Federal budget support for innovation and skills training will drive productivity and economic growth says Canadian Gas Association

OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The federal budget announced today contains a number of measures that will benefit Canadians and drive productivity and economic growth said the Canadian Gas Association.

The federal budget includes initiatives that will help support Canada's economic growth and prosperity including:

  • Investment in job and skills training for Canadians.
  • Investment in community infrastructure development.
  • Significant investment in research and innovation.

"Investing in training, job skills, and community infrastructure all help to improve our competitiveness and productivity.  And support for research and innovation will help ensure long-term growth," said Timothy M. Egan, President and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association.

CGA believes these initiatives offer significant opportunity to build on the innovation agenda:

  • $7 billion over 10 years in First Nations infrastructure including roads, bridges, energy systems, and other priorities.
  • Expansion of the 43.2 accelerated capital cost allowance to include biogas and biomethane production, cleanup, and upgrading equipment used to treat eligible gases from waste.
  • $37 million annually to granting councils in support of research partnerships with industry to create and deploy new technologies, products, and services into the marketplace.
  • $325 million over eight years to Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to support the development and deployment of new clean technologies which save businesses money, create jobs, and drive innovation.
  • $20 million over three years for an NRC pilot program for small and medium sized businesses for product and service commercialization.

"CGA has been driving forward with its own agenda on innovation," Egan noted. "Natural gas utilities look forward to opportunities to work with the Government of Canada on this."

CGA did note the government's reference to the potential negative implications of lower natural gas prices because of lower revenues and would highlight the fact that there is a very positive implication as well: energy that is even more affordable for Canadian homeowners, businesses, and industry.

Natural gas is an affordable, clean, safe and reliable energy choice for buildings and communities, large industry, and transportation.  Natural gas has a central place in Canada's energy mix meeting 30 per cent of the country's energy needs.  Today over 6.3 million customers representing well over half the Canadian population rely on natural gas for heat and power in homes, apartments, buildings, businesses, hospitals and schools.

CGA is the voice of Canada's natural gas distribution industry and its members are distribution companies, transmission companies, equipment manufacturers and other service providers.  The website of the Canadian Gas Association, www.cga.ca, provides information, facts, and useful tools on this affordable energy choice.

SOURCE: Canadian Gas Association

For further information:

Please visit www.cga.ca or contact:

Paula Dunlop, Director, Public Affairs and Strategy, Canadian Gas Association
613-748-0057 ext. 341 or 613-614-3280 or pdunlop@cga.ca

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