House solar energy bill is a slam dunk
The House of Commons has passed a bill to create a $10 billion fund to help support Canadian solar power, and the government says it has the support of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The bill also includes new measures to protect Canadian jobs and to promote Canadian innovation.
The House passed the bill Monday, and Trudeau said in a statement it was a historic day for Canada.
“The bill today ensures that the $10-billion fund will be a permanent and reliable source of support for Canadian solar energy, supports Canadian workers, and provides a framework for the transition to a green economy,” Trudeau said.
“We know that solar energy is a key part of the solution to climate change, and today we are also celebrating the very first-ever solar jobs program, which is helping thousands of Canadian manufacturing jobs in Ontario.”
The bill was tabled on Monday by the NDP.
The Liberals, who are also in power in the House, have long supported Canadian solar, but it has taken years to get them to commit to the program.
Trudeau said the government is now moving forward with the program to help ensure Canadians can enjoy the benefits of solar.
The legislation sets aside $10.5 billion over the next five years for the creation of a national program to support Canadian industry and create jobs.
It also creates a program to increase incentives for Canadian companies to install solar panels and invest in renewable energy.
It sets up a panel fund to cover the cost of installing panels and provides funding for the construction of new solar power plants.
“It is a big win for our solar industry and for Canadian jobs,” said David Smith, executive director of the Solar Trade Association of Canada.
He said he expects the government will now use the money to build solar power projects.
“This is a great day for Canadians,” Smith said.
In the House on Monday, NDP MP Scott Brison, who represents the area of Scarborough, said he is disappointed the government didn’t do more.
“There are no winners in this.
The winners are the people who will be getting jobs, the small business owners who will create jobs, and we’re going to see more people who are actually benefiting from it,” Brison said.
Brison and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh were joined by other members of the party in introducing the bill.
They are calling for $1.3 billion to be allocated for a national solar panel program to ensure more jobs.
The NDP has long called for the program and is currently in negotiations with the government over how much of the $1 billion will be allocated to that goal.
“Today is a victory for all Canadians who want clean, safe, and affordable solar,” Singh said in an emailed statement.
“These are our jobs, these are our homes, and these are the jobs we’ve always wanted.
And now we can have them for free.”
The NDP’s Rob Leone said the bill is about helping people in Scarborough, and he said the NDP will work with other parties to try to get the money spent there.
“They’re going after a very difficult area.
They’re going into Scarborough, which has been in this shadow for quite a while,” Leone said.
The government says the bill also addresses issues like greenhouse gas emissions and protects the province from the effects of climate change.
“While we continue to work to ensure that solar panels are built, maintained, and deployed across Canada, we are proud to support a $2.5-billion program to develop and scale-up a Canadian solar industry,” said spokesman John Enright.
“Our solar program will be supported by a $1-billion national fund, designed to create new jobs in Canada, and support the expansion of the existing solar industry across Canada.”
With files from The Canadian Press