Evidence of meeting #37 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was trucks.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Jonathan Burke  Vice-President, Global Market Development, Westport Innovations Inc.

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

If there were three things we could do to allow you as a business to succeed in expanding this technology, what would they be?

10:05 a.m.

Vice-President, Global Market Development, Westport Innovations Inc.

Jonathan Burke

Harmonization of codes and standards with those in other jurisdictions would be a big help. The second thing would be for the government to vocally support alternative fuels by having government agencies that actively promote alternatives to consumers become more active in supporting all alternatives and presenting all alternatives.

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

That would be through more information and—

10:05 a.m.

Vice-President, Global Market Development, Westport Innovations Inc.

Jonathan Burke

That would be through information and outreach.

Then lastly, certainly we could benefit significantly from a short-term incentive program for specific targeted industries to adopt this technology, much like the one in the United States.

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

One generally cost-neutral method is capital cost allowance, because it's actually not a tax cut; it's a tax deferral. Businesses pay more later on. Their tax bill doesn't go down. Their writeoff is moved to the front end and then they have less to write off at the back end.

10:10 a.m.

Vice-President, Global Market Development, Westport Innovations Inc.

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Would that kind of deferral help spur the industry?

10:10 a.m.

Vice-President, Global Market Development, Westport Innovations Inc.

Jonathan Burke

I think it would be a very significant help to the industry.

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Merv Tweed

Thank you.

You talked about the Honda's availability in Canada. I think it's important to point out that my experience has been that in a lot of instances, automotive companies make technical changes so that the product can't move from one country to another. I was previously a car dealer living right on the border, and I found that I couldn't sell cars into the U.S. because of one technical thing that was different, and it created a myriad of problems. That has been reduced, but obviously now there's a new technology we have to address.

10:10 a.m.

Vice-President, Global Market Development, Westport Innovations Inc.

Jonathan Burke

I think the question around the Honda Civic would have to be addressed directly to Honda. That's my understanding from a number of gas utilities that have brought these vehicles in what they call the grey market.

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Merv Tweed

Absolutely, yes.

Ms. Michaud, welcome.

May 15th, 2012 / 10:10 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Thank you very much.

Thank you for your presentation.

I do not have the opportunity to sit on this committee very often, so I find this very interesting, especially because in Quebec we are very interested in the question of natural gas—more because of the shale gas issue, but still, it's being discussed a lot in our province. I find it very interesting to have a new perspective on that issue.

In your presentation you were telling us that most of your R and D activities, if not all, are done in the U.S. Is that right?

10:10 a.m.

Vice-President, Global Market Development, Westport Innovations Inc.

Jonathan Burke

No. The majority of our R and D investment and the majority of our research and development employees are actually here in Canada.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Okay. Good.

10:10 a.m.

Vice-President, Global Market Development, Westport Innovations Inc.

Jonathan Burke

But we do research and development jointly with our partners in other jurisdictions, whether it's with Volvo in Sweden or with Weichai in China. So there is research and development per se going on in those jurisdictions as well as in the U.S., but the bulk of it is still done here in Canada.