Questions By Members, 2 July 2015
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

Climate change and TIE minister

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

There’s an overwhelming consensus in the scientific literature that climate change is real and that we are causing it. Not only that, but we are gaining a better understanding of just how severe the effects of climate change are going to be.

A question to the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy: Does the minister agree with the scientific consensus on climate change?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. member, I think all of us are very concerned about climate change on Prince Edward Island and across our country, so any information that we can garner is certainly useful information.

Thank you.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for his first supplementary question.

Climate change and province’s role

Dr. Bevan-Baker: I take it from that that you do agree with the overwhelming scientific information and that climate change is indeed real.

Prince Edward Island is particularly vulnerable to climate change, whether from rising sea levels or invasive species, changing rainfall patterns or more intense storms. Despite our small footprint, we must show leadership in mitigating climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, if we expect other major greenhouse gas emitters to curtail their impacts, we ourselves have to be willing to make an equal or perhaps even greater commitment to change.

Does the minister agree that because of our heightened susceptibility here on Prince Edward Island that we should be a world leader in mitigating climate change?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. member, I think many of us are very aware that Prince Edward Island has the wind test site in North Cape, which is the national wind test site, not to mention the other windmill developments that we’ve had across PEI. Right now we have 25% of our wind generates our electricity on Prince Edward Island. Plus I mentioned in the House the Biomass projects that we are involved in and have been involved in. We will continue to explore other initiatives that will help in any way that we can.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for his second supplementary question.

New generator and renewable energy alternatives

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Indeed we have made steps forward whether it be in wind or biomass. I believe that we may not be continuing in that direction, though.

Can the minister explain, if we are to be world leaders in mitigating climate change, why are we planning to build a new diesel generator without taking a serious look at renewable energy alternatives?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

At the present time there’s a process going through to in fact determine do we really need it as a backup generator, and that is the project that the process is going through right now, and that is what must go through IRAC before the final decision is made.

We made our statement here on what our intensions are if that backup – and it is a backup generator, it’s not an all-day operating generator. It is in process through IRAC and we’ll determine when that outcome comes what the next step will be, and we’ll look forward to hearing the review from IRAC.

 

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