NEW – ATL: Atlantic seminar features impressive range of topics

The CPA Atlantic Seminar held at the Crowbush Resort in Morell PEI on June 16 featured important topics for the propane industry. In his opening remarks CPA Atlantic Chair Royden Boudreau said one of the main challenges the industry faces is within government policies which are focused on electricity and do not consider clean propane.

Joining Chief Gould (centre) are, from left to right, the CPA's Atlantic Committee Chair Royden Boudreau,
Board member Darren Eavis, President Shannon Watt and Board member Bill Gourley.

“As an industry we have a good low-carbon story to tell,” said Boudreau. “The challenge is for us to help governments look beyond electrification to see that propane is an important low-emission fuel for space heating, transportation, agriculture and fishing – anywhere where electricity or diesel are the current primary sources of energy.”

In her remarks to the group, CPA President and CEO Shannon Watt spoke about the importance of advocacy in advancing propane and getting on the federal government’s radar on emerging issues such as renewable propane and propane/rDME blend. She also noted the Association is working to align with like-minded organizations such as those in the agriculture sector to maintain and enhance propane’s position as an important energy source. The CPA is developing new communications tools, including updating the website, to assist members in their own advocacy work.

Watt noted that the CPA website is being updated and that the CPA will be developing communication products that will assist members, as part of their own community-based advocacy, in explaining the benefits of propane as a clean and affordable energy option.

A highlight of the seminar was the impassioned presentation by Chief Roderick “Junior” Gould of Abegweit First Nation who focused on the importance of members being advocates and “punching above your weight.” As an example, the Chief said that his community used federal funding to construct better and more attractive homes by their own tradespeople rather than stick with the approved underwhelming modular homes from the government. At the end of his presentation, the Chief noted there are plans to partner with the propane industry to reduce the community’s carbon footprint.

Rail is an important service for CPA members and the presentation by Assistant Vice-President, Sales Petroleum and Chemicals at CN, Sandra Ellis was timely. While CN has made infrastructure investments over the years, it has faced some challenges, including the harsh winter and labour issues due to COVID-19. Ellis noted that CN can better serve the propane industry by understanding CPA members’ demand patterns which will allow them to prepare in advance. The CPA is currently undertaking a rail service survey with members. The feedback received will help advocacy work in discussions with Transport Canada and the railways.

Being at the table when local communities are discussing lowering emission was a key point delivered to the audience by QUEST Canada's Eric Timmins, who said there may be opportunities for propane under QUEST’S Smart Energy Community Accelerator Pilot Program. The program provides communities with the ability to develop and implement their energy plans. Being involved in discussions at the outset will allow the industry to demonstrate how it can play a significant role.