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Canada's Bill C-38 aims for economic improvement through hydroelectric development

OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada 5/17/12 (PennWell) -- Legislation currently making the rounds before the Canadian Parliament could have significant ramifications for the hydropower industry should Bill C-38 be approved.

The bill -- also known as the Budget Implementation Act -- would modify a number of existing acts to help spur hydroelectric development and expansion with the goal of stimulating economic growth.

HydroWorld.com previously reported that a study released by the Canadian Electricity Association says Canadian utilities must collectively spend nearly US$350 billion on power generation and transmission projects by 2030 if it hopes to keep up with the demands of the nation's electrical network, and the Canadian Hydropower Association has indicated that such investment could produce more than one million jobs from construction activities alone.

Proponents of Bill C-38 say the legislation could help realize those objectives by reforming current policies to create an environment more conducive to hydropower development.

Amongst the bill's numerous facets is an emphasis on improving four key areas:

--Making the review process more timely and predictable
--Reducing duplicity in project reviews
--Strengthening environmental protection
--Increasing interactions with Aboriginal groups

In doing so, Bill C-38 would affect a number of existing acts, including the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Energy Board Act and the Species at Risk Act.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy would also be affected.


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