Atlantic energy ministers are meeting to identify ways to secure Atlantic Canada's energy future today, 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 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.