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The Innovation Station


Building a 21st Century Union requires staying on top of the latest goings on in Canada and around the world. News items, photos and more to keep you 'in the know'.

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Is there a gap between white collar and blue collar?

Image result for Mandy RennehanMandy Rennehan thinks so! The found and CEO of Freshco a full-service reconstruction and retail maintenance provider, wants to bridge the gap between the white-collar and blue-collar worlds. She wants to help solve the skilled trade shortage in North America. She believes that there is a major imbalance and if it does not get address, the shortage is only going to get worse.

She believes that the issue is communication between the two industries and that it is having an economic impact. She wants to be that bridge between the collars.

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Source: Daily Commercial News

A message from Hydro One

Live Christmas trees are beautiful and smell wonderful, but don't let your tree become a hazard. Take care with these tips:

Government to invest $2 M for solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations

Ottawa is providing $2 million for solar-powered charging stations across Ontario.Earlier this month the Federal Government announced funding for demonstrations for bi-directional solar EV charging stations across Ontario. Bi-directional means that energy will be delivered from the battery to the electrcity grid. There will be three demonstration sites: Cobourg, Markham and Oxford Station.

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Source: Global News


Another milestone reached as Canada plans to phase-out coal power

Minister McKenna today announced Canada has finalized regulations to phase-out traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030, along with new greenhouse gas regulations for natural gas-fired electricity.

“Phasing out coal is an important part of our plan to tackle climate change, protect the environment, and grow the economy. Making the clean energy transition will not only cut pollution, but it will also protect our air, our water, and our health. The time to act is now to ensure a healthy and prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

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Source: Government of Canada

We will never forgot

Today marks a year since James, Jeff, Darcy and Kyle were taken too soon in a tragic accident.

Our thoughts are with their loved ones and colleagues at this difficult time. 

Wataynikaneyap Power Project brings hope to the North

The Wataynikaneyap Power Project is a $1.6 billion project that plans to extend Ontario’s power grid to provide reliable electricity to remote Ontario First Nations. Currently, people are taking part in a two-week training program designed to prepare them to work on this project. Although no one is guaranteed a job once the program is completed, it does bring hope to a region that has a very high unemployment rate.

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Source: CBC

New report shows that wind energy costs have significantly dropped

In fact, since 2009 they have dropped 69% and in the past year it has dropped 7%. It has proven to be the most cost-effective source of new electricity generation. It actually cost less to operate than a conventional generation facility.

As the Canadian economy shifts from fossil fuels to clean energy, wind resources are key in their efforts to cut carbon pollution and deliver clean growth.

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Source: CanWea

Bruce Power’s Unit 6 Project will begin in January 2020 and is expected to create approximately 2,000 jobs across the province.

“Nuclear power is the backbone of Ontario’s electricity system,” said the Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs.

Watch this short video about the Unit 6 project.

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Source: Bruce Power

B.C. announced something BIG!

They have set a goal that by 2040 every new car sold in B.C. will be a zero-emission vehicle. The province has introduced a legislation that will come into play next spring that will phase in targets - 10% ZEV sales by 2025, 30% by 2030, and 100% by 2040. They also have announced that they will help make zero-emission vehicles more affordable.

“There’s nothing more important than taking care of the place we call home,” said Premier Horgan. “As a province, we need to work together to put B.C. on a path that powers our future with clean, renewable energy and reduces air pollution.”

Learn more about the program:

BC's Clean Energy Vehicle Program

CEVforBC vehicle point-of-sale incentive program

Source: BC Gov News

Wind energy in Canada

Each year Canada has made a commitment to become more renewable. Wind energy has been a major one in fact Canada is ranked ninth in the world in terms of installed wind energy capacity. 

In the last five years Canada’s wind capacity has grown by an average of 15% annually. More recently, it was reported that Canada has installed enough power in wind energy to power over 3.8 million homes, which equals to be around 6% of the country’s electricity demand. Now that seems low, but that is a huge step! 

There are many projects on the go but there are four that were completed over the last year that really made an impact. There are now 297 wind farms operating within Canada.  

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Source: CanWEA

Another Canadian city has made a commitment to become renewable

The City of Regina is in the process of creating a “blueprint for action” on renewable energy which they hope will help them to phase their dependency on fossil fuels by 2050. 

“We need to make a statement for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Michael Fougere. “We are going to champion the cause, and we look forward to rallying people together to make this possible.”

The council meet earlier this week and unanimously approved a motion on renewable energy. The amendment called for actions to improve Regina’s environmental sustainability that could be implemented by the end of 2023. Will start with creating more green roofs, grey water, efficient buildings, electric buses, geothermal energy and banning bottled water in city facilities.

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Source: Regina Leader-Post

New National Job Standards Under Consideration in the Electricity Sector.

New skill sets and essential skills needed in the labour market are driving changes in the electricity industry national job standards. New or revised national standards are being considered for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installer, Wind Turbine Technician, and Smart Grid Specialist among many others.

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Wind Power Now Meets More Than 5% of the World Electricity Needs

The annual Global Wind Report from the Global Wind Energy Council has provided the latest wind statistics from around the world.  Canada is now powering just over 3 million homes through wind turbine installations

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Wind Energy Host Communities realizing Economic Benefits

A recent study shows that Wind Energy host communities are seeing economic benefits – now and in the future.

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Hemp Construction Blocks in New Commercial Facility

Construction has started on a fully off-the-grid commercial facility in Kelowna, BC.

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Solar Power Projects in NS

Nova Scotia announces funding for four solar power projects with many more to come.

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New Tidal Power Project in Bay of Fundy

The power of the Bay of Fundy’s tides have warranted $30 million from the federal government’s emerging renewable power program.

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Photo: The SR2000 tidal turbine. Credit: Scotrenewables Tidal Power.

Blue Hill Wind Energy Project

A new large-scale wind project in Saskatchewan has been approved. The project will produce enough electricity for roughly 70,000 homes with up to 56 wind turbines. 

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LiDAR installed at Port Ryerse Wind Farm in Ontario

The LiDAR (light detection and ranging device) uses light to measure wind characteristics as well as temperature, pressure, and humidity all from the single device.  Port Ryerse is a Class 4 Wind Energy Facility. 

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Photo Credit:

Toronto Ranked in the Top 10 Smart Cities

165 cites from 80 countries were ranked on nine points that include environment, technology, mobility, urban planning and more. Toronto’s performance in the top 10 this year is an improvment from previous years. 

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