal government's Energy Star program that is challenging individual factory locations to improve their energy efficiency by 10 per cent over the next five years.

The two-day Generation Energy Forum starts today in Winnipeg and will bring together some of Canada's and the world's leading energy experts, industry officials, environmentalists and Indigenous and community leaders. It is the culmination of a national dialogue Carr's department has been organizing to help define Canada's energy future for the next generation.

"We are on the verge of announcing to Canadians a long-term modernization of environmental assessment in Canada, including the modernization of the National Energy Board," Carr said. "So if there is another major pipeline application that would take crude from Alberta to the East Coast of Canada, that will be governed by a brand new set of rules that will be made known to Canadians within the next number of months."

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On the eve of the largest energy conference ever in this country in Winnipeg, Natural Resource Minister Jim Carr said Canada is about to unveil major new strategies related to the environmental assessment of energy projects.

Carr held a press conference at the sprawling Weston Bakeries location in south Winnipeg announcing an industrial component to the federal government's Energy Star program that is challenging individual factory locations to improve their energy efficiency by 10 per cent over the next five years.

The two-day Generation Energy Forum starts today in Winnipeg and will bring together some of Canada's and the world's leading energy experts, industry officials, environmentalists and Indigenous and community leaders. It is the culmination of a national dialogue Carr's department has been organizing to help define Canada's energy future for the next generation.

"We are on the verge of announcing to Canadians a long-term modernization of environmental assessment in Canada, including the modernization of the National Energy Board," Carr said. "So if there is another major pipeline application that would take crude from Alberta to the East Coast of Canada, that will be governed by a brand new set of rules that will be made known to Canadians within the next number of months."

At the Generation Energy Forum, Carr and his department officials will be exposed to the latest takes on climate change and energy sustainability from the likes of American economist Jeremy Rifkin; Paris-based Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency; and Eldar Saetre, CEO of Norwegian oil company Statoil Global.

The conference comes on the heels of TransCanada Corp.'s decision to scrap the $15.7-billion Energy East pipeline project to the cheers of environmentalists and further hand-wringing from the oil sector.

On Tuesday, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) issued a new analysis and preliminary report on the state of the industry.

The industry recommends a six-pronged approach from government including a national vision for oil and gas development.

"Canada can become the world’s energy supplier of choice, generating both economic and environmental benefits in Canada and around the world, but only if governments choose to develop Canadian oil and natural gas with competitive policies that attract investment and spur innovation," CAPP said on Tuesday.

The Energy Star challenge for industry encourages factory managers to take action like turning off equipment not being used and other energy-saving strategies, many of which require no capital investment.

Walter Kraus, Weston Foods' vice-president of environment and corporate sustainability, said the company has already reduced its energy intensity — energy consumption per unit of production — by 21 per cent since 2007.

He said the company will now try to get another 10 per cent reduction over the next five years.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by Martin Cash.

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