People in the Millbrook area will soon have access to clean energy generated in their community. Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann, on behalf of Energy Minister Charlie Parker, announced today, Jan. 11, that a 4.4-megawatt wind project in Millbrook has been approved for the Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) program. The project will be on the same site as the six-megawatt Millbrook First Nation wind project, which was approved last February. “I am pleased that both of these First Nation communities are interested in helping to diversify and transform Nova Scotia’s electricity system,” said Ms. Zann. “We commend both Millbrook and Eskasoni for seeing the benefits of the COMFIT program, which will help create local economic opportunities while generating clean energy.” Both communities are working together on the required grid-impact study and federal and provincial environmental assessments, as well as a community engagement strategy. Construction is expected to be finished in 2014. The power will be used in the same area, providing economic development opportunities. Each band will retain its position as majority owner of the separate project companies, with separate COMFIT certificates. “Eskasoni is very interested in pursuing environmentally conscientious community investment opportunities,” said Chief Leroy Denny. “Wind energy is a natural fit for us and we are grateful for the opportunity to co-locate with Millbrook.” “We’re proud to be leaders as we look for alternatives to fossil fuels and seek out new economic opportunities for our band, the community and neighbouring counties,” said Chief Bob Gloade, Millbrook First Nation. “Wind energy is about making investments today that will benefit out future generations.” The 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan introduced the COMFIT concept to help provide a secure supply of electricity at stable prices while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating local economic development opportunities. COMFIT provides eligible groups, including First Nations, an established price per kilowatt hour (kWh) for projects producing electricity from clean resources such as wind, biomass, in-stream tidal and hydroelectric developments. The feed-in tariff rates were established by the Utility and Review Board in September 2011. The COMFIT program will help the province reach its clean energy targets of 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2020. For more information on the program, visit www.nsrenewables.ca.
The head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yuri Fedotov said that confronting illicit drugs and their impact is dependent on pursuing a comprehensive response to the problem based on health, long-term security, development and institution-building. “Just as illicit drugs are everyone’s shared responsibility, there is a need for each country to work closely together and to jointly agree on the way forward for dealing with this global challenge,” he said in a statement. The move, which Mr. Fedotov termed “unfortunate”, comes ahead of a special session on the ongoing world drug problem, to be held at the UN General Assembly in 2016. He noted that next year, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs will hold a high-level review of Member States’ implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on the world drug problem and said that would have been an opportunity for countries to pursue a coherent approach to drug trafficking. Mr. Fedotov also said that UNODC agrees with the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), an independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body mandated to implement UN international drug control conventions, which earlier today said it “regrets” the decision by Montevideo. In its statement, the Board said “…the legislation to legalize production, sale and consumption of cannabis for non-medical purposes approved yesterday in Uruguay contravenes the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, to which Uruguay is a party.” INCB President Raymond Yans said he was “surprised” that policymakers “knowingly decided to break the universally agreed and internationally endorsed provisions of the treaty.” The Vienna-based agency also noted that Uruguayan policymakers failed to consider the negative impacts on health which confirm that cannabis is an addictive substance with serious consequences and longer-term development applications.