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August 2020

NEW! CPA files prebudget submission to House of Commons Finance Committee

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On August 7, the CPA filed its annual pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Finance Committee.

Over the past year, the CPA has seen an increased interest in engagement by governments across Canada, including the federal government. The pre-budget submission provides the CPA an opportunity to review what it believes are important recommendations that will help economic development and result in cleaner communities, notwithstanding the impact felt from COVID-19.

In its Economic Fiscal Snapshot 2020, the Department of Finance made three important observations that will be key considerations as the government develops plans to help people and businesses adjust to life that continues to be deeply affected by COVID-19: consumer hesitancy due to continued health risks, uncertain employment and income prospects, and business hesitancy around rehiring and investing.

In her submission to the Finance Committee, CPA President & CEO Nathalie St-Pierre noted, “While this assessment is accurate, we cannot allow that to limit efforts to restart the Canadian economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, now is the time to look at our collective assets and build on the things that work. That includes clean, affordable and readily available propane.”

She also reminded the committee that CPA members continue to support their customers despite the pandemic. “During COVID-19, Canadians continue to need access to safe, efficient and reliable fuels. Canadian propane checks all these boxes. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our members continue to provide a low-emission fuel that reduces GHG emissions that will help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Recommendations to the Finance Committee included:

  • Reduce energy costs and GHGs in residential, commercial, agriculture and industrial applications by switching from heating oil to low-emission propane through $200 million in rebates over a three-year period.
  • Provide cleaner and healthier living conditions in Indigenous communities by funding $100 million over a three-year period for the conversion of over 15,000 residential, public and commercial buildings in Indigenous communities from diesel/heating oil to low-emission propane.
  • Commit up to $125 million in tax credits over a three-year period for converting fleets from gasoline to low-emission propane. The federal government should also consider a national strategy to incentivize the replacement of light to medium diesel vehicles (e.g., school buses) with low-emission propane.
  • Prioritize development of renewable propane in Canada. Commercially available in Europe and produced in the United States, renewable propane could be a game changer for heating, transportation, agriculture, and Indigenous, remote and rural communities in Canada.
  • Change the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GPPA) to ensure that low-emission propane receives the same exemptions as any other fuel used in agriculture.

Four of the five recommendations reflect a continuation of priorities that the CPA has presented to the federal government over the past several years. The recommendation regarding renewable propane reflects the advances made in Europe in terms of commercializing renewable propane. The CPA believes it important that as it looks at investing in cleaner burning fuels, renewable propane should be a priority given that it can be combined seamlessly with traditional propane, produces 80 per cent fewer GHGs than heating oil and can be delivered without pipelines, which is an advantage in rural and remote communities.

 The CPA will be asking for meetings with members of the House of Commons Finance Committee to further the discuss our recommendations. For further information, please contact allanmurphy@propane.ca.

 

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