2020 has been an extremely challenging year. For the residents of our communities, our health-care and front-line workers, businesses, elected leaders and, most importantly, for families and friends, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in a way many of us haven’t experienced in our lifetimes.
Rare events like these prompt us to re-evaluate what we do every day, and to look for ways to make our lives better. At Bruce Power, and with the entire Canadian nuclear industry, this public health crisis has forced us to make change to the daily safety protocols that are in place to keep our workers safe. COVID-19 has been the catalyst for conversations – and subsequent actions – for our industry to take a leadership role in rebuilding our economy in the face of the Coronavirus and to step up our efforts in fighting climate change.
At the beginning of the year, when the pandemic struck, Bruce Power created the Green Ribbon Panel to bring together leaders from various sectors and organizations to create a plan for advancing proven clean energy solutions and identifying steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow the economy. The Panel included local representation with yours truly, Bruce County Warden Mitch Twolan and Bruce Wallace from the Nuclear Innovation Institute.
The Panel released in October its final report, called Investing in Made-in-Ontario Solutions: Policy Enabled Advantages Tuned for Growth (it can be found at www.greenribbonpanel.com). We believe the report provides a roadmap for leadership of our elected officials and the business community both in Ontario and across Canada to successfully tackle climate change and to create what we’re calling green collar jobs and other economic benefits.
Taking advantage of our existing clean electricity system, using innovation to improve existing technologies and invent new ones, and putting in place targeted policies are among the recommendations in the report for addressing climate change. We’ve already seen in Ontario, where coal-fueled energy was phased out, how a low-emission electricity system can improve our environment and be a catalyst for job creation in our local communities and across the province.
The recommendations in the report aren’t a silver bullet to tackle the entire issue of emissions. To be completely truthful, there isn’t a silver bullet. A unified approach that focuses on results will be the foundation that leads to the transformation we need for a cleaner, greener tomorrow.
The timing couldn’t be better for action on this report. The federal Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan has made it clear that nuclear energy will play a key role in achieving a net zero Canada by 2050. Minister O’Regan and Innovation Minister
Navdeep Bains backed that up last month by announcing Terrestrial Energy in Oakville would receive $20 million in federal funding to help the company bring small modular reactors to market. We’re also grateful to the support the Green Ribbon Panel has received from Bill Walker, the Associate Minister of Energy, and Jeff Yurek, the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks for the provincial government.
Bruce Power and our partners in the nuclear industry here in Ontario and across the country are ready to go to work for a clean energy future. As always, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. You can also follow me on Twitter @jscongack.