Brian Zinchuk is editor and owner of Pipeline Online
REGINA – Just before the House of Commons rose for its summer break, the Natural Resources Committee issued its “Just Transition” report. Federal Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson was in Regina on June 28 to speak to the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce about “Just Transition.”
A significant part of that report talked about using the current coal transition program as a model to transition the much, much larger oil and gas sector to other jobs.
Pipeline Online will have extensive coverage, including video of his full speech, on Friday. This is the question Pipeline Online posed to Wilkinson in the limited time he took questions before leaving for another function Wednesday evening.
Pipeline Online: The just transition report that came out from the parliamentary Natural Resource Committee last week talked a lot about using the coal transition as a model for at least part of it. Now, I live in Estevan. I’ve talked to the unions for both power workers, miners, municipal officials; there is not one person satisfied with coal transition program as it is right now. Can you speak to that?
Jonathan Wilkinson: Well, I think there’s more that we need to do with respect to the coal transition. And I think, and to be honest with you, I have my department looking at that effectively on a community-by-community basis because it’s different in different communities. As you will probably know, Alberta has made significant progress on the phase out of coal. They will be fully off coal this year. Saskatchewan has not made as much progress and some of the communities are facing a 2030 deadline and are unsure about exactly what that will mean for their economies. Our intention is to continue to have the conversation, to look at opportunities to ensure that we’re a part of.
Editor’s note: the morning of Wilkinson’s visit, wind power generation in Alberta fell to 3 megawatts out of a nameplate capacity of 3,618. That’s less than one-tenth of one per cent output. Pipeline Online asked Wilkinson about this. Watch on Friday to see his response.
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