Categories: Press Releases

Green Power Corridor Summit in Ottawa (Official Transcript)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Press Release

Transcription prepared by Media Q Inc. exclusively for Corporate Knights Inc.

DATE/DATE: April 19, 2007 11:15 a. m.

LOCATION/ENDROIT: Canadian Government Conference Centre, Annex Room,

2 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario

PRINCIPAL(S) /PRINCIPAUX: Harvey Yesno, Toby Heaps, Hon. Dwight Duncan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Hon. Kathy Dunderdale

SUBJECT/SUJET: A working group assembled by Corporate Knights gives a news conference during their meetings on a cross-country Green Power Corridor

Moderator, Toby Heaps, Corporate Knights:... We’re going to get the press conference underway in a moment. Today, the first talks on a cross-country green power corridor were initiated here with involvement from aboriginal leaders, provincial Ministers and the business community as well as members from the environmental community, and what we were discussing was a cross-country nation-building project on a scale with the national railroad, an entity that used to be headquartered right where we’re standing here today.

The goal of these talks is to initiate a building consensus, an emerging consensus to catalyze actions to make Canada a clean-energy superpower, and at the same time to deliver economic development in partnership with aboriginal communities and local communities and also to set in place standards and protocols of a 21st century green grid that preserves ecological integrity and enhances our environmental capital as we move forward.

We’re going to keep our remarks brief, as one of our Honorable Ministers will be heading off on an airplane shortly, and we don’t want him to miss that plane. So briefly, at the conference, which was kindly chaired by former Premier Stephen Kakfwi. He will offer brief remarks about the sentiment and then Harvey Yesno, the Chair of the Chief Steering Committee, will offer brief remarks about how his community sees the potential for a project like this to go forward, followed by the Hon. Minister of Energy, Hon. Dwight Duncan and then the Hon. Minister of Natural Resources from Newfoundland and Labrador, Kathy Dunderdale. So without further ado, Premier Kakfwi will offer some remarks and then we’ll quickly proceed and then there will be opportunities for questions and answers.

Hon. Stephen Kakfwi: Thank you and good day to all of you. As former Premier I’ve been pleased to be invited to be part of this, to chair this initial meeting. As I understand it, this concept of nation building, of developing infrastructure going east to west, accessing clean energy, getting aboriginal and environmental groups onside, getting governments to work together to provide some vision and some leadership to our country that is presently under siege from a number of issues, global warming, climate change, lack of perhaps momentum and incentive, a positive outlook by Canadians. There’s a call for some need for nation building for let’s say national leadership and we sense that this is an issue that could provide that.

It’s also an opportunity to show the world how we can do it right, that by making economic projects viable we can also get First Nations to buy in to be part of it, to help expedite the projects, to get governments, provincial and federal, to buy in to help expedite the process by removing obstacles, identifying them well ahead of time and not waiting till the last minute to get general buy-in early on, getting a balanced approach to it.

There’s a way and I think we’re well on our way. As I understand it, the Prime Minister and his office are in support of this idea, and Minister Prentice was going to attend. He had a last-minute call to Cabinet, so he couldn’t make it. We have support from Ministers of Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba as I understand it, so we have a good start and it’s been a very productive conference and we look forward to working with everybody that has attended so far to go onto the next step and develop something that can truly be something of pride and hope to the rest of Canada. So thank you.

Moderator: Thank you, Premier. Now Mr. Harvey Yesno, Chair of the Chief Steering Committee, will offer some brief remarks before the Hon. Minister Dwight Duncan offers some remarks.