Saint John (August 19, 2020) – In order to generate economic growth, and foster a green economy, a Liberal government will act quickly to partner with the federal government to bring small modular reactor production to New Brunswick.
Small modular reactors, also called SMRs, are small but powerful nuclear reactors that provide clean, safe and low-cost energy and help reduce the carbon footprint associated with energy production.
“This is the next generation for energy production as we move toward cleaner and safer power generation, it’s a complete game changer” said Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers. “New Brunswick is well-positioned to be a global leader in this field, and we can’t let that opportunity slip through our fingers. I will address this within the first 30 days of my mandate.”
There are two companies already headquartered in New Brunswick developing SMR technology thanks to an initiative of a previous Liberal government. Vickers said that it’s important now to bring the federal government to the table to forge a partnership with the province and industry.
Vickers also noted that other provinces are also very interested in developing and deploying this technology for what is estimated to be a $150 billion worldwide market.
“New Brunswick is a logical location to capitalize on this huge economic opportunity,” said the Liberal Leader. “We have a history with nuclear power, social licence, and a geographical advantage with our proximity to the lucrative northeast US market. But New Brunswick needs a premier that can deal with Ottawa.”
“It’s no secret that Blaine Higgs has quickly developed a reputation in Ottawa as being one of the hardest premiers to work with on files like this even though there is a clear benefit for New Brunswick.” Said Vickers. “Other provinces are aggressively working on the development of SMRs because of the economic and environmental benefits. The feds see the potential, but they want a premier they can work with.”
Thousands of highly skilled and highly paid jobs could be created in New Brunswick with the development of a supply chain here in the province to supply parts and materials for the fabrication of these reactors to be sold around the world.
“This could easily become a leading employer in the province,” says Vickers. “It’s no secret that our global climate, and our New Brunswick economy, have deteriorated over the past several decades. We have a window of opportunity here with SMRs to address both those things– but we must act now.”
“The next important step here is to partner with Ottawa on SMR development. Blaine Higgs has proven to be a difficult person to deal with when it comes to forging meaningful partnerships. That’s why he called an election that no one wants in the middle of a pandemic. I’ll bring a different approach to the table, a premier that believes in real collaboration in a world that demands it,” concluded Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers.