As your Member of Parliament, I am committed to ensuring the economic success of Alberta. A significant part of that commitment is ensuring we have a good set of rules in place to secure timely approvals of resource projects.
This means pipelines.
Currently, Canada still operates under the CEAA 2012 legislation that was brought in by the former Conservative government. Passed with no consultation from Calgary’s oil and gas leadership, CEAA 2012 has led to where we are now: pipeline proposals ending up in court instead of in the ground, as happened with TMX.
Clearly, the status quo under the current Conservative legislation is not working.
With hundreds of major resource projects (worth over $500 billion in investment) planned across Canada over the next 10 years, better rules are necessary to ensure good projects can go forward quickly.
We need legislation that properly addresses the economy, the environment, and Indigenous rights. That’s why we have the new Impact Assessment Act.
The Impact Assessment Act is our government’s response to bad legislation created by the former Conservative government. Canada needs better rules for how major projects (interprovincial pipelines, power lines, mining, etc.) are assessed and approved in a timely fashion in order to strengthen our economy, protect our environment and respect Indigenous rights.
The act is based on 14 months of consultation, two expert panels, a Parliamentary committee study, and hearing directly from Canadians across the country.
Prior to the act reaching the Senate almost a year ago, we studied and improved it in the House of Commons and made an unprecedented 135 amendments.
Our goal is one project, one review. We are working to streamline the process and coordinate with provinces to reduce red tape and avoid duplication. We are making the process more predictable, timely and clear, and helping ensure potential issues are identified early on.
These better rules will increase regulatory certainty and encourage investment in Canada’s natural resource sectors.
The Senate provided many important and well-considered amendments to the Impact Assessment Act (C-69). Our government is accepting 62 of them and tweaking an additional 37. It’s an unprecedented amount, and together, these amendments make major and necessary improvements.
But we also rejected some Senate amendments. Because, frankly, some were absurd.
Let me give you some examples.
I want to emphasize that the Senate put forward a lot of solid, significant, and important amendments – amendments our government is moving forward with.
They address the biggest concerns from industry and provide a clearer, less politicized path to approval for good projects. A path that’s less likely to end up in court.
With these in place, I think the Impact Assessment Act will allow good projects to get built, and built responsibly.
The Senate’s Energy and Environment Committee completed its consideration of amendments put forth by Senators of all stripes, many of which address issues raised by our oil and gas industry.
Almost 190 amendments were accepted by the Committee, and then by the Senate. It is now returning to the House of Commons – and I look forward to making my constituents’ voices heard.
This process of consulting, scrutinizing and amending proposed legislation is an integral part of our democracy. And it provides an important opportunity for the legislation to be strengthened and improved.
I have heard from constituents, business leaders, and people from all industries – the issues with the current laws must be addressed.
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