Question Period, 25 November 2015
Full transcript available here.

National building codes legislation

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

The National Building Code has been in use since 1941. It sets minimum construction standards and is currently in place in every province in Canada except Prince Edward Island. The benefits of bringing PEI into compliance with national building codes would be many: protection of public health safety and welfare, lower operational and maintenance costs, and reduced energy inputs.

A question to the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. The National Standards Council has been working on draft legislation to implement national buildings codes here in Prince Edward Island. Can the minister inform this House as to when the legislation will be brought forward?

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

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I had the opportunity last week to attend the engineers of PEI event and that was one of the promotions that they were doing at the particular event. I know there’s a number of municipalities across Prince Edward Island, including the city of Summerside, who have adopted the national building code. We will continue to work with the engineers and the association to take advisement from them and continue to work with them on this. It hasn’t come forward to our desk, as yet, but we’ll be continuing to have those discussions with them.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party, first supplementary.

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

It certainly was. It was the meeting with the engineers of PEI last week that prompted these questions, and they have concerns that outside the three municipalities that you cite in your answer there, there are no building standards across Prince Edward Island, and they’re very concerned that might lead to some problems.

Energy efficiency standards in housing

Some countries, such as Germany, are adopting actually far stricter regulations than we do here, particularly when it comes to energy efficiency. With buildings generating up to 35% of greenhouse gas emissions, will this minister commit to raising energy efficiency standards in housing in order to be more environmentally responsible and to save Islanders money?

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

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I do know there’s a number of initiatives on Prince Edward Island already, particularly with some private contractors that are promoting. I think it’s incumbent upon us to explore those ideas as well, as part of our energy strategy, and that will all be encompassed going forward when we do have a review of our strategy.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party, your second supplementary question.

Energy efficiency and infrastructure plan

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

All of those innovations, of course, that you cite are voluntary. They’re not to comply with any codes, which we do not have here.

With potentially large amounts of federal money becoming available for infrastructure investment, will this government commit to a long-term infrastructure plan, dare I say an infrastructure summit –

Some Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr. Bevan-Baker: – that would include specific parameters on energy efficiency?

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

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As I indicated, there was an extensive review of infrastructure plans for Prince Edward Island a number of years ago. We continue to update that plan and put our priorities in place for the new infrastructure discussions that we will be having with the federal government, and that I have had with the federal government, and all of those initiatives will certainly be taken into account.

 

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