Sam Suppiah of AECL and Cheryl Gallant inspect a hydrogen fuel cell

Dr. Sam Suppiah of AECL and Cheryl inspect a hydrogen fuel cell

From the House of Commons –  June 11th, 2012

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Conservative):

It is an honour and a privilege, as the member of Parliament for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, to speak on behalf of the people of my riding to Bill C-38, the Budget Implementation Act, which speaks to the economic action plan for 2012, Canada’s blueprint for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. As a member of this government, I am pleased to respond with facts. The fact is that Canada is the envy of the world during this time of turbulence in international markets.

The proper role of government is to allow for science-based decision making that is based upon facts. Bill C-38 would restore the balance to a regulatory bureaucracy that has become counter-productive to the environment and to the interests of all Canadians. Canadians will never accept the opposition inspired left-wing voodoo economics precisely because what it proposes for the environment will destroy Canada’s economy.

We believe that we can help the environment without destroying jobs. This is why I absolutely believe that Parliament needs to pass this legislation as quickly as possible so the Government of Canada can get on with the business of providing jobs, growth and economic prosperity to all Canadians. In the last election, Canadians voted for our vision of Canada as a clean energy superpower. Building an economic strategy on a natural resources foundation is good for our economy and good for jobs. This strategy was good for Ontario in the past and is good for Ontario now and in the future.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan will provide $107 million over the next two years to maintain safe and reliable operations at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s Chalk River Laboratories . The Chalk River Laboratories of AECL, in collaboration with the National Research Council, have been actively involved in the development of clean, safe energy.

There is a strategic overlap between nuclear science and hydrogen technologies. Hydrogen and electricity are the only known forms of energy that offer zero emissions from motor vehicles. The challenge with using hydrogen as a fuel is not the burning of the fuel, as it burns very cleanly, with pure water as a by-product, but the process to produce the hydrogen. A next generation nuclear reactor is one that generates electricity and process heat with hydrogen as a by-product.

Rather than paying other jurisdictions to take electricity or spilling water over the hydro dams, Ontario could be producing low-cost hydrogen today to power public transit. The Ottawa Valley has all the building blocks to start the hydrogen economy and the green energy jobs that go with it. The New Flyer bus company, with its maintenance facilities in Arnprior, is currently involved in a hydrogen-powered bus pilot project with financial assistance from the Government of Canada in British Columbia.

Ontario, with our natural advantages to develop the hydrogen economy, should be undertaking a similar pilot project in this province. Ottawa River power dams can provide electricity to power electrolysis as a cost-effective method to make hydrogen.

The Chalk River nuclear research labs are involved in cutting-edge activities such as developing hydrogen storage applications that are safe, reliable and economical. Nuclear energy is currently the only large-scale zero greenhouse gas-emitting source of electricity in Ontario that is not limited by geography or weather. Nuclear energy has helped Ontario reduce greenhouse gas emissions safely and competitively for over four decades. CANDU reactors have a unique Canadian design and an excellent safety record, and they can fuel with uranium or thorium. Nuclear energy could provide us decades, if not centuries, of time to find ways to generate more of our energy needs from affordable renewable sources or perhaps nuclear fusion at some point in the future.  Ontario needs Bill C-38 passed now so that we can start to deliver on the benefits of this legislation to the people of this province, and in doing so we help the rest of Canada.

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