For all Canadians, Bill C-69 adds considerably to the uncertainties associated with future major projects, and ups the risks, and ultimately the costs.
As your Member of Parliament, I will strongly advocate for a simpler and more credible system that enables greater certainty with clear timelines, and without the loopholes that threaten to make the hearings and decision-process go on forever.
A major threat to our prosperity
Bill C-69 Must Not Pass.
It does not work for resource development, and it does not work for Canada
As I’m knocking on doors and talking to members, the most common concern I hear is our country’s inability to build infrastructure and get our resources to market – a failure by the government that cost us $17 billion in 2017 alone. With discounts on oil alone reaching over $100 million per day currently – the shortfall is approaching $36 billion a year – and revenue lost means lost opportunity and lost investment, never to be recovered.
To make matters worse, the Trudeau government is moving ahead with a bill to make the process even more open-ended, undefined, and uncertain.
We have a regulatory system in Canada that is already too complex – as demonstrated by the contradictions and confusion among government, regulators and the courts.
If enacted, Bill C-69 will turn the National Energy Board into the Canadian Energy Regulator, establish a new Impact Assessment Agency, and open the process to an almost unlimited number of people wanting to weigh-in, whether or not they would be impacted by a project.
Numerous parties, including provincial governments, are against the bill because it threatens to further undermine our competitiveness, and dramatically increase the uncertainty that is driving investment away. The current process already has people withdrawing billions of dollars from Canada, and that will increase if C-69 gets passed.
This isn’t just an oil and gas issue – but a Canadian issue – one that threatens some of the largest drivers of job-creation and prosperity in this country. This bill has foreseeable and wide-ranging implications that will hit our mining, forestry and energy sectors the hardest, but will also affect renewable energy, fisheries, pipelines and other infrastructure.
Project proponents want tough, fair, and clear regulation. We deserve that from our government institutions - and yet, this is exactly what Canadians do NOT get in this bill.
The new Impact Assessment Agency and the minister responsible will have much more discretion, including a veto before assessments commence. The legislation has broad terms and loose definitions imposing few limits on the minister’s discretion, adding to the uncertainty.
The bill also includes:
New geographic and upstream / downstream criteria on GHG emissions that weaken provincial authority over resource development, and impose limits on expansions; and
Relaxed standards for public participation in hearings – leading to lengthier hearings and favouring organized protests, even those funded by offshore interests.
For all Canadians, the bill adds considerably to the uncertainties associated with future major projects, and ups the risks, and ultimately the costs.
I have written in support of Senator Doug Black’s proposals and agree with his assessment that the bill is so badly flawed that it needs to be rewritten – from scratch. Senator Black also notes that the government ignored its own panel reports in drafting Bill C-69, which raises significant questions.
We have a regulatory system in Canada that is already too complex – as demonstrated by the contradictions and confusion among government, regulators and the courts. As your Member of Parliament, I will strongly advocate for a simpler and more credible system that works for Canada’s economic benefit and respects the rights of all Canadians; one that enables greater certainty with clear timelines, and without the loopholes that threaten to make the hearings and decision-process go on forever.
We must strike the right balance between the development of Canadian resources and preserving Canada’s environment. This government has failed to meet that simple goal.