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Parliamentary Committee on the implementation of the 2030 Energy Policy: the government should consider the needs of businesses

Montréal, August 16, 2016 ‒ Today the Board of Trade presented its recommendations to the Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries, Energy and Natural Resources as part of public hearings on Bill 106, An Act to implement the 2030 Energy Policy and to amend various legislative provisions. Developing the regulatory framework to start Québec’s energy transition is particularly important for the city’s business community. The president and CEO of the Board of Trade, Michel Leblanc, reminded the government that businesses are one of the cornerstones for achieving the ambitious goals by 2030. The energy transition needs to happen in a way that contributes to the development of the city’s businesses and job creation.

Three guiding principles to make the transition a success
“Three guiding principles need to guide the application of the 2030 Energy Policy to ensure the transition’s success: predictability, appropriate support for businesses and setting goals for each stage,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

“Local businesses already have to deal with a multitude of unknowns that influence their decisions to invest,” Michel Leblanc said. “We have to ensure that the energy transition is an opportunity for investing and making local business more competitive, while limiting uncertainty. We therefore ask the government to follow these three principles and take into account the pace of technological innovation. The more the government understands and controls the impact of the transition on local businesses, the more buy-in there will be and the better our chances will be for succeeding in this energy transition.”

A clear mandate for Transition énergétique Québec (TEQ)
“The Board of Trade supports the government’s intention to provide effective coordination for energy transition initiatives by creating the Transition énergétique Québec,” Mr. Leblanc said. “The principle of a single resource point needs to be embodied in the TEQ’s mission to offer direct services to the public and businesses and to avoid having too many stakeholders involved.”

Allow more room for energy innovation and economic development
“The energy transition will be governed by the pace of energy innovation,” Mr. Leblanc said. “It is important that the legislation foster trials of these innovations and new technologies to enable commercialization and increase the competitiveness of local businesses on the international scene. Business vision, vitality and determination will play a critical role in achieving the goals of the new energy policy, and the Board of Trade will give the government its complete cooperation to do just that.”

The Board of Trade’s nine recommendations are as follows:

  1. Determine the steps in the transition process, remaining sensitive to the growth challenges of businesses and particularly SMEs. This means having appropriate support to businesses and predictable measures and targets.
  2. Clarify the roles of Transition énergétique Québec, the Régie de l’énergie, agencies and departments in the new structure to simplify administrative processes.
  3. Clarify in the Bill how the Transition énergétique Québec will work as a central resource and the direct services that will be offered.
  4. More accurately outline the financing for the TEQ and the role that businesses will play in it, and take measures to avoid repeating the financial management errors associated with the Green Fund.
  5. Have directors with different backgrounds on the board of directors and the stakeholders panel and include elected representatives from the CMM and the Québec City area.
  6. Establish the Transition énergétique Québec head office in Montréal so that it is near major players in the energy transition.
  7. Allow Gaz métro to invest, along with Hydro-Québec, in transportation projects and infrastructure and include this financial aid in their rates.
  8. Not modify the rules for authorizations granted under the Mining Act so that drilling and exploration companies can operate according to agreements established when leases and permits were signed.
  9. Set out legislative measures in Bill 106 that promote technological innovation and economic development that support Québec’s energy transition.

The Board of Trade’s brief can be consulted by clicking here.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.

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Guillaume Bérubé
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca

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