QUÉBEC, Oct. 30, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - On his return from a mission to British Columbia, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, said he was enthusiastic about the considerable interest shown by his west coast counterparts in increasing collaboration between the two provinces and pooling their efforts to boost the role of subnational governments in the fight against climate change.
During the mission, the minister met with British Columbia Minister of Environment Mary Polak in Victoria. Their discussions focused on intensifying their collaboration on carbon pricing and on actions currently underway by the Pacific Coast Collaborative and on preventing risks associated with transporting hydrocarbons.
According to Minister Heurtel, "in light of the urgency to act in fighting climate change, current governments must create conditions that foster the emergence of a green economy – one that will contribute to improving the well-being of the planet we want to pass on to our children. Québec and British Columbia have already embarked on that path, as evidenced by our views on carbon pricing, and are among the most progressive States in the fight against climate change. We have everything to gain by sharing our best practices since climate change knows no borders."
The minister was also invited to be the keynote speaker at the opening plenary session of Electric Mobility Canada's annual conference, held in Vancouver from October 28 to 30. Speaking before an audience composed of political decision-makers and representatives from the private sector interested in the latest trends in transportation electrification, Minister Heurtel stressed the importance of public policies aimed at increasing the presence of electric vehicles on our roads.
"Québec currently accounts for 60% of electric vehicle sales in Canada, while its population represents 23% of Canada's population. In the past six months, electric vehicle sales have increased substantially. With a rapidly increasing charging network, electric vehicles are truly an advantageous transportation solution," said Minister Heurtel.
In parallel to the conference, the minister invited various companies based in Québec and British Columbia to a highly productive networking activity. The minister emphasized the crucial role played by companies in developing the green economy and encouraged them to continue to think big. "Transportation electrification is a promising and growing economic sector for Québec that stimulates job creation and economic competitiveness while promoting a reduction in GHG emissions. Québec's transportation electrification industry is currently composed of some thirty companies and provides 3,000 jobs – proof positive that clean technologies benefit Québec's economy and are instrumental for its revival," indicated Minister Heurtel.
During the conference, the Minister also spoke with Les Abelson, a representative from an Israeli delegation of companies in the advanced technologies sector involved in transportation electrification. In addition, he had a highly informative meeting with Vancouver's Assistant City Manager, Sadhu Johnston, one of the architects of the action plan intended to make Vancouver the world's greenest city by 2020. The city has invested heavily in transportation electrification.
The Minister likewise had an opportunity to meet with Duncan Wilson, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility of Port Metro Vancouver, and discuss that stakeholder's exemplary environmental commitment. Port Metro Vancouver was the first port in Canada to electrify its cargo and passenger ship facilities, thereby eliminating air pollution and GHG emissions caused by the idling of boat diesel engines.
"In the context of implementing the Maritime Strategy and since many similar projects are being considered in Québec, including electric power grid installations for cruise ships in the ports of Montréal and Québec City, exchanging best practices is an invaluable asset. We must all work together to promote the adoption of new practices and eliminate barriers to innovation," concluded Minister Heurtel.
Assistant Press Officer
Office of the Minister of Sustainable Development,
Tel.: 418 521-3911
de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre
les changements climatiques
Tel.: 418 521-3991
SOURCE: Cabinet du ministre du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
For further information: SOURCE: Marie-Catherine Leduc, Assistant Press Officer, Office of the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Tel.: 418 521-3911; INFORMATION: Media Relations, Ministère du Développement durable,de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contreles changements climatiques, Tel.: 418 521-3991