Stay Tuned: CEEA’s next Advocacy Day on Parliament Hill is November 18, 2014
We successfully brought our energy efficiency message to decision-makers in Ottawa on November 19th. Our team took CEEA members and sponsors to 20 meetings over eight hours. Working in intimate groups of four to six people we found everyone to be receptive. Read more about what we learned in our blog.
20 Meetings with Decision-Makers
Some of our key government meetings included MP Leon Benoit, Chair, House of Commons Committee on Natural Resources; Richard Neufeld, Chair, Senate Committee on Energy, Environment & Natural Resources; and MP Gord Brown, Chair, Government Renewable Energy Caucus.
Our meetings with senior public servants included Assistant Deputy Ministers Jay Khosla, Energy Sector, Natural Resources Canada; Assistant Deputy Minister Mike Beale, Environment Canada; Cathy Enright, Director, Consumer Services & Outreach, Industry Canada; Carol Buckley, Director General, Energy Efficiency Natural Resources Canada; and Assistant Deputy Minister Alfred McLeod, Corporate Services & Strategic Policy Branch Public Works & Government Services Canada.
National Media Panel
To begin the day CEEA hosted a Media Panel to gain perspective on how energy efficiency is viewed in Ottawa. The National Post’s John Ivison, CBC’s Susan Lunn and the Wall Street Journal’s Paul Vieria had great insights for our group over breakfast, with CEEA’s Elizabeth McDonald moderating.
On the current environment in Ottawa two years away from an election
The government is sympathetic to consumer issues. The next budget will be a snoozer as the Conservatives save money to spend on its pre-election budget in 2015.
How to make the energy efficiency message appealing to the federal government
The idea of a carbon tax, wind and solar power are toxic to the government. Saving consumers money is a message they can take to voters. Remind them of the popularity of energy efficient rebates and how they can use them to meet the Copenhagen target. Commercial buildings are just as important as homes when it comes to energy efficiency and building codes.
Americans see energy efficiency as a business and a way to open trade markets. Why doesn’t Canada?
It stems from the US needing to be energy independent. The US also has a more entrepreneurial environment. In Canada our cheap hydro mentality seems to stifle motivation. When a government thinks of itself as an energy super power the mindset is that there is an abundant supply, consequently there is no need to be energy efficient.
How can energy innovation happen without new funding or new programs?
Bring together thought leaders and the best and brightest minds. Look at federal buildings, how they light them, and government fleets and fuel efficiency. Suggest grants to foster innovation.