CPA Summit Confirms Propane as a Leading Fuel for Canada’s Future

The CPA’s 2018 Leadership Summit held June 5-7 attracted global experts and thinkers, leaders of national organizations and current and former government ministers to discuss the opportunities and challenges for the propane industry in a low carbon future.
"Low-emission, clean-burning propane is a gamechanger for Canada,” said Nathalie St-Pierre, President and CEO of the CPA. "Our Summit sessions confirmed that. With the anticipated growth in the industry over the next several years, propane is perfectly positioned as a clean, versatile energy source to contribute to Canada’s path to a greener future while creating jobs and contributing to the economy.”
The Summit’s keynote speaker, the Hon. Peter MacKay, PC, QC & Partner, Baker & McKenzie, kicked off the morning, providing sage advice on how the propane industry can work with government from the grassroots. "With social media dominating how people communicate now, it’s perhaps easy to forget the importance of personal contact,” said Mr. MacKay.  "Often substance and context can be lost in an email or text. Direct interaction with your elected representatives remains the most impactful way of delivering your message.”
The Summit provided a premiere look at a CPA-commissioned market study on the propane industry conducted by The Conference Board of Canada. Attendees heard from a panel discussion with Carlos Murillo, Senior Research Associate with The Conference Board of Canada and George Green, Founding Chair of Stratos Inc.,  about what the results of the study – which included a projected 20 per cent growth in the propane industry – can mean and what the industry must do to best position itself for the future. Green said the industry must communicate that propane is not just a clean, low-emission energy source, but also a safe, reliable, socially responsible fuel that is adding social and economic value to local communities. Propane is a ‘solution provider’, helping transition Canada – and other parts of the world – to a lower carbon economy.
Presentations also included how propane can fit into a green Canada, with the Hon. Michel Samson, former Nova Scotia Energy Minister, speaking about opportunities for propane as Nova Scotia looks to replace oil with lower emission energy sources. President and CEO of Transition énergétique Québec Johanne Gélinas shared that while hydro is meeting their energy needs, there is room for propane in helping Québec reduce its emissions, particularly in the transportation sector.
Joanne Wilkinson, Assistant Deputy Minister with Indigenous Services Canada, identified some of the key challenges for bringing low-emission fuels to Indigenous and remote communities. The panel discussed the high costs from not only an environmental and economic perspective, but also the health and social impacts associated with burning oil and diesel. Dialogue included a look at how the propane industry can best engage and develop long-term partnerships with these communities to discuss the propane advantage.
It was clear from the auto propane panel that technology has come along way; you can fill a vehicle with propane the same way you fill one with diesel or gasoline, with the highest levels of safety and quality. And while the popularity of electric cars is growing, there is space for auto propane to grow alongside the electric car.
In the last session of the day, market experts spoke about how the propane industry can better tell its story and get Canadians and government to think outside the BBQ. The panel demonstrated how other commodities have successfully shifted thinking over the years and how today's online tools can be used strategically to reposition propane in the minds of Canadians and government. Doug is encouraging those that are interested to download Communicatto's free Flight Manual - a "how to" guide to digital marketing.