MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“Federal Investment Supports B.C.’s First Operational Wind Farm”
This week I was excited to participate in a very special celebration demonstrating the success of our Conservative Government’s renewable energy and environmental programs.
The Bear Mountain Wind Park project, just outside Dawson Creek, has reached its midpoint in construction and starting in October 2009 will become British Columbia’s first fully-operational wind farm.
The federal government is investing $20.5-million over the next 10 years to the wind park through ecoENERGY for Renewable Power, a $1.5-billion program which is designed to increase Canada’s supply of clean electricity from renewable sources such as wind, biomass, hydro, geothermal, solar and ocean energy.
ecoENERGY for Renewable Power provides a one cent per kilowatt-hour incentive to each approved project, with the goal of increasing Canada’s renewable electricity capacity by more than 4,000 megawatts, or enough to power a million homes. This investment will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution equivalent to taking one million cars off the road.
When completed the Bear Mountain Wind Park will have 34 turbines with a total capacity of 102 megawatts, covering 25 hectares of land on top of Bear Mountain. I was pleased to join representatives of AltaGas Ltd. in celebrating this important milestone for B.C. While there are other wind farms in the works in our province, I am very proud that Prince George-Peace River is home to the first that will be fully up and running!
In addition to ecoENERGY programming, our Conservative Government is investing in the environment and energy through the $1-billion Green Infrastructure Fund and the $1-billion Clean Energy Fund. Both programs offer exciting potential to open development opportunities in northern B.C. with green infrastructure, such as new power generation and transmission lines.
These investments are not only important for the environment and to meet future power and development demands, they are also a pivotal component in our response to the global economic downturn. Canada’s Economic Action Plan is investing $62-billion towards improving infrastructure and stimulating our economy when it needs it most.
More than 80 percent of those measures are already being implemented, including new permanent tax cuts; enhanced EI benefits and expanded work-sharing programs to avoid layoffs; new and improved bridges, roads, sewers, water systems and recreational facilities. You’ve probably noticed recent construction and activity in and around your community.
Plus, our local industries and resource-dependent communities are benefitting from specialized, targeted programs like the $1-billion Community Adjustment Fund which, over the next two years, will support projects that create real local jobs.
The Bear Mountain Wind project has generated hundreds of local jobs during construction and, when it comes online it will create more employment and training to meet its operational and maintenance needs. It will also power up to 25,000 homes. Clean, renewable, greenhouse gas and pollution-free energy brought to you by LOCAL innovation, cooperation and partnerships!
Throughout this month, I will be travelling throughout our constituency meeting with community and business leaders to discuss how our Conservative Government will continue to partner with them and invest in many more new and exciting local initiatives.