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Federal election result could be a boon for wind
1 August 2004
The results of Canada's June 28 federal election could be a boon for wind energy, although the lack of a clear majority for any single political party may make the task of keeping the industry at the top of the legislative priority list more challenging. The Liberal Party, which pledged to quadruple the national wind power production incentive program's budget to support the installation of 4000 MW and work towards a target of 10,000 MW, won 135 out of the 308 seats in parliament, more than any of its rivals but not enough to pass legislation without their support. The two parties most likely to provide that support, the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Bloc Quebecois, also promised significant backing for wind power during the campaign. The NDP platform called for the installation of 10,000 MW of wind and tax shifting to encourage investment in renewables, tax incentives for wind turbine manufacturing and the creation of a new government-owned corporation focussed on conservation and renewables. The Bloc promised to invest C$2.1 billion in the wind sector over ten years. "A minority parliament, because it engages so many more parties, will require a more active effort on our part in terms of ensuring the support needed to allow these measures to go through is there. But I think it is a very promising starting point," says the Canadian Wind Energy Association's Robert Hornung. Wind, he adds, might be one area where these potentially uneasy allies could find easy agreement.
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