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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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Climate change, a hot topic!

Lots of Canadians are pushing for a serious plan to take action on climate change and the debate is getting stronger. Right now, a lot of focus is on the carbon tax pricing. Here is a short video that discusses 3 common carbon pricing myths. To read the full report click here – it also includes a great infographic.

The facts are out there. Let’s use them.

Source: Canada's Ecofiscal Commission 

Alberta to kick-start a new green transportation project

Earlier this week, Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillps announced something HUGE. They plan to kick-start a new green transportation project. This will also include a pretty special truck that is being developed by the Alberta Motor Transport Association. They want to build a transport truck that will have the ability to drive long distances while at the same time delivering a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The province has committed to $100 million to help support these projects, which there are currently 16 of and these projects hope to create approximately 114 new jobs.

Read More

Source: Global News

What is the most cost effective source of energy?

As of right now WIND is cheaper than coal, nuclear, or any of the alternatives. It is the most cost-effective source of new electricity, as new analysis show that wind energy cost has dropped 69 percent since 2009. 

Canada still has some work to do as our wind energy costs as still slighty on the higher side, however ongoing technology improvement is key. The recent procurements in Saskatchewan, where the average bid price was CDN$37.50 and the winning bid came well in below that, demonstrates that wind energy can be built in Canada at costs closer to the lower end of the price range. 

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Source: CanWEA

Where do Canadian cities sit with becoming 100% renewable?

One can say that it all started with Vancouver back in 2015, as they started to make the shift to 100% renewable energy. We are now seeing more cities going towards this. Here is a really good progress update on where Canadian cities are and what goals they are setting for themselves to help them implement their plans. 


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Source: Renewable Cities

The largest municipal utility in the nation is going 100% renewable

That is right, you heardf correctly! The City of Los Angeles is set to phase out three gas-fired power plants by 2029. Currently the city has two enormous gas plants and one smaller one, which together represent 38% of the utilioty's gas-fired generation. Mayor Eric Garcetti calls it the 'New Green Deal' and is all part of the city's plan to move to 100% renewable energy.

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Source: PV Magazine 

Petro- Canada is creating Canada's first 'electric highway'

Within the next year Petro-Canada has confimed that they plan on building 50 new electric vehicle charging stations across the Trans-Canada highway (from Nova Scotia to British Columbia).

Executive Vice President of Downstream at Suncor, Kris Smit “We know the needs of our customers are evolving as we transition to a low-carbon future which is why we are excited to expand our current offering to support this growing customer segment.”

These charging stations will be able to get EV's up to 80% in 30mins. They will have both CHAdeMO and CCS/SAE connectors. 

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Source: Kelowna Now

The battle to de-carbonize continues

Change is on the horizon. We are seeing a real push (transition) from high-carbon to a low-carbon energy system. There have been a lot of breakthrough with wind and solar and we are starting to see the shift and investment from these types of power. More and more we are seeing technologies that are being made more energy efficient, especially in the electricity and mobility sectors. 

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Source: World Economic Forum 

Drive your big truck AND be environmentally friendly!

Electric Trucks are coming down the pipe with models from Ford and Tesla being developed. Last month Ford annouced that they are in the works for building all-electric F-150.  A lot has changed since they first introduced EV cars a decade ago!

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Source: Popular Mechanics 

Canada becomes an IRENA

Canada is committed to building a sustainable country and recently have joined the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA). "The growing green economy is among the greatest economic opportunities for Canada in a generation,” stated Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi in a press release.

“Becoming an IRENA member will accelerate Canada's efforts to build a clean energy future that will bring new economic growth and thousands of new, well-paying jobs."

With Canada now being a member, there is a total of 160 members, which include some of the largest economies in the world, such as the United States, China, Japan, Germany. 

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Source: National Observer 

CUSW celebrates 20 years!

The founders of CUSW had the idea to build a union that would redefine the way that work would be organized in the workplace while at the same time redefining the relationship between workers and the broader community. The goal was to create a union around a 21st Century way of thinking - to contribute to building a civil and social environment where there is mutual respect amongst workers and employers and a sincere desire to work together for the betterment of all. 

We are well on our way there! Through partnerships, such as SmartNet Alliance and Alliance Learning, we are able to encourage like-minded people to come togetherto build that society. 

Let's continue to work together and do our part to build a sustainable economy where people matter.

Is there a gap between white collar and blue collar?

Mandy 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

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.

Read more

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