(Updated) Dear Mr. Premier
July 9, 2015
Premier Brian Gallant
Office of the Premier
P.O. Box 6000
Dear Premier Gallant:
I am writing regarding your upcoming meeting with Canadian premiers in St. John’s from July 16 to July 17. In previous meetings there has been discussion about the job creation opportunities of building a low carbon society driven by a Canadian Energy Strategy, and the economic progress that would result from climate action.
Reducing our use of fossil fuels presents a tremendous opportunity to create good work, clean jobs and sustainable prosperity. Transitioning away from our fossil fuels will require new business start-ups, the growth of existing enterprises, and a growing workforce to achieve this goal. To create the conditions for reducing our fossil fuel use requires a new mix of economic and fiscal policies, including the establishment of a fee on carbon where it enters our provincial economy.
You have said you intend to improve our climate action strategy, which fundamentally must be a strategy for creating a low carbon economy in New Brunswick. I hope you will be bring new commitments to the table at the summer Premiers’ meeting that will move New Brunswick in this direction, including the establishment of a carbon fee to be paid by those enterprises which import fossil fuels, along with those that exploit in-province reserves. The revenues could be used to reduce our deficit, as well as provide a source of investment for low carbon infrastructure.
Best wishes for a productive meeting with your colleagues.
Leader, Green Party of New Brunswick
On 11 August 2015, Premier Gallant Responded:
Dear Mr. Coon:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the Canadian Energy Strategy (CES) and the transition to a low carbon society.
I was pleased to participate in the Council of the Federation meeting in St. John’s recently to discuss a range of issues and to endorse the Canadian Energy Strategy. The strategy contains many references to the fight against climate change. I believe that it reflects the integrated nature of energy developments, environmental protection and climate change. It has the balance that it will take to prioritize job creation and economic growth while protecting our environment and doing our part to fight climate change.
As I have mentioned publicly, the province will be strengthening its action on climate change. We are currently evaluating a range of options to do that, but no decisions have yet been made. There are many factors to consider on all options and we realize that there is great potential for sustainable economic development, innovation and long-term job creation within them. Taking action on climate change is also an opportunity to help diversify our economy and retain competitiveness in quickly changing markets.
Again, thank you for your note.