Bill S-229 Seeks to Prevent Damages and Improve Safety of Critical Underground Infrastructure
The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) strongly supports Bill S-229, An Act respecting underground infrastructure safety, introduced by Senator Grant Mitchell, which entered Second Reading debate on October 4, 2016. This legislation will reduce the costs and increase safety associated with damages to our underground infrastructure by addressing the need for a mandated comprehensive call/click-before-you-dig notification system across Canada.
The members of the CCGA, which include the Canadian Gas Association (CGA), the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), as well as other industry associations representing excavators, locators, road builders, telecommunications, railroad, water, landscapers, construction, engineering and design, encourage all Senators and Parliamentarians to support Bill S-229 and for the federal government to mandate a comprehensive notification system for locate requests before digging.
There is a system of underground infrastructure that delivers and transports the services that support us in our daily lives, including energy, television, telecommunications, water and sewage. As Senator Mitchell stated in the Senate “It’s a web of wires, pipes, fibre optics and oil and gas pipelines that are at the root of our quality of life and our standard of living.”
This legislation is in response to a report published by the Senate Committee on the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources in December 2014 that recommended all jurisdictions mandate the use of this type of notification system. While currently there are Call/Click Before you Dig systems in Canada, there is no legislation, except in Ontario, to require its use. Bill S-229 would ensure the system is comprehensive and effective for underground infrastructure on federal lands.
There is a significant amount of cost and damages from people who hit underground infrastructure when they are digging, whether it is from major construction projects or homeowners digging in their yard. In 2015, there were more than 10,000 voluntary reports of damage to underground infrastructure in Canada, of which 79 per cent caused a disruption to services.
According to a report conducted by CIRANO, an organization based in Quebec, entitled Socio-Economic Cost Assessment for Damages to Underground Infrastructures, there are more than the obvious direct costs, including the cost of the materials, labour costs and administrative costs related to the damages. There are also indirect costs related to the damage, including intervention of emergency services, evacuations, loss of products, environmental impact, economic impact on businesses and risk of injury or death.
While Bill S-229 covers underground infrastructure that is federally regulated or on federal lands, it is a positive step in the right direction. As Senator Mitchell stated, “this federal initiative can contribute to momentum for a national system. It is an opportunity for positive, collaborative national leadership.”
The CCGA’s vision is to be Canada's unified damage prevention voice and attract members from all Canadian national organizations and associations who share common damage prevention and public safety solutions.
For more information, contact:
Mike Sullivan Canadian Common Ground Alliance (c/o Alberta One-Call) [email protected] 403.531.3700
Canadian Gas Association Announces the Appointment of Canadian Cleantech Executive John Adams as Managing Director, Natural Gas Innovation Funding
Ottawa, Sept 20, 2016 – The Canadian Gas Association is pleased to announce the appointment of John Adams as Managing Director, Natural Gas Innovation Funding.
“I am very pleased that John has joined our organization,” said Timothy M. Egan, President and CEO, Canadian Gas Association. “John has a passion for sustainable energy, extensive industry experience, and an impressive background and record of building partnerships amongst private industry, academia and governments at home and abroad to drive innovation in energy technology forward.”
Canada’s natural gas utilities have undertaken significant initiatives involving the innovative use of affordable, clean, safe, and reliable natural gas and the extensive natural gas delivery and storage infrastructure. Recent efforts include launching Energy Technology Innovation Canada (ETIC), creating with Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) the Sustainable Development Natural Gas FundTM, partnering with the National Research Council (NRC), signing a Canada-U.S. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on technology innovation, partnering with Canmet ENERGY, and renewing a 5-year MOU with Natural Resources Canada. These partnerships have, to date, resulted in combined investments totaling almost $30 million.
“Natural gas companies are innovators with a long history of supporting better environmental performance and improved energy efficiency in energy end-use technology. Canada’s natural gas delivery industry is looking for opportunities to further develop natural gas innovation that delivers economic, environmental and health benefits for all Canadians,” said Egan. “We want to build on the success we have had and John will have an important role in helping us achieve that goal.”
A number of technologies are of interest to natural gas utilities given their potential to support the delivery of more clean and affordable energy to customers. Areas of particular interest include: renewable natural gas (RNG), CO2 recovery, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) for northern and remote communities, natural gas vehicles, distributed energy systems, combined heat and power (CHP) systems (including micro CHP), industrial energy efficiency, and power-to-gas.
“I am very excited to join CGA and am looking forward to developing a whole industry and government approach working with natural gas utilities, cleantech companies, government, academia, and other partners with similar interests. CGA has the right framework, relationships and partners and I can’t wait to start building an even more successful innovation agenda,” said Adams.
About John Adams
John Adams has over 25 years in cleantech/clean energy and related experience with industry. He comes to CGA after five years with SDTC. While at SDTC, John raised almost $40M in partnership agreements with industry and federal/provincial government agencies, led a series of national funding competitions, created a national Virtual Incubator, and launched a pilot for a more simplified, applicant process. Prior to SDTC, John was with Mitsui & Co. (Canada) Ltd. holding positions in infrastructure business and international trade.
The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) is the voice of Canada’s natural gas distribution industry and its members are distribution companies, transmission companies, equipment manufacturers and other service providers. Natural gas has a central place in Canada’s energy mix meeting over 30 per cent of the country’s energy needs. Today over 6.7 million customers representing well over 20 million Canadians rely on natural gas for heat and power in homes, apartments, buildings, businesses, hospitals and schools.
Gregor Robertson, Mayor 3rd Floor, City Hall 453 West 12th Ave Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4 [email protected]
Dear Mayor Robertson,
The Vancouver City Council is expected to vote on Tuesday, July 12th on the recommendations found in the Zero Emissions Building Plan report.
The effect of those recommendations will be to eliminate natural gas, the most cost-effective energy choice, from the list of energy options for Vancouver buildings. This would be extremely shortsighted.
First, it is shortsighted because it eliminates choice. Governments at the municipal level across Canada are focused on emission reductions, and Vancouver's City Council wants to lead the way. Fair enough. But if this extends beyond setting and facilitating the meeting of targets to dictating how those targets should be achieved the effect will be to micro - manage the conduct of business, and that is not a good message to business. As Canada's gateway to the enormous growth opportunity that is the Asia-Pacific region, it doesn't want to send that message.
The reference to the Asia-Pacific region is used advisedly, and points to a second reason why eliminating natural gas would be shortsighted. Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region of the world, and needs energy. The preferred source of energy for countries in the region is natural gas. This is so much the case that China, host to this year's G20 meetings, recently held a full-day session on natural gas for the G20 Energy Ministers, exploring how to better incorporate the product into the world's energy system. Natural gas is recognized by countries across the Asia-Pacific region as the abundant, adaptable, affordable, environmentally sustainable fuel it is, and Canada is recognized as a world leader in its supply and use. If Canada's principal port facing the region signals that natural gas isn't part of the future what will this tell potential buyers across Asia?
As noted, Canada isn't just known for its supplies of natural gas, it is known for its innovative use of the product. BC's gas utilities are leading innovators in that use. Stopping such innovation would be a consequence of eliminating natural gas use, a third reason why this policy proposal is shortsighted. The introduction of renewable natural gas into gas infrastructure is one example of innovation: using a robust and cost-effective distribution system to introduce this product. If Vancouver says that system can't move natural gas any more it will take away the means to cost-effectively deliver that product. It will also take away the ability to deliver power to gas technology, one of the most innovative and effective ways to distribute renewable electricity. You will also take away the delivery system for natural gas for heavy-duty vehicles - perhaps the best way to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in the lower mainland. They are numerous other examples of innovation that the natural gas infrastructure in Vancouver enables - Vancouverites shouldn't be forced to lose those.
Underscoring all of these reasons is a key attribute of natural gas that Vancouver City Council needs to remember: natural gas is the most affordable energy option by far for Vancouver. Access to affordable energy is important to people who live in Vancouver. Affordable energy also reduces the operating costs of business, keeping companies competitive keeping high-paying corporate jobs on the ground in this, Canada's third largest city. This competitive advantage should not be thrown away outdoing one another with targets, they are built on real jobs and real opportunities for citizens.
Timothy M. Egan President & CEO Canadian Gas Association
CC: Councillor Raymond Louie Councillor Heather Deal Councillor Kerry Jang Councillor Andrea Reimer Councillor Tim Stevenson Councillor Geoff Meggs Councillor Elizabeth Ball Councillor George Affleck Councillor Melissa De Genova Councillor Adriane Carr
About CGA The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) is the voice of Canada’s natural gas distribution industry and its members are distribution companies, transmission companies, equipment manufacturers and other service providers. Natural gas has a central place in Canada’s energy mix meeting over 30 per cent of the country’s energy needs. Today over 6.7 million customers representing well over 20 million Canadians rely on natural gas for heat and power in homes, apartments, buildings, businesses, hospitals and schools.
CGA says customers, investors need certainty around affordable energy choice for the long-term. More natural gas initiatives would lower costs for Ontarians
Ottawa – June 8, 2016 The Canadian Gas Association says the Ontario Climate Action Plan released today does not state that natural gas use will be phased out by 2030 – an improvement on a leaked earlier draft of the plan. However, it leaves uncertain whether there remains any such phase out strategy for the longer term.
“It will be essential for the Ontario Government to work closely with industry on possible changes to the building codes and new concepts such as a ‘net zero carbon home’. Consultation with the sector prior to January 1, 2017 will be critical to clarify the future role of natural gas in order to provide the investment certainty required by consumers, businesses and gas utilities,” said Timothy M. Egan, President and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association.
Gas utilities, and the use of natural gas, have again and again been the most cost-effective means to reduce emissions.
“We recognize the government’s investment in renewable natural gas and natural gas for transportation in this plan. The cost per tonne of reduced emissions with these initiatives is very low by comparison to other options, demonstrating that gas innovation should be more prominently featured. Ontario's gas utilities have been leaders in driving energy efficiency and reducing emissions while keeping energy affordable and this leadership should be built upon," noted Egan.
“Affordability remains an ongoing concern” added Egan. “Natural gas rate-payers will now be asked to foot the bill for billions of dollars over the next several years to underwrite a range of initiatives. We want to ensure that what is delivered back to them is the most cost effective option to build on their existing natural gas use.”
“Ontario’s industry, our commercial institutions, our homeowners have watched electricity prices rise steadily for too long: if government is now about to do the same with natural gas costs, without clear benefits, we will lose opportunity, jobs, and the sustainable future we all desire."
The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) is the voice of Canada’s natural gas distribution industry and its members are distribution companies, transmission companies, equipment manufacturers and other service providers. Natural gas has a central place in Canada’s energy mix meeting over 30 per cent of the country’s energy needs. Today over 6.6 million customers representing well over 20 million Canadians rely on natural gas for heat and power in homes, apartments, buildings, businesses, hospitals and schools.
New Report Says Reduce Energy Costs and Emissions by Delivering LNG to Canada’s Remote Communities and Industry
Ottawa – June 1, 2016 – A new report released today says major economic benefits and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions can occur by expanding the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to remote communities and industrial facilities in Canada.
In Canada, nearly 300 remote communities and dozens of large industrial facilities are not connected to the North American electrical grid or to natural gas distribution pipelines. Access to affordable and clean energy is a challenge for these communities and serves as a barrier to economic development and GHG emission reductions. Responsible development of Canada's North means the best use of the dollars required. Affordable energy like LNG frees dollars from costlier energy alternatives, allowing local decision makers the freedom to dedicate these monies to other important priorities in their communities.
ICF International’s new report titled “Economic and GHG Emissions Benefits of LNG for Remote Markets in Canada” concludes that by 2025, at least 23 power generation and 58 industrial customers could convert to LNG resulting in, over the 25 year study period:
$2.4 billion in energy cost savings for the LNG customers;
a cumulative reduction of 11.1 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the annual CO2 production of over 2.3 million passenger vehicles; and
the addition of more than $12.5 billion to Canada’s GDP, support of 118,000 net job-years, and an increase in government revenues by $4.5 billion.
The Vancouver Declaration, signed by Canada’s First Ministers identifies the need to identify alternative energy options for Indigenous and northern communities. CGA recommends that the Pan Canadian Climate Strategy recognize the role of LNG as an affordable, clean and reliable alternative energy choice.
“This report quantifies just how significant and meaningful an opportunity we have to reduce energy costs and emissions for communities and industry in Canada’s North by expanding LNG delivery and use. Natural gas utilities look forward to working with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities, technology providers, and other stakeholders to look more closely at how to move forward and realize this opportunity,” said Timothy M. Egan, President and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association.
LNG is produced when pipeline quality natural gas is cooled to -162 degrees Celsius liquefying the gas and reducing its volume in order for it to be transported in storage tanks on trucks, ships, or rail to a regasification facility located near large industrial facilities (like mines) or communities in the North where it can be stored and used for heat or to generate power.
CGA is the voice of Canada’s natural gas distribution industry and its members are distribution companies, transmission companies, equipment manufacturers and other service providers. Natural gas has a central place in Canada’s energy mix meeting over 30 per cent of the country’s energy needs. Today over 6.6 million customers representing well over 20 million Canadians rely on natural gas for heat and power in homes, apartments, buildings, businesses, hospitals and schools.
“The release of ICF International’s report affirms again the value proposition of natural gas to the Canadian mining industry, and Canada as a whole” said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada. “Through enhancing the connectivity of communities and mining operations to critical power infrastructure, there is a significant opportunity to reduce costs and GHG emissions while simultaneously increasing economic development opportunities – a win-win scenario.”
“Canada’s remote communities need energy options that can reduce their reliance on expensive and emission intensive energy sources for heating, power and mobility,” said Brent Gilmour, Executive Director of QUEST. “LNG among other alternative fuels and technologies can help remote communities address their immediate energy needs and advance Smart Energy Communities which improve energy efficiency, enhance reliability, cut costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, " said Gilmour.
For More Information:
Paula Dunlop, Director, Public and Government Affairs Canadian Gas Association 613-748-0057 ext. 341 or 613-614-3280 [email protected] www.cga.ca