Atlantic energy ministers are meeting to identify ways to secure Atlantic Canada’s energy future today, July 15, in Pictou. The meeting is being hosted by Nova Scotia Energy Minister Charlie Parker, who invited Atlantic energy ministers and representatives from electric utilities to discuss regional energy matters. “We are working toward securing a cleaner, more affordable energy future for Atlantic Canadians,” said Mr. Parker. “We are making progress on energy priorities and initiatives that will benefit people across the Atlantic Provinces.” Topics include securing supplies of natural gas, technologies to better manage electricity supply and demand, and energy efficiency. “The meeting provides an opportunity for dialogue on a wide variety of regional energy priorities that will help to strengthen the Atlantic region’s overall energy future,” said Tom Marshall, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Natural Resources. “I’m looking forward to discussing the development of Muskrat Falls. This is a true region builder that will benefit all of Atlantic Canada and will open a new power corridor for clean renewable energy.” “Regional collaboration is key for Islanders to access secure, sustainable energy supplies at reasonable prices,” said Wes Sheridan, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs. “Our meeting provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the energy challenges and opportunities facing our regional utilities and Atlantic Canadians.” Also on the agenda are the next steps under electricity co-operation through the Atlantic Energy Gateway initiative. It was established in 2009 to increase regional co-operation towards the development of clean energy resources. One of the major plans of the Atlantic Energy Gateway was the 500 megawatts of electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador through the Maritime Link. How to best manage that challenge and opportunity will be the focus of electricity regional cooperation in the coming months. The Atlantic Energy Gateway involves work by the four Atlantic Canada energy departments, provincial utilities, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Natural Resources Canada. “We always look forward to meeting with our counterparts from the other Atlantic provinces, as we share many common challenges and opportunities,” said New Brunswick Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard. “There are a number of important energy projects in New Brunswick, including the potential for a pipeline carrying crude oil from Alberta to Saint John, new frontiers on the natural gas development front and a new path forward for NB Power. “It is a pleasure for me to share information on all of these developments with our neighbours.” The ministers will also discuss advice to their respective premiers about the development of a Canada Energy Strategy under the Council of the Federation. The energy ministers, utility representatives, and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency last met on shared energy issues in the fall of 2012.
A candidate from the Nawa Sama Samaja Party filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court today against the security and privileges accorded to former President Mahinda Rajapakse.The petition filed by candidate Senaka Perera, stated that the security provided to Rajapakse was unfair towards the other candidates who were contesting the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in the island nation next month. Several questions however have been raised by minor political parties against the privileges and security accorded to the former President stating that his privileges should be withdrawn due to him contesting for a seat in the 225 member parliament. Rajapakse himself is contesting the polls which will elect a new parliament, from the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) on Friday also lodged a complaint at the Human Rights Commission stating that due to the former President contesting the parliamentary election as a candidate, the privileges provided to him was a disadvantage to other candidates.In his complaint, JVP candidate Sunil Watagala stated that the security and privileges accorded to Rajapakse was in violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution. (Colombo Gazette)