To their credit, in Glasgow today, Canada joined a group of “progressive first movers” in announcing it will no longer use public money to finance international fossil fuel projects.

A good place to start with implementing this pledge would be to direct the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to abandon its plan to finance a cross-border transmission line under Lake Erie for fossil fuel generated power. The Lake Erie Connector project will be used to send polluting gas-fired electricity from Ontario to Pennsylvania.

The proposed line is to be built by Fortis Inc., a $57 billion company heavily invested in fossil fuels. Canada is providing $655 million in low-interest loans through the CIB to support a project that will increase gas plant use in Ontario. This just doesn’t square with the Trudeau government’s commitment to end public financing for climate damaging fossil fuel projects.

Instead, the CIB should steer its low-cost money to developing a new 2,000-megawatt transmission line between Quebec and Ontario. This line could be built within an existing transmission corridor near Ottawa. It would allow Ontario to double its imports of clean waterpower from Quebec and use Quebec’s huge reservoir system as a giant battery to back up made-in-Ontario solar and wind energy.

Instead of importing fracked gas from Pennsylvania, burning it in Ontario and exporting the power back to the United States, we can tap into Quebec’s huge and underused hydropower system to provide zero emissions power to Ontario and phase-out our gas plants by 2030.

Signing pledges is one thing. Taking action to meet our commitments is another. Here’s how the Trudeau government to walk its talk on climate.

More info: Journalist Paul Wells examines the Canadian Infrastructure Bank’s misplaced priorities in this analysis.

What you can do

Please send a message to Canada’s Infrastructure Minister, Dominic LeBlanc. Tell him that the CIB should not be subsidizing the construction of a power line that will lead to increased use of gas plants in Ontario, driving up climate damaging emissions.

Thank you!

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