Canada’s energy policy must be about more than oil exports. First and foremost it must be about clean and public energy production. That is one of the main messages that Paul Moist National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) hopes the federal and provincial energy ministers will hear, as they meet in Charlottetown for the next few days.
In a letter sent to the federal and all provincial energy ministers earlier this week, Moist insists that governments need to focus more on Canadians' energy security and the development of clean, public energy.
“A sustainable economy must be built on more than the direct export of our natural resources: our own energy security must be a priority. We must direct the wealth generated by our natural resources to investment in a public energy system that is sustainable both environmentally and economically”, Moist says.
The policy recommendations outlined by CUPE include:
- Adopt the principle that access to energy is a human right.
- Recognize electrical energy production, transmission and distribution specifically.
- Establish a core principle of public ownership of electrical infrastructure and production.
- Eliminate disincentives and bans on public utility investment and development of green and renewable energy infrastructure.
- Establish clear processes to work with First Nations and local communities on energy development.
- Work with labour on a workforce development strategy to train new energy workers to deal with the demographic challenges of an aging workforce and a changing workplace.
- Develop plans to ensure a just transition for workers to move from non-renewable energy to green and renewable energy.