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Premiers in Vancouver to Discuss Energy and Climate Change

The Council of the Federation, chaired by New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, is meeting today at the Pan Pacific Hotel, ostensibly to discuss climate change. On Tuesday, BC Premier Gordon Campbell is scheduled to host a Forum on Climate Change Adaption, under the aegis of the Council of the Federation.

In Washington, D.C. last week, the man who should be the star of the show today, Alberta's Premier Ed Stelmach, asked U.S. business leaders Wednesday not to buy into the "myth" that oil sands production comes at too high an environmental cost, saying attempts to curtail it "don't make sense."

But he faced disbelieving protesters at every turn on the first day of his trade visit to the United States, including about 35 environmentalists who passed out flyers to guests arriving at a Canadian Embassy reception, the Globe and Mail reported.

In its August 2007 report: A Shared Vision for Energy in Canada, The Council of the Federation, wrote: "We are one of the few countries in the world that is not only energy-rich, but also fully capable of increasing its energy production in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner."

In 2006, the report says, capital investment in the oil industry alone was $53 billion, while electricity sector investment was $13 billion. Energy exports (at $99 billion) accounted for 22% of the value of all exports.

On the other hand, Canadians spent almost $135 billion in 2004 on energy to heat and cool their homes and to operate their appliances, cars and industrial processes.

The report calls on the federal government to enter into negotiations to pursue the creation of "a framework agreement that provides a formal mechanism to allow the full participation of provinces and territories in Canada's international activities related to provincial/territorial jurisdiction, like energy."

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