Tuesday, May 3, 2011

3074 MW Lower Churchill hydro project likely to proceed given results of Canadian election

Last night the ruling centre-right Conservative party obtained a majority in the Canadian parliament while the centre-left NDP party surprised most Canadians and received a sufficient number of seats to make the NDP the number two party in Canada and the official opposition party.

During the campaign, NDP Leader Jack Layton stated that the NDP would back a loan guarantee for the first phase of the $6.2 billion CAD proposed 3074 MW Lower Churchill hydro project. The NDP also stated they would invest $375 million CAD in the Maritime Transmission Link project through the PPP Canada fund ($300 million CAD) and the Green Infrastructure Program ($75 million CAD).

During the campaign the Conservative government announced that if re-elected they will provide financial support for major clean energy infrastructure projects that have regional or national significance across Canada. “Our Government has a strong record of supporting clean energy projects in every region of the country,” Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party Stephen Harper said. “As part of our low-tax plan for jobs and growth, we will consider financial support to projects that are of national or regional importance, have economic and financial merit and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We will do this in a way that is equitable across every region of Canada.” Prime Minister Harper noted that, with these criteria in mind, the Conservative Government will provide a loan guarantee or whatever other financial support is required to build the Lower Churchill hydro project in Newfoundland.

The governing Conservative party seems to prefer an approach which evaluates Federal government funding for clean energy projects on a case-by-case basis and the NDP seem to prefer a detailed national funding plan. In either case, both the governing party and the official opposition clearly and unequivocally support clean energy development in Canada which bodes very well for the future of proposed clean energy projects in Canada.

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