NEIA participates in business roundtable with Justin Trudeau
On Monday afternoon, NEIA was invited to participate in a small business roundtable with federal Liberal Party Leader hopeful Justin Trudeau. Various associations and organizations were invited to share their views with Mr. Trudeau, including:
- Aerospace and Defence Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance of Technical Industries
- Merit Contractors Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture
- Newfoundland and Labrador Home Builders Association
- Canadian Manufactures and Exporters – NL
- Mount Pearl Chamber of Commerce
- Newfoundland and Labrador Employers Council
- Newfoundland and Labrador Business Coalition
NEIA Board Members and its Executive Director had the opportunity to share some of the environmental sector’s priorities at the federal level with Mr. Trudeau. The following points of interest were communicated:
- There is a need for federal government leadership related to infrastructure development and renewal in Canada. This is a growing area of budgetary need and will require environmental technology and innovation (e.g. new federal requirement for sewage treatment discharging to water.)
- There is a need for federal government clarity on the approach to greenhouse gas management and control. Waiting for the provinces to act unilaterally is not ideal as provinces have different financial means, varying degrees of interest, and opposing opinions on how to move forward. All of this amounts to a stalled process.
- A rural renewable energy strategy is needed that would contribute to self-sufficiency and economic opportunities. Many rural communities, including in NL, are provided electricity from burning fossil fuels when there are economically feasible and cleaner alternatives available.
- There is a need for a balanced approach in addressing environmental concerns. Though there are some segments of the economy which do have clear alternatives (e.g. energy production), there are other segments critical to NL’s economy which are non-renewable (e.g. oil, mining). Green policies must be careful crafted to respect this delicate enviro-economic balance.
- ‘Green Building’ is a segment of the environmental sector (1) that can bring about considerable environmental change; (2) that will create economic benefits for both property owners and the economy at large; and (3) that is extremely sensitive to government intervention. The federal government must provide incentives and disincentives to help grow this sector.