NL: Round of meetings spark interest in propane in Newfoundland and Labrador
In mid November, CPA members and staff held a series of meetings in St. John’s, NL with senior officials from provincial and municipal governments. The objective of the meetings was to communicate to governments the growing use of propane in Newfoundland and Labrador and to examine the advantages of propane in developing government policies and implementing government programs.
The first meeting included Brian Warr, minister of education; Sean Dutton, deputy minister of the Department of Transportation and Works; Brian Evans, assistant deputy minister of the Department of Education; Kyle Robar, manager of Policy and Program Planning; Gerald Crane, director of Government Relations, Research and Analysis with the Climate Change Branch of Municipal Affairs and Environment; Randy Simms, executive assistant to Environment Minister Derek Bragg; and Robert Locke, director, Pollution Prevention, Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment.
Attending for the CPA were Darren Eavis, CPA Board member and business development manager at Total Control Systems; Dennis Lewis, service manager for CPA member North Atlantic and Allan Murphy, CPA’s vice president, government relations and Jean-Francois Duguay, director, government relations.
The CPA’s presentation focused on the many advantages of propane in the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors. A significant level of interest and discussion was focused on the 16 propane school buses that were put into service by the Province of New Brunswick in September. Like the government of PEI, the NL government is keenly watching the propane school bus pilot project in New Brunswick.
The CPA also met with the province’s Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Ted Lomond as well as Manager of Energy and Market Research Paul Parsons. While the deputy minister was very clear on the province’s commitment to electrification, he was interested in the growth of propane use. The CPA provided examples of the inclusion of propane in the development of policies and programs in other Atlantic provinces.
Minister Lomond also expressed an interest in expanding propane use in remote communities. The CPA team advised that propane would provide significant advantages over oil and diesel. Future discussions will also likely include investment in propane infrastructure and storage capacity, depending on the location of the individual community.
A final meeting was held with senior officials from the City of St. John’s. The meeting focused on opportunities for propane within the city’s various fleets. The city appeared hesitant to move away from gas and diesel to propane. But as the meeting progressed, staff seemed to get a better understanding of the advantages of propane, although conversion to propane appears unlikely in the immediate term.
The CPA will continue building on the momentum generated by these successful and informative discussions.