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Quebec, Ontario Discuss Carbon Pricing, Energy East

Canada’s two largest provinces have agreed to coordinate efforts on carbon pricing and share electricity, and one of them has set seven conditions for its approval of the controversial Energy East pipeline.

“We’ve been supportive of cap-and-trade processes for many years, and we are continuing to have that discussion with Quebec,” said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Friday, after a joint meeting of the two provincial Cabinets.

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“Nobody talks about the cost of not fighting climate change,” said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. “This cost is passed to citizens, too, whether it’s health care, coastal erosion, or spectacular weather events. This is hugely expensive for our society.”

Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel unveiled seven conditions for approving Energy East, which would cross Quebec on its route from Alberta to Canada’s east coast. The list included a provincial environmental review, a thorough emergency plan, a spill compensation fund, community consultation, involvement of First Nations, and no impact on Quebec’s natural gas supply.

Earlier this year, the two provinces spearheaded unanimous provincial-territorial agreement on a Canadian Energy Strategy [2] that puts greenhouse gas reductions on a par with energy transport and transmission.