The new Energy Policy should smooth the energy transition for businesses and reinforce economic development in Quebec and Montréal

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Added on 7 April 2016 in Press releases

Montréal, April 7, 2016 ‒ The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes today’s release of Quebec’s Energy Policy 2030 by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister responsible for the Plan Nord, Pierre Arcand. The policy sets ambitious targets that will confirm the province’s leadership in renewable energy. The Board of Trade will see to it that the government leverages its energy assets and uses them to stimulate economic development and the growth of the city’s businesses.

A predictable supply

“A reliable energy supply is essential to Greater Montréal’s economic performance and the quality of the business environment,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “Businesses can count on affordable electricity, but to be competitive they need access to a stable, predictable supply of all forms of energy, particularly natural gas. The announced surplus margin of 10% for the transportation of natural gas and the creation of a standing working group on the industrial energy supply are great news. The Board of Trade will monitor the group’s work with interest to ensure that businesses have access to the volume of energy they need in normal and peak periods, as well as increasing volumes to meet the progressive growth in demand.”

“The Board of Trade welcomes the announced changes to energy project evaluation processes to make them more efficient and consistent,” Michel Leblanc said. “While it is important to properly evaluate the impact of energy projects, unwieldy processes and the many authorities that have to weigh in make completing major projects virtually impossible. A simplified structure is required to be able to complete projects and ensure a stable energy supply to meet the growing demand or to export energy resources to foreign markets. The Board of Trade believes that with a simplified process, we can facilitate major projects while ensuring the most stringent environmental and safety standards.”

Simplify and facilitate business efforts

“Having a single administration to coordinate the services and programs offered by departments and organizations is good news for the city’s business community,” Michel Leblanc said. “That administration should simplify and facilitate the efforts of businesses that want to transition to another source of energy if the government truly wants to achieve the ambitious targets it has set.”

Promote our positioning internationally

“Clean energy in Québec is an undeniable factor in attracting foreign companies that want to set up operations in the city or in the regions,” Michel Leblanc said. “Amazon Web Services’ intention to establish operations here because of its desire to use clean, renewable energy shows the economic opportunities that our energy system can represent for sectors with significant energy needs. We need to be able to promote Quebec and Montréal’s positioning on this part of the world stage.”

Room for hydrocarbons

“As the new policy rightly points out, revenue from developing hydrocarbons in Quebec could improve the province’s trade balance and be injected into developing renewable energy,” Mr. Leblanc said. “The policy’s rules are encouraging, and while the issues of safety and environmental impact are legitimate and very important, hydrocarbons will be part of the energy picture for many years to come. The Board of Trade supports the government’s pragmatism in finding this much-needed balance to avoid slowing the economic growth of Quebec and Montréal.”

A policy businesses have to be able to count on

“The true economic test of this energy policy will be whether it reassures businesses and entrepreneurs about pressures on the cost of their energy supply at a time when a transition has begun that will have major consequences,” Michel Leblanc said. “In simple terms, the Energy Policy released today should improve the competitiveness of businesses. That is the fundamental issue we will raise with Minister Arcand when he speaks before the Board of Trade on April 15.”

 

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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Source: 
Guillaume Bérubé
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042
gberube@ccmm.qc.ca

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