Statement by Canadian Electricity Association on 2018 Federal Budget

Ottawa (February 27, 2018) – The Honourable Sergio Marchi, President and CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), issued the following statement on today’s tabling of Budget 2018, Equality and Growth for a Strong Middle Class:

“CEA recognizes that Budget 2018 is a mid-mandate implementation budget, and we support commitments to invest in Indigenous communities, improve equality in the workplace, bolster environmental conservation and fund basic scientific research.

However, we believe more could have been done to support the Canadian electricity sector’s remarkable and ongoing transition driven by climate change, customer preferences and technological evolution.

CEA appreciates the modest investments in climate adaptation and resilience, Capital Cost Allowance extensions for clean energy and the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women. Yet, Budget 2018 falls short of the sustained investments required. Building on the welcome infrastructure allocations of Budget 2017, new funding is required to further support infrastructure investment, spur innovation, drive electrification and ensure that no Canadian is left behind.

We would also like to have seen a more robust and clear prioritization of Canadian competitiveness in the face of U.S. protectionism, deregulation and tax reform. While Minister Morneau gave voice to this issue during his budget speech, which we welcome, Budget 2018 is largely silent on it. While this is a matter that cannot be resolved overnight, competitiveness pressures are likely to become more acute in the months ahead, not less. That’s why this budget should have laid out a framework for how the Government plans to approach its due diligence, and thus provide the business community with greater confidence. CEA will closely monitor the Government’s evolving response and welcomes the opportunity for further consultation.

The Government got it right on cyber security. CEA has been very vocal in calling for dedicated federal funding to help protect Canada’s critical infrastructure assets from the growing cyber threat. The $508 million allocated in Budget 2018, coupled with the restructuring of how the Government manages this issue, will make Canada’s energy systems more secure. This is the right focus at the right time. CEA looks forward to learning more about the Government’s cyber security strategy when it is fully unveiled in the coming days and weeks.

In closing, there is nothing more fundamental to Canada’s prosperity than how Canadians power their lives, their livelihoods, and their businesses. CEA calls on the Government to maintain an active and continuous focus on energy transition in the years – and Budgets – ahead.

Our sector remains committed to powering Canada’s clean energy future. But we require sustained Government partnerships to deliver the electricity system that underpins clean growth and a healthy economy.”