Joint Policy Statement on Developing and Transmitting Clean, Reliable and Affordable Power in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick


October 16, 2023

Building on a strong foundation of collaboration on clean electricity priorities in the region, today we, the federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, the federal Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, the federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, the Premier of New Brunswick and the Premier of Nova Scotia met to discuss working together to support and help ensure an affordable, and reliable phase-out of coal and transition to net-zero electricity.

Decarbonizing Canada’s electricity system is a foundational economic and environmental goal. Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, secure, and clean electricity is important both for households, businesses, and institutions across the region. The private sector is increasingly prioritizing access to clean electricity to underpin economic competitiveness and to seize future clean growth opportunities, including in the emerging and growing industries of hydrogen and critical minerals. The economy is also rapidly electrifying as consumers adopt electric heat pumps and purchase electric vehicles and as industry transitions from hydrocarbons to clean power on the path to net-zero.

Against this backdrop, the Governments of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia will advance two tracks of collaborative work to support the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 and to drive to net-zero electricity by 2035 and a net zero economy by 2050. This clean energy transition work will be based on provincial priorities and utility electricity system plans and build on the nation-leading track record of success in both provinces in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and expanding clean electricity supply over the past decade.

Under the first track of work, provincial and federal governments will identify the necessary investments to support the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030, and the transition to clean energy. Based on provincial and utility planning, governments discussed priority projects required to meet this timeline, including: Small Modular Reactors; the conversion of the Belledune Generating Station; Mactaquac Life Achievement; installation of wind and solar; batteries and renewables integration; electrification and peak-load management; introduction of hydrogen-capable flex-fuel fast start generation; and building the Point Lepreau -Salisbury-Onslow Transmission Line connecting Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  Governments recognize the need to maintain an affordable and reliable electricity system.

In this context, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will work with the Federal Government on approaches to funding. A critical component of this first track is moving forward with the reliability inter-tie between the two provinces as the first phase of a modified Atlantic Loop, with a target in-service date of 2029. Subject to regulatory review and approval in both jurisdictions, and Indigenous consultation, these investments in transmission and generation will deliver early returns through a more reliable, resilient grid as both provinces phase out coal and advance the development of new energy sources and transmission capability for net zero electricity in 2035.

Under the second track of work, the parties agreed to confirm and advance areas of critical importance and cooperation on the path to net-zero electricity by 2035, including the continued advancement of Small Modular Reactors, which is specific in New Brunswick and offshore wind, which is specific in Nova Scotia.  Both provinces will be working on batteries and renewables integration, solar, hydrogen-capable/flex fuel generators, and smart grid management tools, and determine federal instruments that can be used to support these initiatives such as financing through the Canadian Infrastructure Bank, federal tax credits including the Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit, and grants and contributions programs, such as the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways program and the Electricity Predevelopment Program.

This will also include further exploring regional transmission and energy exchange opportunities in partnership with neighboring utilities, in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

To advance these efforts, we will collaborate trilaterally where appropriate and bilaterally where appropriate, through the Canada-New Brunswick and Canada-Nova Scotia Regional Energy and Resources Tables.

We are mindful that this work will need to take into consideration the impact of the Clean Electricity Regulations, which are being refined drawing on inputs from Provinces, rightsholders and other stakeholders. The parties agree to collaborate on pathways to achieve an affordable reliable and clean electricity system within this context.

Our governments share a commitment to address the urgent challenges that we face from climate change and to seize the clean growth opportunities that can flourish from a net-zero grid.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

The Honourable Blaine Higgs, Premier of New Brunswick

The Honourable Tim Houston, Premier of Nova Scotia

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