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Report to federal government has potential impacts for engineering

2018.11.01

The House of Commons Environment and Sustainable Development Committee (ESDC) recently released their report on “Better Buildings for a Low Carbon Future.” The federal government’s responses to two of the report’s recommendations in particular have the potential to impact engineering.

Recommendation 4 was that the “ESDC ensure that programs exist or are established to address the labour transition required so that skilled personnel are available to implement net-zero energy ready codes.”

The government’s response to this recommendation was wholly positive:

“That the Government also support the development of specific skills required for employment in green jobs. For example, the Green Jobs Science and Technology Internship program is investing more than $16 million to create 1,200 jobs as part of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy. This program provides opportunities for post-secondary graduates to gain relevant work experience through green jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math fields in the natural resources sector.”

Similarly, the government concurred with Recommendation 8—“that the federal government create or adopt a measurement tool to take into account the net carbon emissions avoided through adaptive reuse of existing buildings.”—stating that: 

“[The] Government supports this recommendation and has committed through the PCF [Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change] to undertake ongoing monitoring and reporting to ensure that policies are effective, take stock of progress, and inform Canada’s future national commitments in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate change. As part of the reporting process, Environment and Climate Change Canada produces the National Inventory Report on GHG sources and sinks, using methods and models developed by departmental engineering and scientific staff that are consistent with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidance. The underlying data and methodologies for estimating emissions are continuously improving, providing opportunities to refine information, approaches and measurement tools.”

Notably, in 2017, Engineers Canada provided verbal testimony to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources for their study on the effects of transitioning to a low carbon economy. While this testimony did not directly impact the report from the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee, Engineers Canada is pleased to see the government making considerations around the role engineering plays in addressing this important issue.