Canada has a unique opportunity to think boldly and act bravely to create a stronger, more equitable, and more sustainable society. This is the Government of Canada’s vision for a postPandemic economic recovery. An ambitious recovery plan for all Canadians, that leaves no one behind and delivers on our pledge of net zero emissions by 2050.
Enhancing energy efficiency will be centre-stage in that plan. Not just because it will get us one-third of the way to our international commitments on climate change, but because it is an effective way to create good, green jobs while reducing power bills for families and small businesses at a time when they need it most. The appeal is clear. Done right,energy efficiency can support the more than 435,000 existing jobs in the field and create new ones in communities across the country – all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving Canadians money, and
increasing competitiveness. We will be creating jobs for construction workers, architects, window manufacturers, insulation installers. These are women and men, living in rural, urban, remote and Indigenous communities.
These are the people who can get our economies moving. To move us forward on this goal, this summer I announced that Canada is joining 15 likeminded countries and supporting organizations which make up the
Three Percent Club. This Club is committed to working for a three per cent improvement in global energy efficiency every year. To achieve our three percent target, we are expanding existing programs and developing new ones to harness the full potential of energy efficiency. Last year, we announced an additional one billion dollars in funding
to increase energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and multi-unit buildings. The Federation of Canadian
Municipalities is delivering this through three initiatives in the Green Municipal Fund: collaboration on community
climate action; community eco-efficiency acceleration; and sustainable affordable housing innovation. During the COVID-19 crisis, our government has supported Canadians and our industries. We have provided wage subsidies and financial assistance programs, including to companies in the energy efficiency sector. Most recently, we announced over $200,000 for e-training opportunities for Canadians, which will prepare them for jobs
in this growing field. Investment in training is particularly timely and critical because, as a report by ECO Canada confirmed last year, seven in 10 employers reported that a lack of qualified workers was one of the major barriers for growth. We are also working with experienced partners. Efficiency Canada is creating a training hub that will help Canadians better understand work in the energy efficiency sector. The Heating, Refrigeration and Air
Conditioning Institute of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Energy Training will also receive funding to provide virtual training to Canadians at a discounted rate during the pandemic. We are making sure Canadians have the
skills they need to lead our clean energy future.
We will continue to advance energy efficiency through:
• Free energy audits for homeowners and landlords;
• Financial assistance for retrofits;
• New measures to increase the market for Energy Star certified products; and
• New ways to get the private sector playing a bigger role in retrofitting large buildings, such as office towers.
This focus on the building sector is intentional because this sector accounts for 17 per cent of Canada’s GHG emissions. In fact, according to the International Energy Agency’s 2018 Energy Efficiency Potential in Canada to
2050 report, the building sector has the most potential to deliver
reductions in energy demand.
Industry partners and regulators are echoing this message: a massive retrofit of Canada’s building stock will reduce emissions, promote economic development, and create skilled jobs.
We are working closely with the provinces and territories to decarbonise buildings. Build Smart: Canada’s Building
Strategy was endorsed by all territorial, provincial, and federal leaders in 2017. It outlines key pathways, including net zero energy building codes for new builds by 2030, an energy code for existing buildings, continuing
to raise appliance and equipment standards, and expanding efforts to retrofit existing buildings.
We are taking concrete action on energy efficiency. It is good for the climate. It is good for our pocketbooks. And it is a source of good jobs that will transform markets and workforces, at home and abroad;
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural