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NDP to unveil energy plan focused on sustainability, First Nations … – Montreal Gazette

DECEMBER 3, 2013

OTTAWA — The NDP will roll out details of its “pan-Canadian” energy plan Wednesday — a plan focused on sustainability, partnerships with provinces and First Nations communities and long-term prosperity, Postmedia News has learned.

Leader Tom Mulcair is expected to announce plans to overhaul and strengthen the environmental assessment regime many critics and environmental activists accused the government of gutting in last year’s budget. The NDP would ultimately overturn cabinet’s ability to unilaterally ignore the outcome of an assessment. Critics fear the new rule would give the government the power to approve a pipeline, for example, even if the project fails to meet environmental standards.

He will also announce the NDP’s intent to bring back the ecoenergy home retrofit program introduced by the Conservatives in 2007. The program, which ended last year, provided grants up to $5,000 to help homeowners increase energy efficiency. Mulcair will also speak about investing in renewable wind, solar and geothermal energy in a bid to create 20,000 new jobs in Canada, and in rail, tanker and pipeline safety standards to encourage energy projects rather than stymie them due to disasters and protests.

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