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Nearly unanimous support for 20% wind
1 December 2008
A national poll in Canada conducted by The Strategic Council found that 87% of Canadians support a 20% by 2025 wind energy vision put forward by the Canadian wind industry, something Canadian Hydro Developers CEO John Keating advises the industry to exploit when it takes the plan to policy makers. "Things happen in Canada when the grassroots support it." But that might be easier said than done, cautioned Shawn McCarthy, a business correspondent with the Globe and Mail newspaper. "Part of the problem is that it is a very diffuse constituency," he told delegates. Pressure to get the tax incentive and royalty structure that helped draw more than C$90 billion in investment to the oil sands, now responsible for about half of Canada's oil production, came from Alberta. Ethanol has champions among the rural members of parliament from the corn-growing region of south-western Ontario. The aerospace and auto industries get government support, said Graham, but their jobs are concentrated in Montreal and Ontario. "When trouble hits, you have a mounted political effort to make sure that somebody is paying attention and somebody is doing something," he explained. "The renewable energy sector at this point doesn't have that. So you have polls where people say they are very supportive of this and you take that to government and that's very nice, but where are the votes? The political system operates on votes."
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