McNeil visits West Bay tidal power facility

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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Green energy a high priority for Liberals, says leader

WEST BAY – He might have a Liberal red tide on his mind, but it was the swirling tides of the Minas Channel that brought Stephen McNeil here Friday.

The provincial Liberal leader toured the FORCE tidal energy interpretive centre with local candidate Kenny John Jackson, receiving an update on the facility’s progress from centre manager Mary McPhee, and offering signs of where tidal energy will fit into his party’s platform in the election campaign expected to be called soon.

“Energy has been a major part of our focus in the last few years, and the issue is we believe in breaking the monopoly of Nova Scotia Power, and a highly regulated environment,” said McNeil. “I think it’s important we find energy solutions here. We’re looking at huge potential here in the Bay of Fundy, geothermal potential in Springhill, natural gas, wind opportunities… when you go across the province you find very unique things happening naturally in communities.”

The current government has put too much emphasis on the Muskrat Falls project, so much that they have lost sight of their homegrown opportunities, according to McNeil. He said there are more affordable ways to go.

“What there needs to be is regulatory change inside the province, with a heavy focus on transmission – making sure we allow the energy we capture to be distributed across the province,” he said.

He offered praise of the FORCE facility, which he was visiting for the first time, and said it is a great example of universities and the private sector working together to move the rural economy forward.

The tidal energy project is a great opportunity for the entire province, but also provides great potential for job creation in the local area, according to Jackson.

“We have the transmission lines, but we could also have a repair facility located right here so we don’t have to ship equipment anywhere outside the province for repair,” he said. “I think there are opportunities for people right here, and it’s something I will push for when it happens.”

awagstaff@citizenreford.ca

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: Minas Channel, Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: West Bay, Bay of Fundy, Springhill

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  • al
    August 17, 2013 - 08:14

    beautiful great weather and the right time to visit,,relax and issue new promises by all the three parties politicians,,, i want mr mcneil,,if and his party are elected to be serious and establish a joint task force,,by the decent people of cumberland county and the provincial government to come out with a very fast serious plan to bring buisness,,investment and industries to cumberland county,,enough election talk and promises,,we know they are all empty,,,the fact is ,,that cumberland county is neglected by the provincial governments which invest all their money in the voting strong holds of yarmouth,,,the happy valley and halifax dartmouth areas,, will never do anything to help us, we are cursed by our mayors and local politicians who are afraid to do or ask for anything,proof i am wrong