Canadian Consulting Engineer

Wind power and transit supported in Speech from the Throne

The Canadian Government announced its intentions for the next Parliamentary Session in the Speech from the Throne d...

October 7, 2004   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Canadian Government announced its intentions for the next Parliamentary Session in the Speech from the Throne delivered by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in Ottawa on October 5.
The throne speech was wide ranging, as is typical, and shows government attempting to be all things to all people. However, for consulting engineers, there were a number of interesting sections that related to the environment, infrastructure, and business laws.
In the section “Our Environment,” the government said it will be giving strong support to new environmental technologies, particularly in clean renewable energy and support for wind-power production — quadrupling the Wind Power Production Incentive (the same day the Quebec government announced a $1.9 billion, eight-year investment in eight private wind farms).
The speech also said the government will be revamping the environmental assessment process, consolidating federal environmental assessments and working with the provinces to create a more effective review process.
In terms of Canada’s Great Lakes and water bodies, the government said it will be working with the U.S. and the International Joint Commission on issues such as clean air, clean water and invasive species.
As expected, under “Canada’s Cities and Communities,” we heard that a portion of the federal gas tax, increasing over the next five years, will be going to municipalities to help them contain urban sprawl and invest in transit, roads, clean water and sewers.
The government also indicated it will be fostering new technologies, including biotechnology, advanced materials, and communication/information systems.
Firms should also note that the government says it will be proposing changes to the Competition Act, and that it promises to promote “a transparent and predictable regulatory system.”


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