Atlantic Canada clean energy collaboration receives $2M federal investment

Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen made the announcement Friday in Halifax during a meeting of premiers and ministers concerning the Atlantic Growth Strategy. Jesse Thomas / Global Halifax

It’s a new way forward for Atlantic clean energy as the Maritime provinces agree to collaborate on a new energy initiative.

Representatives from both the federal and provincial governments met in Halifax on Friday for an announcement that will see the Atlantic provinces come together to plan a new roadmap on how clean energy can be utilized to improve the economic outlook for all four provinces.

READ MORE: Immigration and clean power top agenda for federal and Atlantic officials

Part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy is to form a coherent and collective vision for the future on how the region can meet its electricity needs while building the infrastructure to harness more energy at the same time.

The federal government announced a $2-million investment to help the four Atlantic provinces collaborate in this new clean energy partnership, allowing them to make headway in enhancing the generation, transmission, and consumption of clean power resources from across the region.

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Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says there is an abundance of energy resources that lay untapped here, like wind, water, and tidal energy and called the collaboration and action plan an opportunity to not only improve the economy for Atlantic Canadians but also provide energy for everyone to share.

“Here in Atlantic Canada, the one thing that we have is renewable energies and hydroelectricity,” said McNeil. “It is a leadership role for Atlantic Canadian premiers and our federal colleagues to put together a plan that will not only benefit Atlantic Canadians but I think will set a tone for the country when it comes to sharing our renewable energy resources.”

READ MORE: Strengthening exports, recruitment priorities for Nova Scotia government in trips to Asia and France

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Prince Edward Island premier Wade MacLauchlan called the Atlantic energy action plan “historic” and said the sharing of energy assets could lead to greater job creation and economic prosperity for Atlantic Canadians.

Employment in Atlantic Canada is on the rise as Statistics Canada reports more than 18,000 jobs were created between July 2017 and December 2018.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen touted the success of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project, since its inception three years ago, has led to nearly 3,800 jobs offers with more than 1,800 employers on board, while more than 2,500 applications for permanent residence have been approved.

Hussen announced that the pilot project will be extended another two years beyond the deadline this year to meet the demand for skilled workers here on the East Coast.