Meili Calls for Energy Leadership, Sask Party’s Plan Sorely Lacking

(December 5, 2017) Regina, SK — Saskatchewan NDP leadership candidate Ryan Meili has released his plan for energy leadership and accepted the endorsement of former cabinet minister Peter Prebble. Meili’s plan would see the province meet its Paris commitments through proven mechanisms, rejecting the current government’s empty document released yesterday.

“We have abundant sun, wind and biomass power potential, a strong tradition of co-operatives, ample expertise, and world-class crown corporations and local companies.” Meili said, “Our province is uniquely positioned to lead a North American energy renaissance, and this moment is an opportunity we shouldn’t miss.

“We need a made-in-Saskatchewan plan, not a made-in-Saskatchewan distraction.”

Meili characterized the government’s climate change proposition, released yesterday, as a half-hearted promise to take a small step in the right direction, when what is needed are meaningful measures to address climate change.

“It lacks targets, substance and any semblance of a real plan,” Meili said of yesterday’s release. “Its only apparent contribution to the environment is that it recycles old promises. We need to a proactive, made-in-Saskatchewan plan that will lead to real action, action that puts Saskatchewan people to work in building the energy infrastructure of the future, encourages investment in renewable energy while maintaining affordable utility rates, and creates jobs while protecting the environment.”

Meili’s plan would focus on renewable energy production, conservation, reduction in carbon emissions and protection of our natural environment. It includes commitments to:

  • Employ Saskatchewan workers in renewable energy production, transit, and efficient retrofitting and building.
  • Mandate SaskPower to work with municipalities, farmers, businesses, First Nations reserves and community-owned co-ops to develop a comprehensive network of renewable power production across Saskatchewan.
  • Establish an energy efficiency body, distinct from SaskPower, that focuses on cutting our overall energy needs by investing in conservation, subsidizing retrofits for existing buildings, and creating conservation-focused building codes and incentives for high-efficiency new construction and energy efficient vehicles.
  • Create a made-in-Saskatchewan approach to carbon pricing that brings in new jobs, benefits rural and northern communities, and effectively incentivizes reductions in carbon emissions.
  • Work with the oil and gas industry to regulate, accurately report and dramatically reduce methane emissions to achieve a 45% reduction by 2030.
  • Employ Saskatchewan workers and protect the environment through regulations to upgrade existing pipelines and clean up abandoned oil well sites.
  • Transition electricity generation from coal by 2030, with an aggressive plan to increase employment opportunities in coal-producing areas.
  • Retain and protect remaining native grassland on Crown land, including community pastures.

Meili’s policy release can be viewed on his campaign website. His plan and his candidacy were endorsed today by former cabinet minister and environmental policy expert Peter Prebble who said, “Under Ryan’s leadership, Saskatchewan’s next NDP government will be well positioned to build a more equitable society and a more environmentally sustainable province.”