2006 Western Premiers’ Conference


Gimli – May 30, 2006 -- Premiers discussed the importance of working constructively with the federal government on the development of a Made-in-Canada Climate Change Plan. This plan should build on the climate change strategies in place or being developed in provinces and territories. Western Canada has a great deal to offer, drawing on the leadership not only of governments, but also of local communities and the private sector.

Western Premiers launched the Western Energy Alliance in 2004, and earlier this month the WEA Ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (Energy Across Borders) to enhance cooperation in energy research and development to increase competitiveness and improve environmental performance.

Premiers noted that an integrated energy strategy that reduces greenhouse gases while growing the economy is essential and should include research and development that drives new approaches to both renewable and traditional energy sources.

In particular, Premiers indicated the need for special recognition of the impact of climate change in the North. This necessitates investment and research on how best to respond and adapt.

Premiers also noted the recent federal government announcement to move to a mandated 5% renewable fuels in gas and diesel by 2010. Premiers indicated that this will be positive for the development of the renewable fuels industry including ethanol, bio-diesel, and bio-mass. Premiers believe that this industry growth will be important for western grain producers and advocate that at least 50% of the feed stock used for bio-fuel production should originate from Western Canada.

 - 30 -

Contact Information:

Jonathan Hildebrand
Director of Cabinet Communications
Province of Manitoba