An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts



Second reading (Senate), as of Dec. 7, 2018

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This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

Part 1 enacts the Impact Assessment Act and repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Among other things, the Impact Assessment Act

(a) names the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada as the authority responsible for impact assessments;

(b) provides for a process for assessing the environmental, health, social and economic effects of designated projects with a view to preventing certain adverse effects and fostering sustainability;

(c) prohibits proponents, subject to certain conditions, from carrying out a designated project if the designated project is likely to cause certain environmental, health, social or economic effects, unless the Minister of the Environment or Governor in Council determines that those effects are in the public interest, taking into account the impacts on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, all effects that may be caused by the carrying out of the project, the extent to which the project contributes to sustainability and other factors;

(d) establishes a planning phase for a possible impact assessment of a designated project, which includes requirements to cooperate with and consult certain persons and entities and requirements with respect to public participation;

(e) authorizes the Minister to refer an impact assessment of a designated project to a review panel if he or she considers it in the public interest to do so, and requires that an impact assessment be referred to a review panel if the designated project includes physical activities that are regulated under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act;

(f) establishes time limits with respect to the planning phase, to impact assessments and to certain decisions, in order to ensure that impact assessments are conducted in a timely manner;

(g) provides for public participation and for funding to allow the public to participate in a meaningful manner;

(h) sets out the factors to be taken into account in conducting an impact assessment, including the impacts on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada;

(i) provides for cooperation with certain jurisdictions, including Indigenous governing bodies, through the delegation of any part of an impact assessment, the joint establishment of a review panel or the substitution of another process for the impact assessment;

(j) provides for transparency in decision-making by requiring that the scientific and other information taken into account in an impact assessment, as well as the reasons for decisions, be made available to the public through a registry that is accessible via the Internet;

(k) provides that the Minister may set conditions, including with respect to mitigation measures, that must be implemented by the proponent of a designated project;

(l) provides for the assessment of cumulative effects of existing or future activities in a specific region through regional assessments and of federal policies, plans and programs, and of issues, that are relevant to the impact assessment of designated projects through strategic assessments; and

(m) sets out requirements for an assessment of environmental effects of non-designated projects that are on federal lands or that are to be carried out outside Canada.

Part 2 enacts the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, which establishes the Canadian Energy Regulator and sets out its composition, mandate and powers. The role of the Regulator is to regulate the exploitation, development and transportation of energy within Parliament’s jurisdiction.

The Canadian Energy Regulator Act, among other things,

(a) provides for the establishment of a Commission that is responsible for the adjudicative functions of the Regulator;

(b) ensures the safety and security of persons, energy facilities and abandoned facilities and the protection of property and the environment;

(c) provides for the regulation of pipelines, abandoned pipelines, and traffic, tolls and tariffs relating to the transmission of oil or gas through pipelines;

(d) provides for the regulation of international power lines and certain interprovincial power lines;

(e) provides for the regulation of renewable energy projects and power lines in Canada’s offshore;

(f) provides for the regulation of access to lands;

(g) provides for the regulation of the exportation of oil, gas and electricity and the interprovincial oil and gas trade; and

(h) sets out the process the Commission must follow before making, amending or revoking a declaration of a significant discovery or a commercial discovery under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act and the process for appealing a decision made by the Chief Conservation Officer or the Chief Safety Officer under that Act.

Part 2 also repeals the National Energy Board Act.

Part 3 amends the Navigation Protection Act to, among other things,

(a) rename it the Canadian Navigable Waters Act;

(b) provide a comprehensive definition of navigable water;

(c) require that, when making a decision under that Act, the Minister must consider any adverse effects that the decision may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada;

(d) require that an owner apply for an approval for a major work in any navigable water;

(e)  set out the factors that the Minister must consider when deciding whether to issue an approval;

(f) provide a process for addressing navigation-related concerns when an owner proposes to carry out a work in navigable waters that are not listed in the schedule;

(g) provide the Minister with powers to address obstructions in any navigable water;

(h) amend the criteria and process for adding a reference to a navigable water to the schedule;

(i) require that the Minister establish a registry; and

(j) provide for new measures for the administration and enforcement of the Act.

Part 4 makes consequential amendments to Acts of Parliament and regulations.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.


June 20, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
June 20, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
June 19, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (previous question)
June 11, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
March 19, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
March 19, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
Feb. 27, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 6:40 p.m.
See context


Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, it is no secret that foreign investment has been fleeing and will continue to flee Canada at an alarming rate. I have seen this first-hand in my dear hometown of Calgary, Alberta, where we have seen the exit of organizations and of corporations such as Murphy Oil, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, and I can go on and on with respect to the foreign investment that has fled. That is even prior to the installation and royal assent of such damaging legislation such as Bill C-68, which we are discussing today, and Bill C-69. The government has to take responsibility for the investment that is fleeing Canada and ruining the lives of Canadians.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 7:30 p.m.
See context

Ottawa Centre Ontario


Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

moved that Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed.

Madam Speaker, before I begin, I wish to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Algonquin and Anishinabe peoples.

I am very pleased to once again address the House in support of Bill C-69. This is a key priority of our government. With the bill, we are keeping our promise to put in place better rules to protect our environment and build a stronger economy. It reflects our view that the economy and the environment must go hand in hand and that Canada works best when Canadians work together.

I am going to speak about why our government introduced the bill, and why there is a clear need for better rules to protect our environment and govern how decisions about resource development are made. I will talk about how the bill's balanced approach addresses the priorities of indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and how it delivers what Canadians expect.

I will also describe how our better rules will benefit all Canadians, how they will lead to a cleaner environment for our children, more investment as good projects go ahead, and more jobs and economic opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

We made a commitment when we formed government to regain public trust and help get Canada's resources to market. We committed to put in place new, fair processes that would ensure major project approvals are based on science and indigenous knowledge, that serve the public interest, and that allow good projects to proceed.

Why is this so important? Madam Speaker, $500 billion in major resource projects are being planned across Canada over the next decade. We need rules and processes in place that will allow these projects to move forward. Under the previous system, people lost confidence in Canada's environmental assessment processes.

Since participation in the review of major projects was limited, some Canadians were not able to contribute their knowledge and expertise.

The decision-making process was opaque, and Canadians began to fear that decisions on projects were being made based on political considerations, not on science and evidence.

Furthermore, after amendments were made to the Fisheries Act and Navigable Waters Protection Act, Canadians discovered that major protections had been lost, leaving Canada's fish, waterways, and communities at risk.

The changes made by the previous government eroded public trust and without public trust, it became very difficult for good projects to move forward. Weaker rules hurt both our environment and our economy.

All these changes eroded public trust, and without public trust, it became very difficult for good projects to move forward. Weaker rules hurt both our environment and our economy. If Canada wants to capitalize on the next wave of resource development, we need better rules that reflect Canadians' priorities and concerns, provide certainty, and foster the competitiveness of proponents operating in Canada, while respecting our responsibility to protect the environment.

Knowing this, we introduced interim principles in 2016 to guide our government in reviewing major projects until we could put the better rules in place.

To rebuild trust in the environmental assessment process, our government launched a 14-month review involving two expert panels and two parliamentary committees. Input from provinces and territories, indigenous peoples, companies, environmental groups, and Canadians from across the country informed a discussion paper released in June 2017 and, ultimately, helped shape the approach set out in this bill. What we heard through those panels and committees is that Canadians want a modern environmental assessment and regulatory system that protects the environment, supports reconciliation with indigenous peoples, attracts investment, and ensures that good projects go ahead in a timely way to create new jobs and economic opportunities for the middle class. We have also heard from industry about the importance of a clear and predictable process.

Bill C-69 would put in place the better rules that Canadians and companies expect. Thanks to indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and Canadians who contributed their knowledge and perspectives, this bill would help rebuild public trust through key improvements that include decisions that are transparent and guided by robust science and indigenous knowledge; project reviews that consider a wide range of positive and negative impacts on the economy, health, indigenous rights, and communities, in addition to the environment; more timely and predictable review processes; measures to advance reconciliation and partnership with indigenous peoples; reduced duplication and red tape through a one project-one review approach; and through amendments to the current Navigation Protection Act, restored protection for every navigable waterway in Canada. It also complements Bill C-68, which proposes changes to the Fisheries Act to ensure it provides strong and meaningful protection for our fish and waters.

As I said, we made a commitment to restore public trust in Canada's environmental assessment system, to restore the protections that were lost, and to make sure that Canadians can trust the review process and its results.

It is essential that we ensure that all decisions are transparent and serve the public interest in order to restore trust. That is exactly what Bill C-69 would accomplish.

Under the previous system, Canadians had no idea how decisions were made. Under our new rules, Canadians can rest assured that all major project reviews are done fairly and based on evidence, that all decisions serve the public interest, and that good projects will go ahead.

Bill C-69 would clarify that project approval would be based on the impact assessment report. Decisions would also have to fully consider the factors that informed the review, as well as key public interest factors, including the project's contribution to sustainability and impacts on indigenous rights. That means all final decisions would need to have a clear basis in facts and evidence.

That alone is a major advance over the previous system, but even this important step is not enough to restore trust if Canadians are not informed about how final decisions have been made. To build that trust whenever a final decision is made on a project, a public statement of the rationale for that decision would be issued. That statement would clearly demonstrate to Canadians how the assessment report formed the basis for the decision and how factors like sustainability were taken into account.

To make good decisions, we need good processes that take into account a broad range of considerations. Bill C-69 provides clarity on the factors that would guide project reviews. We know that the impacts of major projects go beyond the environment alone. Projects also affect Canada's economy, our health, and our communities. They can also affect indigenous peoples and their rights.

Our government also recognizes that not all effects of major projects are negative. They also have positive impacts, like creating well-paying jobs for local communities. That is why under our new rules, both positive and negative consequences, economic, environmental, social, and health, would be taken into account. At the same time, tailored guidelines for project reviews would ensure they focus on factors relevant to the specific project.

These improvements will help improve the decision-making process and enhance public trust. Indigenous people, businesses, and the general public will know ahead of time what factors will guide project reviews. These reviews and the resulting assessment reports will the provide the basis for the final decisions.

Public decision statements will provide Canadians with the assurance that key factors were properly taken into consideration and that all decisions serve the public interest.

Without the support and partnership of indigenous peoples, there is no way to move forward with major resource projects. This is not optional. It is integral to ensuring that indigenous peoples, and all Canadians, can benefit from increased jobs and investment.

That is why Bill C-69 fully reflects our government's commitment to a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. This has been a focus of our government from the very beginning. We have taken important steps to put that commitment into action.

For example, we announced our full support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, we are working in partnership with indigenous peoples to develop a new recognition and implementation of rights framework, and we are making major new investments in education, health, infrastructure, and indigenous communities.

This bill puts our commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People at the forefront, in the preambles of impact assessment act and the Canadian energy regulator act.

It also states that, when exercising their powers under the impact assessment act, the government, the minister, the agency, and federal authorities must respect the government’s commitments with regard to the rights of the indigenous peoples of Canada.

The new Canadian energy regulator's mandate will specify that it is to exercise its powers and perform its duties in the same manner.

Indigenous peoples, as well as stakeholders and the public, would have meaningful opportunities to participate in project reviews from the start and throughout the process. Recognizing the important contributions that indigenous knowledge makes to project reviews, our bill would make it mandatory to consider this knowledge alongside science and other evidence in every assessment, and would require transparency about how it was taken into account and used. At the same time, it would provide strong protection for the confidentiality of indigenous knowledge across all parts of the bill.

I have said that our better rules are designed to help good projects move forward to get Canada's resources to market. Companies have told us what they need to make sure that happens: clear, timely, and predictable processes that provide certainty at every stage.

Under our proposed legislation, one agency, the proposed impact assessment agency of Canada, would be the federal lead for all major project reviews. This would mean more consistent, more predictable reviews for all projects. At the same time, the agency would work closely with regulatory bodies so that their valuable expertise could continue to inform assessments.

A revised project list would provide clarity for companies, indigenous communities, environmental groups, municipalities, and all citizens on how our new rules would apply. We have consulted with Canadians on the criteria that would guide that revised list, and we will be consulting again in the fall on the proposed list itself.

Our bill would require a new early planning and engagement phase before an impact assessment could begin. This new phase would help companies identify and address issues early on. It would result in a clear set of products to guide the impact assessment. These would include tailored impact statement guidelines that are scoped to reflect the scale and complexity of the project, a co-operation plan, an indigenous engagement and partnership plan, a public participation plan, and a permitting plan.

While a broad set of factors would be considered in early planning, the tailored guidelines would reflect only those that are relevant to the specific project. Following early planning, proponents would be notified if a project is likely to have unacceptable impacts. This would not stop the process. Instead, it would allow the company to make an informed decision about whether, or how, to go forward with the project in the impact assessment process.

As I have said, companies would have a clear understanding of what would be taken into account in the review itself, including positive and negative effects on the environment, the economy, health, and communities. Companies could also be certain about how final decisions are made. They would be based on the assessment report, and on consideration of key public interest factors, including the project's contribution to sustainability. This would be clearly demonstrated through public decision statements.

To provide the timely decisions and reviews companies expect, Bill C-69 sets out clear time limits for each stage of the process, including the new early planning phase. That includes 300 days for reviews carried out by a review panel with input from a life cycle regulator. When justified, more complex projects may take up to 600 days. This is a major improvement over the 2012 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the CEAA, which allowed up to 120 days for all reviews carried out by review panels.

This bill will also reduce red tape and prevent duplication through opportunities to collaborate with the provinces. It provides for joint assessments in which a single assessment process can meet the requirements of several levels of government. The bill also provides for substitution should a process carried out by another level of government satisfy the federal government's requirements.

Bill C-69 will facilitate a smooth transition toward the new impact assessment system. The bill would set objective criteria to determine which projects will continue to be reviewed under the 2012 CEAA, give companies the option to go through the new process, and confirm that nobody will ever be sent back to square one.

This bill would also provide certainty and help restore public trust by providing opportunities for public participation at every stage of the review process.

When it comes to resource development, public trust and support are essential for projects to move forward. That will not happen if Canadians are not able to take part in project reviews. Bill C-69 would remove the “standing test” imposed by CEAA 2012, so that a broader range of Canadians could contribute their knowledge and perspectives.

With the new early planning and engagement phase, Canadians would be able to make their voices heard from the beginning.

Bill C-69 would provide for the public and for indigenous peoples to participate in a meaningful manner, and would ensure that they have the information and tools they need and the ability to share their thoughts and expertise.

The bill would strike a balance between allowing for meaningful participation and the need for assessments to be completed in a timely manner.

Canadians want projects to be approved based on scientific facts and indigenous knowledge. Our government is committed to adopting policies based on evidence, and Bill C-69 is proof of that.

This bill includes a clear commitment to implementing the act in a way that respects the principles of scientific integrity, honesty, objectivity, rigour, and accuracy. This is perfectly in line with our strong commitment to science and shows that we intend to implement this act.

Bill C-69 also provides for regional and strategic assessments. These studies would inform project reviews by looking at crosscutting issues and cumulative impacts, those that go beyond any one project. To ensure they can play an important role in our impact assessment system, these reviews would benefit from the best available advice and fully take into account indigenous knowledge. We are committed to moving forward with these assessments, beginning with a strategic assessment on climate change.

As we transition to the new system, we will invest up to just over $1 billion over five years to support the proposed new impact assessment regime and Canadian energy regulator; increased scientific capacity in federal departments and agencies; changes required to protect water, fish and navigation; and increased indigenous and public participation.

I am extremely proud of our government's work on this bill. It is the result of extensive public engagement and fulfills the commitment we made when we formed government: to rebuild public trust and get Canada's resources to market sustainably.

I want to acknowledge that many people have contributed to the development of this bill. Of course, I want to recognize the indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and Canadians who participated in our 14-month review process, as well as those who have continued to engage after we introduced the bill.

I also want to recognize the members of this House who have contributed to debate on Bill C-69 and its further development. In particular I want to express my appreciation for the members of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Their efforts in hearing from witnesses and amending the bill have resulted in important changes that have strengthened the legislation.

Throughout this process, the government and the standing committee worked on adopting a balanced approach that addresses the priorities of indigenous peoples, the industry, environmental groups, and other stakeholders. I think that, together, we succeeded.

Through this balanced approach, our better rules will protect Canada's environment, help good projects move forward, and recognize and uphold the rights of indigenous peoples. I think all of us in the House can support that.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 7:45 p.m.
See context


John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, if there is anything Bill C-69 speaks of, it is another broken promise by the Liberals, given the fact this is again another omnibus bill. However, it really does fulfill a prophecy that has been stated widely by the Prime Minister. He said it in Peterborough and Paris about moving to an alternate based economy. In fact, his inside operatives, the de facto prime minister in the country, Gerald Butts, has said that it is not about alternative pipelines; it is about an alternative economy.

What is most disturbing in the bill is the consolidation of power, a consolidation that would give power to the environment minister and to cabinet to basically destroy any project that comes forward. It gives them unilateral control of this.

Will the Minister of Environment and Climate Change stand in the House and finally admit that it is your intent to destroy the oil and gas industry in the country and not to protect it?

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 7:50 p.m.
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Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for her speech. Sometimes I have trouble following the Liberals' logic. The minister just reminded us that previous Conservative governments gutted the environmental assessment process, that they broke the trust of Canadians, and that they removed science from the process. Then, all of a sudden, as soon as they took office the Liberals used the very environmental assessment process they are criticizing to approve the Trans Mountain expansion.

The Liberals will say that they tried to fix it up, but no one believes them. It was the same thing. Bill C-69 was introduced a year and a half later, after the Trans Mountain project was approved using the Conservative approach that the Liberals are criticizing. That makes no sense whatsoever.

The question I would like to ask the minister is this. Let's say I give the Liberals the benefit of the doubt and that the process really is better than it was before, even though we have our doubts. How is it that Bill C-69 does not include a list of projects that will be assessed and does not contain any clear and definitive criteria for determining which projects will be assessed? Why do we not know how that will be decided?

It is all well and good to have a good process, but if no projects are ever assessed, then it is useless.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 7:55 p.m.
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Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, here we are again speaking to Bill C-69. The minister pretends the bill is going to wonderfully restore trust in Canada's impact assessment program. That is a myth. In fact, she spent a lot of time talking about the process we needed to establish that would restore this trust.

Let us talk about the process that the minister embarked upon to get the bill through the House of Commons. Rather than consulting broadly, rather than allowing the committee and the House to do its work in the time required to do it well, she and her government invoked closure in the House again and again.

The Liberals introduced a bill they claimed they would never introduce, an omnibus bill. It is a bill that touches on a whole raft of different pieces of legislation, including the Environmental Assessment Act, the National Energy Board Act, and the Navigation Protection Act. Before they were in government, the Liberals said they would never use omnibus bills. Then they present us with one, try to ram this through the committee, and ram it through the House, invoking closure.

I sit on that committee as vice-chair. I know the minister spoke well of the committee. That is because she got her way. The majority of the members on that committee are Liberals. They rushed the bill through. It got so bad that hundreds of witnesses wanted to appear on the bill because it was important to their industries or their environmental movement.

We had heard about 24 witnesses out of the hundreds that wanted to appear, and suddenly, the Liberals on the committee introduced what is called a programming motion. Basically, the programming motion gives a set number of days to hear witnesses, review all the amendments, pass the legislation and send it back to the House. That programming motion was so inadequate. It did not provide anywhere close to the amount of time required to actually evaluate the legislation. It is very serious legislation and it is absolutely critical to Canada's national prosperity and our ability to get Canada's resources to world markets. They could not even spend the appropriate time doing the review.

Over 400 amendments came forward at committee, and over 100 amendments were Liberal amendments. This is the Liberal government bringing forward legislation. It rushes it forward, saying, it has to get this done, that it needs to restore trust, that it will ram it through, but it will introduce some of its own amendments because it got it wrong and it wants its Liberal members to fix the mistakes. One hundred Liberal amendments were introduced, so that was 100 mistakes in the legislation.

That is symptomatic of a failed Liberal government. Of course every Liberal amendment passed. How many Conservative amendments passed? Not one. These were common sense amendments that improved the legislation, to the degree it could be improved because it is deeply flawed legislation.

Here is something else, and I think Canadians need to hear this. It is the hypocrisy of the Liberal government. The government has said that it supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and has said it will implement that in Canadian law. Members of the NDP and Green Party who were at committee brought forward 25 different amendments where UNDRIP would be incorporated into the legislation, the way the Prime Minister promised when he ran for government.

How many times do members think the Liberals on a committee voted in favour of UNDRIP being incorporated into the legislation? Zero. Is that hypocrisy? I think we can all agree that he spoke out of both sides of his mouth. That is the whip coming from Gerald Butts and his team, who were sitting behind the Liberals telling them exactly how they should vote at committee.

This was the process that was supposed to restore trust in our impact assessment review process. This legislation went through a process that was a sham. The stakeholders across Canada who expected to be heard on it were not heard. We, as members of the committee, were not allowed to speak and debate many of the amendments that were brought forward, because we were cut off by this programming motion.

That is just the context of Bill C-69, the supposed efforts by the government to introduce Bill C-69, which was to restore trust in our environmental review process. It has done nothing of the sort.

Let me talk about the bill itself. We have talked about the flawed process that was followed to actually get this bill through. I am assuming the same rushed process will be imposed in the Senate. This bill has three main parts. It addresses the environmental assessment approval process. It also creates a new Canadian energy regulator to replace the former National Energy Board, and it also fixes what the government believes are flaws in the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

Let me talk about the last one first. In 2012, the former Conservative government identified that the Navigable Waters Protection Act had not been reviewed or amended for 150 years, basically going back to the time of Confederation. This was legislation that was so antiquated. Now the environmental movement had taken the Navigable Waters Protection Act and had treated it as an environmental piece of legislation. They would always trot it out and say the Navigable Waters Protection Act prevents one from doing this and this, and this. “We are protecting the environment.”

However, the Navigable Waters Protection Act had nothing to do with the environment. It was all about transportation on Canadian waters, and making sure that navigation was free and open across Canada. Think about going back 150 years and how transportation has changed. Think about that. This legislation had not been changed.

Therefore, the Conservative government went about modernizing that legislation and it was excellent legislation. It improved the process in which we address navigation issues, especially as they relate to areas of our country that are subject to farming, and farmers, who could not get work done on their lands because of antiquated navigation laws.

However, there is a second piece. That was the Canadian energy regulator. Think about this. This is what the Liberals do. This characterizes the Liberals. They took the National Energy Board, one of the most competent and capable boards of its kind in the world, in fact noted around the world, and sought out for its expertise in the world, and created a whole new Canadian national energy regulator. Imagine that. Was it necessary? Of course not. It is another make-work project for the Liberal government, more costs, hundreds of millions of dollars of additional costs to create this new organization to implement a new environmental review process. Who pays for that? It is the taxpayers.

The government promised that this legislation, Bill C-69, was going to shorten the timelines in which resource projects would be reviewed and approved. Okay. People took them at their word. What came out of the sausage maker? Wow, what a mess, just like sausages look like quite a mess as they are being made. This legislation was the same.

The government said that these new timelines shortened the actual environmental review process, the assessment. However, it tacked on 180 days at the beginning called the “planning phase”, which of course has extended the time frames involved far beyond what people expected.

Beyond that, within the legislation itself, the government incorporated numerous opportunities for the minister to exercise her discretion to extend or suspend a timeline. Therefore, throughout this process that a proponent goes through there are opportunities for the minister to say, “I want to suspend the process right now because I have some concerns about that and that”, and the proponent has no power to prevent that. The minister also has a right to say, “I'm going to extend the timelines. Notwithstanding our government's promise that it was going to be a shorter assessment process, I'm going to extend it. I have the power in this new legislation to do that.” Therefore, the time frames are actually longer, and the certainty is much less because of the amount of discretion given to the minister in this legislation, contrary to what the government had promised.

At the end of this process, the planning phase and the environmental review process, one would think that decisions would be based on science, and that would be it, we have moved to a fully science-based process. No. The government has reserved unto the minister the right to veto a project at any point along the line, including at the end of the environmental review process, again undermining certainty for the investment community, which is shopping its money and investments around the world saying, “Where is there a warm and welcoming environment in which we can do business, where we drive prosperity for the people of that nation, and we are able to build critical resource projects and infrastructure that gets those resources to market?”

This bill does not live up to its billing at all. The timelines are longer and the discretion is greater, as is the uncertainty for the people who want to move forward with resource projects.

It gets worse. Do members remember the minister saying that the government wants this process to be more streamlined, more welcoming, and with certainty for proponents of research projects in Canada? Bill C-69 includes a host of new criteria that will now be applied to those who want to get projects approved, including upstream and downstream impacts of things such as pipelines.

It gets worse. On top of that, the government has included a provision that says that every project must take into account the impact that project will have on Canada's greenhouse gas emission targets under the Paris Agreement. If we were thinking of sending a message to the world that we are open for business again, this would be the wrong way of doing it. Bill C-69 does not do that in any way. We have heard some of my colleagues quote organizations in Canada that are focused on resource projects and that have lamented the fact that Bill C-69 is a huge step backward, and that no further pipelines will ever be approved in Canada based on the legislation as it is.

We tried to improve the legislation at committee. It is not like we sat on our hands and said that it was a fait accompli. We worked very hard. We brought forward about 100 amendments that would have improved this legislation, made it more timely, made it more certain, and made it a vehicle that would attract investment to Canada. What did our Liberal friends across the table do? They voted against every single one of those amendments. That is what we are dealing with, with the Liberal Party.

It gets worse. Let us talk about the precautionary principle, which is also incorporated into this legislation. A lot of people do not understand what the precautionary principle is. Effectively, what it is saying is better safe than sorry.

In other words, if there is anybody, whether it is the minister or someone on the minister's staff or someone in industry or someone in the environmental movement, who says that they think this project, before it has ever been assessed based on the science, it could be a danger to Canadians' health or the environment, the precautionary principle would dictate that the project would not go ahead.

The minister has the power to use the precautionary principle to simply say, “I am not allowing this project to go ahead.” The proponent could say, “Well, Madam Minister, we have all this evidence, scientific evidence that we have paid millions and millions of dollars to secure. This scientific information will prove to you that this project can be built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way.” The minister could say, “No. Precautionary principle. Better safe than sorry. Bye, bye.” That is what is included here.

Members may recall that there was a lot of complaining by the Liberals during the last election that somehow the environmental review process did not allow for enough people to become engaged in the process. What did the Liberal government do? It changed what is called the “standing test”. The standing test is very simply the rules under which Canadians and others are entitled to appear as intervenors before an impact assessment review.

Members can imagine what this would be like, if we had no control over who could be an intervenor. If any Tom, Dick, or Harry in the world wants to appear before an environmental review process but has no direct nexus to the project, or cannot prove that they have an interest in that project, why would we allow that individual to line up in this queue of people wanting to intervene?

What the Liberals have said is, “We are going to open this wide up. We don't care how many people come to be intervenors. If special interest groups use large numbers of intervenors to basically slow down the process, drag it out, and discourage investment, so be it.” That is what we are left with now in Bill C-69, a deeply flawed piece of legislation that has introduced numerous new opportunities for special interest groups to delay and obstruct projects that are of a national interest.

Let us talk about projects of a national interest. The government says that this legislation is going to attract all kinds of investment. We know industry is saying, “Absolutely not. There will not be one more pipeline built in Canada.” Now we have a pipeline, the TMX pipeline, the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which was approved in Canada, which was ready to be built, but, as usual, there are special interest groups that say, “Notwithstanding that there is a process, like Bill C-69, a process that is supposed to be legal, supposed to be fair, we will disagree with the decision, and we are going to fight this all the way. We are going to protest, lay our bodies down in front of the bulldozers.” On and on it goes. That is what we have with Kinder Morgan.

We have a Prime Minister who does have some options. He is, after all, the Prime Minister and has constitutional powers. One of those is the declaratory power under the Constitution. He has the ability to state that a project is in the national interest, and that supersedes provincial powers. Under the BNA Act, interprovincial pipelines are considered federal projects. The federal government has a right to intervene and promote. Rather than doing that, our Prime Minister says, “I am not going to exercise my constitutional powers. I am going to see if somebody else out there in the world will buy this pipeline, because TMX wants to sell it, wants to get out of it.”

Did he find any takers? None. What he says to taxpayers is, “I want you to pay this bill. I am going to pay $4.5 billion for this pipeline, even though its book value is only $2.5 billion.”

The cost is $2 billion more than the book value of that pipeline. That is what Canadians now have from the government. We have bought ourselves a pipeline, where all of the risk now falls on the shoulders of Canadian taxpayers.

This is awful legislation and we were never given the time to properly assess, review, and amend it. That should be a shame on this Liberal government.

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June 12th, 2018 / 8:20 p.m.
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Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, all I can say is poppycock. He talks about consultation with the public, but he left out the members of the House, who Canadians have elected to review this kind of legislation. A government can have all the consultation it wants across Canada, but if it does not provide the elected members of Parliament the opportunity to do their work, that is a scandal. That is why Bill C-69 is a scandal of a process. It has been short-circuited.

The member refers to the process by which the former government introduced bills, which is very similar to the process we have here, where the Prime Minister introduces omnibus bills and he then invokes closure and cuts off debate in the House. Where were the 14 months of consultations and work that the House could do on this bill? Where were they? We were cut short here. Is that the kind of government the Prime Minister leads?

If one were to review the mandate letter that the Minister of Environment received, one would see that there are numerous references to raising the bar on the relationship between the minister and the committees that review her legislation, and on how she relates to the members of the House. None of those mandate requirements were complied with in this case. Again, it is a true shock and scandal to the House.

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June 12th, 2018 / 8:20 p.m.
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Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, as I articulated in my speech, the minister certainly would have the power under this legislation, in Bill C-69, to do pretty well anything she pleases because she would have broad discretionary powers to suspend, extend, and then veto projects, which is the exact opposite of what industry expected the current government to do. People in industry expected there would be more certainty in the process, the process would be science-based, and instead it is something quite different.

To the member's earlier comment on amendments, as I mentioned, every single amendment of the over 100 amendments that the Liberal members of the committee brought forward was passed. None of the Conservative amendments were passed because the committee was not interested in getting this legislation right. It was interested in ramming through legislation that the minister wanted to have through.

By the way, I move, seconded by the member for Barrie—Innisfil, that the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “that”, and substituting the following: Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be not now read a third time but be referred back to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development for the purpose of reconsidering all of its clauses.

Mr. Speaker, you will understand why we are doing this. It is because of the sham of a process that the Liberal government undertook to address amendments that were brought forward in good faith by my Green friends in the corner, by the NDP, and by our Conservative members of the committee, most of which were disregarded and treated in a very cavalier manner. This is intended to rectify that and give the House another opportunity to get this bill right.

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June 12th, 2018 / 8:25 p.m.
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John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding a minor hiccup at the end there, Canadians saw in the hon. member for Abbotsford's passion and heard tonight in his speech the truth about Bill C-69 and not the platitudes, rhetoric, and buzzwords used by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

He spoke about the committee. I was there. I actually saw this sham of a committee meeting go on, where every single amendment that the Liberal members of the committee tried to put through was adopted. When the Conservative side tried to move amendments forward to make this bill better, and even when the NDP member for Edmonton Centre tried to move amendments to make this bill better, all of them were lost. They were not accepted by the Liberal members of the committee.

The one thing that is really disturbing about this bill, and I mentioned this when the Minister of Environment and Climate Change was here, is the fact that this consolidates power. It actually would bring the decision-making into the minister and into the cabinet, which effectively means that the potential exists that no further projects would occur in this country. I wonder if the member shares that same assessment.

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June 12th, 2018 / 8:30 p.m.
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Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, again, I am pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-69 on a new impact assessment and environmental assessment process.

I must begin by saying a few words about the approach to adopting this new process. Cloaked in righteousness, the Liberal government set to defending democratic institutions. It sought to give MPs their power and their voice back, respect the work of Parliament, and break from the Conservatives' despicable practice of cutting debates short. The Liberals said they wanted to give MPs time to do their work in order to represent their constituents well.

However, bad habits die hard, and closure has been imposed more than 40 times already. These are what we call time allocation motions that seek to limit the time for debate.

It seems that this bill is important to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. However, the Liberals imposed closure at every stage. At first reading, at report stage, and now at third reading, they gave parliamentarians a maximum of four or five hours before closing debate. We were promised, hand on heart, that a Liberal government would never do such despicable, undemocratic things. It has now become routine.

My Conservative colleague, who is a member of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, said that the government was bragging about having collaborated, studied amendments in committee, and listened to the opposition. It also brags about the fact that about 100 amendments were adopted in committee to improve the bill. Congratulations. I just want to point out that 99% of the amendments adopted were Liberal amendments. I have no doubt that that makes things easier.

It is mind-boggling to think that the bill was so poorly drafted and cobbled together, right from the start, that the Liberals were forced to present about 100 amendments in committee to try to patch it up and repair the damage. The bill lacked clarity and was poorly crafted, so it needed a lot of clarifications. That gives you an idea of the process, since government members are almost never required to fix a lousy job from the minister's office.

I would now like to talk about timeframes. It took the government 28 months to come up with a bill for a new environmental impact assessment process. During the campaign, the Liberals said that it was a priority because Canadians lost confidence in the process when it was destroyed and dismantled in the previous Parliament. They claimed that the Conservatives' process turned away from science and that we urgently needed to restore a transparent, valid, and scientific process that people could rely on. It took 28 months to come up with this bill.

During these 28 months, the government continued to sit back and to use the previous Parliament's process, a process that was supposed to be terrible.

What did the government do in the meantime? For one thing, it authorized the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which was Kinder Morgan's priority. How convenient that is for the government. When it wants a project to go ahead, it holds off on establishing a more serious, more credible, more scientific, and more rigorous process. The government used the tool left behind by the Conservatives, a means of fast-tracking and rubber-stamping projects, and was thus able to approve everything and anything.

The Liberals go through the motions of sticking a few bandaids on so it appears different, but they are not fooling anyone. Once again, the government used what it once criticized. This is more proof of the Liberals' hypocrisy.

The Trans Mountain expansion was approved in November 2016. It is now June 2018, and we are once again discussing the new environmental assessment process. Halfway through their mandate, the Liberals still have not passed a bill because they keep dragging their feet, citing consultations. The Liberals had no problem speeding some things through; a more rigorous process would have gotten in their way.

They broke their promise to assess the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion under a new environmental assessment process. While in British Columbia during the election campaign, the Prime Minister swore that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would never be assessed under the Conservatives' rules, yet that is exactly what happened. He also promised to change the voting system and institute democratic reform. It seems to be a bad habit of his. When he solemnly swears something, look out because he is about to flip-flop.

We have a new agency that is based on the old environmental assessment agency, but with more powers and a bigger role. It will be above certain commissions, like the National Energy Board, which will become a commission. That is a step in the right direction we had been waiting for, but we are still concerned about the fact that two organizations we have heard little about, which will exist alongside the new impact assessment agency of Canada, will be getting much more authority and a bigger role. I am referring to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

These two boards are separate, independent assessment committees that are responsible for assessing any drilling that may occur in marine environments, in the oceans, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, potentially, or off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. That troubles us, because the mission of these two boards is to promote offshore oil and gas development. Their job is not to protect the environment, the seabed, ecosystems, or endangered species. It is to promote oil and gas development off the coast of certain provinces.

This flies in the face of everything the government says about how much it cares about the environment and its claims that it is here to protect our oceans, our natural resources, and our ecosystems. In itself, that is a total contradiction. We in the NDP find this really troubling, and I doubt we are the only ones, judging by the spontaneous reaction of the Green Party leader, who is just behind me.

When you tell a story, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is not complicated. That is what kids learn in school. I want to talk about those three stages in the context of Bill C-69. In the beginning, a decision has to be made as to which projects will be submitted to the new agency for assessment, because all of this has to be good for something. If it is decided that the project will not be assessed because it is not worth it, everything in Bill C-69 and everything that was said about public consultations, indigenous consultations, and considering reports from climate change experts—all of that goes out the window.

As things now stand, and the minister confirmed it in her speech, Bill C-69 does not establish a list of projects. It also does not set out any clear, definitive, and verifiable criteria that would allow us to determine which projects require an environmental assessment. There is nothing about that at all.

From the start, there has been a very serious grey area. The agency can arbitrarily decide for itself what it considers to be important or unimportant.

It is all well and good to have a good process, which as we will see is not as good as all that, but if that process is never used, then it does not do anything more to protect us as Canadians, as people who are concerned about the environment, ecosystems, and global warming.

Take the following oddity, for example. The bill states that if the project is deemed to be a major project, it will fall under the responsibility of the new assessment agency. If it is deemed minor, then it can be reviewed by a commission, such as the National Energy Board. What is the difference between major and minor? There is nothing in the bill about that, so we do not know.

There are things like the steam-based oil sands development technology called “in situ”, which has been completely left out of the scope of the bill and any new environmental assessment. The government says it will not look at it even though it is an increasingly common technology that could have serious impacts. Those impacts could be relatively minor, but for the people living in the indigenous community or the town involved, it does not necessarily take a thousand-litre spill or a huge amount of pollution to jeopardize their health, pollute their environment, or cause a public health issue.

There is no clear explanation for why in situ bitumen extraction was excluded. Knowing what gets assessed and what does not is just the beginning. There are a lot of vague and arbitrary elements. There is very little clarity, and that is what worries us. That is the first problem.

The second problem is with the middle part, the public consultations, the dialogue with indigenous communities, and the appointment of review panels to do the scientific environmental assessment.

Consultations are another novelty of the Liberal process, and on that topic, assessment timeframes are being shortened. Depending on the size of the project, they will drop from 365 days to 300 days. That means that we will lose 65 assessment days. For major projects, the process will drop from 720 days to 600 days, for a loss of 120 days. This Liberal decision was taken in direct response to the demands from investors and private companies.

The decision worried many environmental, indigenous, and citizen groups. They do not understand, if we want a credible, serious process we can trust, why the government is adopting an attitude where it seems to want to expedite things as quickly as possible and satisfy the desires and needs of the industry first and foremost.

The Liberal government is also saying that first nations will have a greater role to play in the assessment process. Connect the dots to what I just said. If we greatly shorten the timeframes of a project and process, it is rather unlikely that there will be enough time to conduct extensive consultations with first nations. Again, they say one thing, but in fact there is a good chance that nothing will come of it or that the process will be flawed or absolutely incomplete.

That is what we know about the duration, the timeframe of the process.

The second aspect is the appointment of these experts we have been talking about to the panels that will carry out these ostensibly scientific, environmental impact assessments. There are many groups, including the Quebec Environmental Law Centre, that are concerned about the fact that the Liberal plan has no mechanisms to ensure that these will not be partisan appointments, that Liberals will not appoint their cronies, and that panel members will not be prone to making recommendations or a report that merely reflects what the government wanted from the start.

It is a simple process that is already in place in other jurisdictions. I am thinking of BAPE in Quebec, which is well regarded and credible, and has this type of mechanism. Here, we get the feeling that the Liberal government would allow the appointment of people who will not really care or who will listen to what the government says and wants.

It is really not that surprising. If I have time, I will come back to Kinder Morgan and the absolutely ridiculous purchase made recently.

While public consultations were being held on the Trans Mountain expansion, while first nations were being told that they were being listened to, that it was important, that they really wanted to hear their perspective, it became apparent that a decision had already been made. The government was already looking for excuses and reasons to legally say that the decision was made and that it would be approved.

Phony consultations were held very recently, and I believe that people should be concerned about the possibility of these partisan appointments to the expert panel.

After the beginning and the middle, we get to the end. Let us say the project has been assessed. Let us say the consultations lasted long enough and were sufficiently credible, although perhaps a bit limited. Let us say the experts really were independent, they did their job diligently, and they prepared a report with recommendations based on science, social licence, the impact on climate change, our ecosystems, and so on. After all that, it is completely up to the minister if he or she wants to dismiss all the recommendations of the impact assessment agency. All of that good work, even if it is perfect—and we already have some misgivings about that—could very well be taken and tossed into the trash, and the project could be deemed in the national interest and approved.

The national interest is being tossed around a lot these days. It can be made to mean pretty much anything. A majority government can simply declare something to be in the national interest since it knows that it can force it through the House either way, and everyone else will have to deal with it. I think it would be in the national interest to listen to experts, scientists, Canadians, and first nations. When the minister of the day has all of this discretionary power, the process can become arbitrary. Say that you like the current Liberal government, and that you trust its environment minister. That is fine, and I am sure there are people out there who feel that way, but once a bill passes, it will not change with every cabinet shuffle, with every federal election, or with every change in government. Things could turn pretty quickly under someone who has a different style or vision of development. I am really being very kind to the sitting minister, who has the instincts of an industry minister rather than those of an environment and climate change minister. Incidentally, anyone claiming to champion environmental protection and the fight against climate change should not go out and buy a 65-year-old pipeline that is already leaking everywhere.

I would like our Liberal colleagues to take out their 2015 electoral platform and show me the part where they told voters they wanted a pipeline so badly that they were prepared to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to buy one if necessary and that Canadians would have to assume all the risks associated with such a project. Let us be clear, Kinder Morgan deemed the project was too high risk. The current Prime Minister even acknowledged that no private company wanted to take on these risks because legal challenges have been filed by British Columbia and many of its first nations.

There are difficulties and challenges with respect to our international commitments under the Paris Agreement and our greenhouse gas reduction targets. The project simply does not make sense. We will be spending at least $12 billion on infrastructure that might be worthless in 25 or 30 years. On top of taking a huge financial hit, we will have invested in the energy source and jobs of the past, when we could have been investing in renewable energy. Those types of investments create six to eight times more jobs. The Prime Minister would have become a leader with a vision for the environment and for sustainable development. Sadly, that will never happen.

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June 12th, 2018 / 8:50 p.m.
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Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his concern for the member for Edmonton Strathcona.

She accomplished a massive amount of work. She is very knowledgeable, thorough, and detail-oriented, and she truly cares about working with other parliamentarians to improve bills that are important to the future, like Bill C-69. She went to committee in good faith and listened to experts and people familiar with the topic. She worked in this field for years. She is familiar with it. She wanted to make this bill as good as possible.

Unfortunately, she was told that they did not want to hear from her. The Liberal government does not listen to the opposition parties. I think the leader of the Green Party had the same experience. Very few of her amendments were adopted. This is quite unfortunate, because we are trying to do a good job, but, once again, the government is not listening.

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June 12th, 2018 / 9 p.m.
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Kanata—Carleton Ontario


Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would first and foremost like to thank the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development for its careful study of Bill C-69. I would also like to thank the witnesses and those who have made written submissions for having taken the time to make their views heard. This work has strengthened the bill and has been an important step in getting us to where we are today.

I would like to speak particularly about part 3 of Bill C-69, which would create a new Canadian navigable waters act.

Our country is bordered by three oceans, giving us the world’s longest coastline, and we are internally connected by thousands of rivers and countless lakes and canals.

Canadians rely on our navigable waters. They are vital to our economy and to our way of life. We have a profound relationship with our waters. That relationship is part of what it means to be Canadian.

We need to protect navigation on these waters for our use and enjoyment today, and for the benefit of generations to come.

When the previous government introduced the Navigation Protection Act, many Canadians were concerned that most of Canada's navigable waters were left unprotected. In response to these concerns, the minister was asked to review the changes made by the previous government to restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards.

In June 2016, the review of the Navigation Protection Act was launched. As a first step in this process, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities examined the act. The committee reported its findings and recommendations in March 2017.

I would like to take this opportunity to also thank this standing committee, the witnesses and those who made written submissions for their early input. This input provided the foundation for the new Canadian navigable waters act that was eventually tabled as part of Bill C-69.

During its first year of review, the work of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities was complemented by consultations with recreational boaters, as well as other levels of government, indigenous groups, industry, and environmental organizations. What did they tell us? Many of them told us they wanted all navigable waters protected, and that is what we are doing.

Under the existing legislation, the minister has the power to review new projects and deal with obstruction to navigation only if they are on the navigable waters listed in the schedule. However, we believe that all navigable waters should be protected. We promised to restore lost protections, and we are delivering on that promise.

What would this legislation do? The act would include, for the first time, a comprehensive definition of navigable waters. It would provide oversight for all works on those navigable waters in Canada, whether those works are minor, requiring approval, or are subject to the new resolution process.

It would give communities and recreational waterway users more chances to have their say on infrastructure and resource projects that could affect their right to navigation. It would deliver a new level of transparency by creating a new online registry that would make information about projects easily accessible. It would extend the powers to address obstructions to all navigable waters in Canada, not just those waters listed on a schedule.

Finally, the act would advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples, consider their rights and knowledge, and give them the opportunity to partner with the government to manage the navigable waters that would be important to them.

Let me discuss some of these improvements in more detail. As I said, this legislation would include a comprehensive definition of “navigable water”.

The new definition includes bodies of water with public access or multiple shoreline owners that are used for transport or travel for commercial or recreational purposes or by indigenous groups to exercise their constitutionally protected rights.

This new definition strikes the right balance: it is not so broad as to capture any ditch or irrigation canal that could float a canoe, nor is it so narrow as to exclude bodies of water that are important to Canadians.

All works in navigable waters in Canada will be under the oversight of the new act, regardless of whether the navigable water is listed on a schedule or not. Someone building a minor work, such as a cottage dock or a boat ramp, in a navigable water could proceed, provided they build and maintain the work in accordance with the requirements set out in the minor works order.

There will also be some works that will always require approval because of their potential impact on navigation. These are major works on any navigable waters in Canada as well as works on scheduled waters.

I strongly believe users of navigable waters and local communities have a right to express their views about projects that may impact navigation. The proposed act meets a new standard of transparency by requiring owners to notify the public of their project and to seek feedback before beginning construction on any navigable water. In some circumstances, owners could be required to post notice of their project in community centres, marinas, local newspapers, or other appropriate places.

Further, the new Canadian navigable waters act will require the creation of a new online public registry that will make project information more accessible than ever before. For millennia, the indigenous people of Canada have used navigable waters to fish, hunt, trade, and travel, and they continue to do so today. Indigenous peoples played an active role of the review of the Navigation Protection Act.

Transport Canada participated in more than 90 meetings with indigenous groups and received close to 150 submissions. What did we hear from indigenous peoples? We heard that they wanted a say in what happened within their traditional territories.

This past February, the Prime Minister announced his commitment to reconciliation through the recognition and implementation of rights framework. The Government of Canada recognizes that reconciliation is a long-term undertaking. Rebuilding relationships will require sustained government-wide action.

A strengthened crown-indigenous relationship is at the heart of the proposed approach. This new relationship with indigenous peoples is based on respect, cooperation, and partnership.

The act would also provide new opportunities for indigenous peoples to partner with the Government of Canada to protect navigation in their traditional territories. Indigenous peoples have helped to shape the proposed legislation, and I am very proud of the work we have done together.

Whether they are tourists on a river cruise, or cottagers taking the boat out to do some fishing, or kayakers exploring secluded bays, Canadians get a lot of pleasure out of our waterways. However, under the existing legislation, these navigable waters may not be protected for recreational purposes.

Under the new Canadian navigable waters act, a more inclusive schedule will provide a greater level of oversight for navigable waters that are important to Canadians and that are vulnerable to development. The new act proposes a process for adding navigable waters to the schedule that will take into consideration recreational uses, not just commercial ones.

The proposed changes to the navigation legislation will offer better navigation protections for recreational boaters on every navigable water in Canada.

Bill C-69 would not only restore navigation protection for every navigable water in Canada, but it would also position the new Canadian navigable waters act to play an important role in the proposed new impact assessment system.

Bill C-69 would establish the impact assessment agency of Canada to lead all federal reviews of designated projects. The impact assessment agency would work with other bodies, such as the new Canadian energy regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and off shore boards, and in co-operation with the provinces and territories, and indigenous jurisdictions.

The impact assessment agency of Canada would identify the types of projects and areas of federal jurisdiction that could pose major risks to the environment, and would therefore require a review.

A whole range of potential impacts would be considered, not just the project's impact on the environment, but also the impact on communities, health, indigenous peoples, jobs, and the economy in general.

We are finding better ways to measure the potential impact of designated projects to make sure only good ones go forward.

The new Canadian navigable waters act will be transformational. It will restore protection for navigation on all navigable waters in Canada, and it will create a new standard of transparency. It will restore public confidence and it will provide new opportunities for indigenous peoples to partner with the Government of Canada to protect navigation in their traditional territories.

As I wrap up, I move:

That this question be now put.

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June 12th, 2018 / 9:10 p.m.
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Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, as I listened to the parliamentary secretary's speech, she talked mostly about the navigable waters act, but I want to bring it back to the standing test the NEB used to have. It will be eliminated in this act. Section 183(3), specifically deals with the standing test. The practice of the NEB had been, and I think it was the right one, that persons directly affected by a project that ran through a community should be the ones before the National Energy Board in order to present their views on any proposed project and how it would impact them directly.

I think it was said by the Prime Minister that only communities could give consent, so why not allow those people most locally affected by it to have a direct say in it?

This bill will eliminate that test, and that is actually two steps backwards. As an example, during the Enbridge Line 9B reversal and the Line 9 capacity expansion, the NEB received 177 applications to participate, of which 158 were granted, 11 received an opportunity for a written submission, and only eight were denied. The reason those were denied because they were not directly affected by it.

However, under the model proposed in Bill C-69, even international individuals can come before the new regulator and basically say that they are affected by it directly and therefore permission should not be granted. I think in a great deal of cases Canadians will support local projects because of the jobs and the shared prosperity they benefit from it directly. Therefore, this is two steps backwards.

Does the parliamentary secretary agree with me?

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June 12th, 2018 / 9:20 p.m.
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Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Lakeland, I oppose Bill C-69, which would have wide-ranging, significant impacts on Canada's oil and gas, nuclear, and mining sectors, and by extension on every other sector in the country.

Bill C-69 does not involve minor tweaks. It is a major overhaul of multiple laws and regulations related to Canada's assessment processes, and it would damage Canada's capacity to attract investment that benefits everyone. Canada is a resource-based economy and is a world leader on responsible resource development.

Those facts are among Canada's greatest strengths and contributions to the world. Canada's exploration and mining sector is a major driver of the economy. In 2016, it contributed $60.3 billion directly to Canada's GDP, 19% of Canada's total domestic exports worth $92 billion, and the employment of nearly 600,000 Canadians. As a sector, it is the largest private employer of indigenous people in Canada, often where jobs and opportunities are scarce, in remote and northern regions.

At the end of 2015, the value of Canadian mining assets at home and abroad totalled $171 billion across 102 countries. From remote and indigenous communities to large cities across Canada, and the Toronto Stock Exchange, the mining sector generates significant economic and social benefits for Canadians. Of course, the oil and gas sector is also a key generator of middle-class jobs and Canada's high standard of living.

The International Energy Agency projects global oil demand will continue to grow, with oil maintaining the largest share of any energy fuel source in the global energy market for decades. The average energy demand is predicted to increase approximately 30% by 2040. For context, that is the equivalent of adding another China or India, the most populous countries in the world, to the current level of global energy consumption.

Canada is home to the third largest oil reserves in the world, with recoverable reserves of 171 billion barrels. Canada is the fifth largest producer of natural gas and has the 19th largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, enough to supply consumers with natural gas for more than 300 years.

The Canadian Energy Research Institute says that every job in Canadian upstream oil and gas creates two indirect and three induced jobs in other sectors across the country. Scholar Kevin Milligan notes that without income derived from the resource boom, Canadian inequality and the well-being of Canada's middle class would be much worse.

The Liberals talk a big game about making life better for middle-class Canadians, but, in fact, the Prime Minister has turned his back on the hard-working men and women who have given so much to our country through responsible resource development. Last year, the Prime Minister talked about phasing out the oil sands, and a couple of months ago, he told the world he regrets that Canada cannot get off oil “tomorrow”. The cumulative impacts of the Liberal-caused uncertainty and their imposition of layers of cost and red tape are driving investment out of Canada.

The Liberals have imposed a carbon tax on everything, which is something that major oil and gas producers are not imposing on themselves around the world, and the anti-energy legislation and policies like removing the tax credit for new exploratory oil and gas drilling last year was at a time when more than 100,000 energy workers had lost their jobs after the Prime Minister chased more energy investment out of Canada than in any other two-year period in 70 years, more than half a century.

The Liberals killed the nation-building energy east pipeline with last-minute rule changes and a double standard of upstream and downstream emissions assessments that they would now formally be imposing on all pipeline reviews with Bill C-69. The Liberals outright vetoed the already approved northern gateway pipeline. Both of those were the only actual new stand-alone proposals for exports to markets other than the U.S. in recent history. They are forcing a tanker ban on B.C.'s northern coast, which is really just a ban on the oil sands and on pipelines, and they have imposed an offshore drilling ban in the north.

Even before Bill C-69 has been implemented, the Montreal Economic Institute says that “The message being conveyed to investors is: ‘Don’t come here to do business. Even if you fulfill all regulatory requirements, you’ll still face many obstacles.” That is exactly what happened to the Trans Mountain expansion because of the Liberals' failures and the Prime Minister's response was to pay $14.5 billion tax dollars for Kinder Morgan to take its $7.4-billion private investment plans out of Canada. It is clear, the Prime Minister's anti-energy policies are chasing energy investment away at historic rates.

Now, the Liberals would pile on even more regulatory uncertainty for investors in Bill C-69. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association said that “If the goal is curtail oil and gas production, and to have no more pipelines built, this legislation may have hit the mark.”

In a recent letter to Alberta MLA, Prasad Panda, several associations directly impacted by Bill C-69 outlined the following criteria essential to attract investment to Canada: “Certainty in regulations, in order to plan capital investments of large magnitudes and reach final investment decisions in Canada's favour. Permanence, because if programs or policies are temporary or have an expiry date, they will be deemed too high risk to factor into capital planning life cycles, which span approximately 6-8 years. Certainty in the form of timelines. Performance-based policies, ensuring benefits to communities by tying incentives to performance-based measures such as job creation, research and development, innovation and capital investment.”

These criteria were hallmarks of Canada's regulatory framework for decades, with the most rigorous assessment, comprehensive consultation, highest standards, and strongest environmental protections in the world.

A 2016 WorleyParsons study echoes conclusions of the 2014 benchmark analysis of Canada against the top major oil and gas producing jurisdictions in the world. It confirmed: “Canada is a global leader in environment, Aboriginal relations, and governance of resource use, with state of the art processes, practices, and legislation. Canada is recognized internationally as a nation that has contributed significantly to the development and advancement of regional and strategic environmental assessment since the introduction of the Canadian Directive in 1990 requiring federal departments and agencies to consider environmental concerns at the strategic level of policies, plans, and programs.”

However, every time the Liberals attack the last 10 years of Canada's energy and environmental assessment and evaluation for politics, trying to keep the NDP and Green voters who helped them win in 2015, they empower foreign and domestic anti-Canadian energy activists who are fighting to shut down Canadian resources. It is becoming a crisis, and this debate is a critical policy question for the future of our country. Canada must be able to compete.

Of the top 10 most attractive jurisdictions for oil and gas investment, six U.S. states rank at the top 10 global jurisdictions: Texas, Okalahoma, North Dakota, West Virginia, Kansas, and Wyoming. According to a 2017 World Bank report, Canada ranked 34 out of 35 OECD countries in the time required to obtain a permit for a new general construction project. There are real impacts of falling behind in competitiveness.

In committee, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers representative said:

Canada is attracting more uncertainty, not more capital, and we will continue to lose investment and jobs if we do not have a system of clear rules and decisions that are final and can be relied upon.

...Unfortunately, CAPP and the investment community today see very little in Bill C-69 that will improve that status.

Suncor said, “The competitiveness improvements that we're achieving as an industry through ongoing innovation are being largely negated by the continuously increasing cost of new regulations.”

Paul Tepsich, founder of High Rock Capital Management Inc., said, “I'm not crazy about Canada. We've got taxes going up and regulations going up.”

In committee, the president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada said, “Proponents making billion-dollar investments need to know what the rules are and how they will be implemented. You can't have this certainty knowing that the rules may change midstream in some way.”

The Liberals have already caused a regulatory vacuum for major resource developers since January 2016, and they have exacerbated uncertainty for investors and for workers. With Bill C-69, the Liberals might as well hang a sign in the window that says, “Canada is not open for business”.

Clear timelines and requirements, and predictable rules and responsibilities provide certainty. The Liberals claim Bill C-69 would implement short and clear timelines for reviews, but that is not true. The planning phase, during which the impact assessment agency would determine whether a project is in the public interest, for which Bill C-69 sets some guidelines but leaves wide arbitrary discretion for the minister to define, would add an extra 180 days, which could be extended by 90 days at the request of the minister or Governor in Council. That is before a project can even get approved to start an impact assessment. Bill C-69 also does not establish criteria that a project must meet, or what constitutes a complete application for it to be granted an assessment in the first place.

The bill has been amended so the minister would no longer have the power to veto a project before it can move on to the impact assessment stage, which I support. However, under proposed paragraph 17(1), the minister could still interject opinions about the potential environmental impacts of a project that may or may not influence the impact assessment agency's decision to review. So much for objective, independent, expert-based decisions. Even after the Liberals pass Bill C-69, the parameters of the project list would not even be revealed to the public until fall, and regulations would not be fully implemented until 2019.

When the Liberals ram through this legislation, there will still be ongoing uncertainty for potential proponents of long-term, capital-intensive, multi-billion dollar, major resource projects, following almost three years of the same.

If a project is granted an assessment, there are still no concrete timelines in Bill C-69. Proposed subsection 37(6) states, “The Minister may suspend the time limit within which the review panel must submit the report until any activity that is prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 112(c) is completed.” Bill C-69 would allow the assessment to be stopped and started, and for timelines to be extended indefinitely. Obviously, there would be yet more uncertainty for potential proponents and investors.

In committee, the director of environmental services at Nova Scotia Power, Terry Toner, stated, “while the timelines in the bill provide some guidance for project proponents, the government's goal of process predictability is significantly diluted by provisions in the acts that permit limitless extensions and suspensions.”

Time is of critical value, and it can make the difference between a project built and a project abandoned. We accept that there must be some flexibility, but there must also be discipline and transparency in order to ensure investor confidence in Canadian infrastructure projects.

In committee, the president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission stated, “It is important that we all know, from the get-go, the length of time to get project approval. From our experience, industry can accept a quick 'yes' or 'no' decision. What is unreasonable is to get a 'maybe'.”

Unfortunately, Bill C-69 is ripe for a swath of “maybes” on project applications, because of the potential for suspensions, delays, and uncertainty about measures for applications and outcomes. Clearly, Bill C-69 will not deliver on discipline and transparency in all aspects of the assessment of major resource projects.

According to proposed subsection 183(5) in part 2 of the bill, the regulator may exclude any period of time from the time limit calculations so long as reasons are provided. If resource development proponents have a choice between multiple “maybes” over years of review in Canada and a timely “yes” south of the border, where do the Liberals think their investments will go? Unfortunately, the answer is already obvious in the flight of investment capital from Canada, with U.S. investment in Canada falling by nearly half and Canadian investment in the U.S. going up two-thirds.

While the Liberals claim that Bill C-69 would streamline and clarify the approval of major federal resource projects, its requirements create confusion and unanswered questions. For example, Bill C-69 mandates that proponents must demonstrate “health, social and economic effects, including with respect to the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors”.

Obviously, job creation, research and development, innovation, and capital investment from resource development reduce poverty, benefit the economy, and provide revenue for governments and public services such as health, education, and social services, as well as funds for academic and charitable organizations, but I think proponents can be forgiven for uncertainty around how their investments and initiatives relate to identity factors.

It is rich for the Liberals to argue that Bill C-69 would enhance scientific evidence in reviews, beyond what has already been done in Canada's regulatory system. In fact, during committee, Mr. Martin Olszynski of the University of Calgary pointed out that the terms “science” and “scientific” are mentioned only five times in all the 400 pages of this major omnibus bill that the Liberals are using all procedural tools to push through, while rejecting the vast majority of the over 400 amendments submitted by opposition members.

In the process of issuing certificates, the Canadian energy regulator is tasked with establishing a commission and undertaking public consultation. At committee, one of my amendments was adopted, which requires the commissions to make public any reasons for holding a hearing about the consideration of issuing a certificate. However, there still remains uncertainty around the assessment, and Bill C-69 would open the door to foreign influence in these public hearings.

Bill C-69 would enable increased foreign influence on Canadian resource development decisions because of the removal of the previous standing test, which ensured that intervenors in the process either were impacted directly by the project under review, or had specific knowledge or expertise that would contribute to the assessment.

Some claim that foreign groups have always been allowed to participate in Canada's environmental assessment processes, but that is just not true. This has only rightfully been the case for projects that cross international borders. Canada has never permitted foreign interference in the environmental assessment process for interprovincial pipelines or other resource projects in federal jurisdiction that do not cross international borders. However, the removal of the standing test now opens up this process to groups that are either directly or indirectly backed by foreign dollars or by Canada's competitors.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association warned that “[t]here are recent examples in Canada where the absence of a standing requirement has led to highly inappropriate participation that had no probative value with respect to the issues to be decided in the review” and that the elimination of the standing requirement could “be used to clog the hearing process in an attempt to delay projects to the point that they are abandoned”.

Foreign interference in Canadian resources is already growing, to the detriment of all of Canada. Millions in foreign money is funding opposition to the Trans Mountain expansion. It was used to challenge Canadian LNG development opportunities, too, and it is growing as a barrier to Canadian mining.

The Financial Post recently revealed that “Tides has granted $40 million to 100 Canadian anti-pipeline organizations”, which, in return, fight to stop Canadian energy development and access to export markets, disadvantaging Canada against the U.S., its most significant energy competitor and primary energy customer.

Foreign funds are interfering in and influencing electoral outcomes in Canada, too. A report to Elections Canada and Senator Frum has highlighted foreign funding funnelled to third party groups, such as the Dogwood initiative and Leadnow, to defeat incumbent Conservative MPs in certain ridings in the 2015 election, and to fight Canadian resource development.

I support Senator Frum's bill, Bill S-239, which would define foreign contributors, add classifications of foreign contributions, and make it an offence for any third party to accept foreign dollars “for any purposes related to an election”.

However, the Prime Minister defends using Canadian tax dollars to fund jobs specifically for activists to stop the approved Trans Mountain expansion, and he is resisting Conservatives' calls to ban foreign funding in Canada's elections, too, which makes the case that he seems to welcome foreign influences to deliver on his stated objective of phasing out Canadian energy.

Bill C-69 would put Canada's economic future at risk.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers warns that Bill C-69 would harm Canada's reputation as a transparent, stable, predictable, and fair place to do business, and this would risk Canada's ability to be a supplier of choice for world demand of responsible energy in the future.

Suncor's CEO warns that “Canada needs to up its game” to attract investment and to compete with the United States. Instead of upping its game, Bill C-69 is the equivalent of the Liberals folding Canada's hand.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association warns that Bill C-69 would damage Canada's reputation as a priority choice for energy investment. It says:

[I]t is difficult to imagine that a new major pipeline could be built in Canada under the impact assessment act, much less attract energy investment to Canada.

Investment in oil and gas is projected to drop 12% this year from 2017, and the Bank of Canada already says that there will be no new energy investment in Canada after next year, 2019. In the last two years, at least seven multinational companies have divested from Canada's energy sector completely, and many more have frozen existing operations or shelved future plans.

CEPA's CEO says:

Currently there is profound uncertainty in advancing new major pipeline projects. We now have a significant problem as a sector and as a country in accessing new markets for our products around the world. The development of new projects is grinding to a halt. CEPA member companies that have material assets in other countries are actively pursuing those opportunities because of the uncertainty and potential implications of further potentially seismic regulatory changes that will directly impact the pipeline sector. Our sector is suffocating because of it.

It is clear that Liberal red tape and uncertainty are already forcing investors and developers to seek out other markets, causing hundreds of thousands of Canadians to lose their jobs. Bill C-69 would make it worse. The Prime Minister must stop sacrificing Canada's interests to the rest of the world. Canada already has the highest environmental standards in the world and the most responsibly produced oil and gas.

Canada will continue to do so long into the future, if only governments would allow energy, and all responsible resource development, to continue to fuel Canada's economy and contribute public revenue for all levels of government.

Resource jobs are middle-class jobs, so if the Prime Minister truly cares about the middle class, he will stop increasing red tape and imposing policies that drive out investment and the hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs in every corner of the country that go with it.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 9:40 p.m.
See context


Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague that we likely approach the legislation from different world views and ideological perspectives. Regardless of that, I was dismayed to see the Liberals reject the vast majority of the 400 amendments put forward in good faith, after the hard work done in an almost impossible committee situation created by the Liberals.

From our different perspectives and on behalf of the diverse constituents we represent, we wanted to improve the legislation and participate meaningfully in this omnibus bills, which will have a serious impact on the entire Canadian economy and on our future as a country.

I agree completely with the member about her concerns with respect to the multiple areas in which either the minister or commissioners are granted wide discretion, from deciding what a completed application looks like; to when a project gets into the assessment process; to whether more information is required, which enables the minister and the commissioner to stop and start the timeline; and to suspend the timeline for review as many times as they want and indefinitely.

This is reflective of a key thing about the Liberals. They so often say one thing and then do another. Their key argument is that they are in favour of objective, independent science and expert-based decision-making. However, it is clear, with Bill C-69, that they have allowed multiple political influences, and the influence of non-Canadians, on Canadian resource projects that are important to every community in the country.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 9:50 p.m.
See context


Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be rejoining the debate on Bill C-69. I have a tough job. I am following the member for Lakeland, who has probably contributed more in this House, in the last two and a half to almost three years, to defending Alberta and Canada's energy industry than any other member of the House. In fact, she has a very long history of defending Canada's energy sector and Alberta's energy workers in her private sector experience before.

She provided us with an overview of the damage that Bill C-69 would do to Canada's economic sector related to the energy industry, and the depth of how much damage would be caused to the energy workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

I cannot match those numbers, but I have seven points I want to go through with respect to Bill C-69, and the different parts of the bill that I think will be very damaging to investments and the future jobs in the energy sector, and to Canada's GDP growth and how much it will be reduced by.

One of the things we often hear about in the House is how strong Canada's growth is. It is often said that we are leading the G7. In fact, that is not even true. We are not leading the G7. The projections by the OECD, and in the PBO's own economic update, has us in the middle, at number four, especially for 2018, with a 1.9% growth. We are actually behind the United States, and we know why. It is because it does not have a carbon tax, which will damage Canada's economy with up to 0.4% less GDP growth.

When I was at the finance committee and I asked the parliamentary budget office officials if ever they had seen a government policy that was intentionally damaging to Canada's economy the way the carbon tax is going to be, they had no answer for me. They could not come up with a response to it because there simply is not one. It is a damaging policy that is being introduced and forced down the throats of provinces that do not want it, including the electorate of Ontario, which last week rejected the damaging policies of the federal Liberal government.

We also know that the natural resource sector in 2016 accounted for 16% of Canada's economic activity. Therefore, 16% of Canada's economic engine is related to the natural resources, and 38% of non-residential capital investment is related to this one sector.

We also know, because the member for Lakeland did a good job of itemizing it, how much foreign investment has fled the country. Again, we know why. It is because we are not as competitive with our main trading partner, the United States, as we used to be. It has introduced drastic tax changes and reforms to its system that make its companies much more competitive. I cannot tell members how many of my constituents, friends, and supporters have moved down to Texas, which I often call “Alberta south”, to work in its energy sector. We know that next year the state of Texas will become the number one producer of oil in the world. It is going to exceed even large producers, such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Venezuela. It will be producing more oil than any one of them. This is just one state in the United States of America.

We also know that Texas, for instance, does not have a personal income tax system. It has a sales tax instead. However, the offering it provides to workers and to companies is that it will get out of the way. It provides a simple to understand regulatory system that typically does not change from government to government. It provides stability, whereas the current Liberal government is providing more instability.

These are the seven points that I want to raise, and they are in no particular order: moving away from science-based decision-making; the timelines for a final decision will be changed; there are self-processes that will be stopping the clock; we will have open questions about what constitutes a major or minor project; the concentration of power in this legislation; the restoring of the public trust concept, which is highly politically charged; and finally, a question that I asked previously to one of the parliamentary secretaries with respect who would have standing to appear before the renamed NEB regulator to have their voices and their issues heard. Those are the seven points I want to raise in my intervention tonight on this issue.

This legislation has been referred to in the National Post, and this is how it was described. It said, “This new process repeats the mistake in believing that those groups dedicated to the destruction of our oil industry can be reasoned with”.

I, like many other Albertans, did not work directly in the energy industry but was related to it in ways. I worked in human resources. I was a registrar for a profession, and many members worked for organizations that participated in providing HR advice, recruitment, benefits, pension plans. Therefore, it was not directly related to it, but they worked in companies but also provided ancillary services to them. They believed that there is simply no way to satisfy those who are ardently opposed to large-scale industrial energy development of any kind. We can never create a system that will satisfy any of them. No matter how complex the labyrinth becomes, it will never satisfy those who are opposed to development, period.

Social licence does not exist. There is no way to reach the end point where there is broad consensus. In fact, one of the reasons the carbon tax was introduced in Alberta was so that we could get a pipeline built of some sort. Since then we have lost northern gateway. Since then we have lost energy east. Since then LNG projects have been cancelled all over British Columbia. Oftentimes this would have been an outlet for a lot of the natural gas production in Alberta and in British Columbia to world markets. We often do not talk about those, but they are just as important as oil pipelines.

Now Trans Mountain finds itself in the hands of the Liberal government. The Liberals truly have the ability to follow through on the dream of the Prime Minister's father, and I think of many supporters of the Liberal Party today, to phase out the oil sands, to phase out Alberta's energy industry. Twice that has been said by the Prime Minister. The first time he apologized and we all believed that he had misspoken, but the second time he said it at the National Assembly in Paris, France.

Many Albertans, even those who are not directly in the energy industry simply do not believe the Liberal government when it says it will get this pipeline built, because there is no plan going forward. Liberals have not itemized how they are going to get it done. They have simply talked about a very specific purchase agreement that they have successfully negotiated with Kinder Morgan, because it is looking to flee. It is fleeing because of things like Bill C-69, which add more complexity and do not make it simpler to go from a project application to a project completion.

I do not mean the application process being finished. I mean construction actually being completed on the ground. That should be the measure of success and the very minimum expected by the House. If we are going to spend $4.5 billion of taxpayer funds, a contract should be provided to the House so that we can judge the quality of it, who is getting and receiving payment, but also a plan attached to it that has an itemized detailed timeline of when construction will begin, when construction will be finished on particular components of it, and when it will be operating. Again, something we will not see anytime soon, at least not in my mind.

In terms of the moving away from science-based decision-making in this piece of legislation, the Liberals are adding in a lot more qualitative factors over quantitative factors. It has been said by the GMP FirstEnergy Research team:

The qualitative factors look to be nearly impossible to measure or assess. Additionally, certain quantitative measures such as gender-based analysis may be almost impossible to implement in practice.

This has a huge implication for a company with a large-scale industrial project when it is preparing to apply at the beginning. Just as with any application there will be a bunch of boxes to fill in and information to provide. If companies do not know how to meet the test, if the multiple choice question does not have any multiple choices to pick, how are they supposed to satisfy the government on what it is trying to get? This is where the complexity increases. This is where a lot of energy companies will struggle to satisfy the government's want for more information.

Second, on the timelines for a final decision a lot has been said in the House by members that in fact the supposed timelines provided for Bill C-69 are not true timelines. What will happen instead is that there are ample opportunities for it to be blocked and ample opportunities for it to be deviated.

Third, the sub-processes are stopping the clock. Again, GMP FirstEnergy noted that included allowing for additional studies and submissions by interested parties and “other delaying tactics such as the Governor in Council having an unlimited ability to extend a pending decision by the minister for as long as desired and suspending the time limit under which the notice of the commencement of assessment begins.” These are issues itemized by researchers who work for energy companies, who advise energy companies on how to comply with regulatory complexity, which is increasing under Bill C-69.

If the goal was never to have another major industrial project be built in Canada, then the Liberal government has achieved its goal, but I just do not think that was the goal.

We have the CEO of Suncor Energy who has said that no new major industrial projects will come forward. We have the CEO of Sierra Energy, a smaller player in the field, but still a very important one, saying that under this legislation, no new large-scale industrial projects will be proposed to the regulator. I can understand why. It will become way more complex to get anything done.

I mentioned the problem identifying what is a major or a minor project. That is not clarified in this piece of legislation. It would still be difficult to determine that, and again, researchers said that this was a problem.

There would be an immense concentration of power, which many members have issues with, especially on the Conservative side. We have itemized our concern that the minister is getting too involved in the decision-making around projects. There are paths projects could be redirected to that would add to the complexity and add to the burden on the company to try to prove things with information and criteria that might be difficult to collect.

This would not help energy workers in any way. This would not help us get to the “yes” side. This would not help us get to a project being completed and Canada yielding additional prosperity with wealth generated.

At the end of the day, I am convinced that the government wants more revenue. The government wants people to generate income. It wants projects to be undertaken and built. It wants to see that to have an opportunity to levy income tax and sales tax. That cannot be done without having wealth generated.

If the CEO of Suncor Energy is saying that no new major industrial project is going to go ahead, we have serious issues.

The concept of restoring public trust is highly politically charged. It is a manufactured narrative that before there was no trust, but now there is trust. That is interesting. Perhaps that should be told directly to those who are protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline. Maybe that should have been told to those protesting the energy east pipeline, when it was still on the table before the Liberal government killed it off by introducing new regulatory rules.

In its news release at the time, Trans Canada said that it was the decision to introduce new regulatory rules that led to its cancellation. This false concept about restoring the public trust is not helpful in any way. It somehow speaks again to this idea of social licence, which again does not exist. It has been proven over the past few years that nothing will satisfy those who are opposed to energy development of any sort.

Finally, who can be involved in NEB hearings? That was a question I asked before. Subclause 183(3) would eliminate the NEB standing test, which is very important to narrow the scope of the determination of who could appear before the NEB to make the case that they are impacted, beneficially or not, and could make the case that the project should be modified in a certain way to meet their personal or local community needs. Now there would be the opportunity for international groups to appear before the regulator and make a case that they would be somehow impacted directly.

If communities are the ones that can say yes, then it can only be the local community directly related to the project that should have a role in saying how it would be impacted. It should be individuals in those communities who should have the greatest role. It should not be spokespeople who are self-appointed saying that they speak on behalf of a certain group. It should be people locally who can go before the NEB to make their case, as they were able to do before. Now there would be the potential situation where foreigners or people from different parts of Canada, totally unrelated to the project, would make submissions and appearances, slowing down the process and adding more complexity and further delays to the regulatory process to try to meet their demands and their goals.

There are some in the legal community who have offered their opinions, such as Jean Piette, an environmental lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright, in The Lawyer's Daily, on February 9, 2018. This was very early on, before some of the amendments were made. He said, “I think there are going to be delays inherent to this new process which are going to be of concern to proponents.”

Martin Ignasiak, national co-chair of Osler's regulatory, environmental, Aboriginal and land group, again in The Lawyer's Daily, on February 9, 2018, said, “there is nothing in these legislative proposals that suggests future assessments...will be in any way streamlined, more efficient, or more effective.” In fact, they will not be.

We know that to be true. We know that to be a fact, having seen the final bill that was jammed through the natural resources committee without even a single amendment from the Conservative side accepted as reasonable being added to the docket.

I often hear members of the government caucus say that the committee worked collaboratively. “Collaboratively” gives the false impression that somehow it was a multi-party process, where amendments from each side were considered and included in the final version of the bill that was reported back to the House of Commons. In fact, we know that not to be true. Not a single Conservative amendment was approved on this particular piece of legislation, and often on other pieces of legislation. I hope this will not be a trend that will continue from now until election time, but it speaks to the type of work that is being done on committees. There is a lot of talk and a lot of rhetoric, but the reality is that very few, if any, Conservative amendments are given their full due so that we can consider them in amending government legislation. It does happen, but it is a rare occurrence.

I know I do this quite often, but I want to end on a couple of points, because I know certain points are made by government caucus members about the record of the previous government and how many pipelines were approved and the concept of the economy and the environment going hand in hand. The Yiddish proverb I would like to use on this one is “One cross word brings on a quarrel.” I want to start a quarrel, not directly, but maybe verbally in the House. My quarrel is that we talk about the environment and the economy going hand in hand, but too often, the rhetoric I hear is as if one unit of the economy has to be lost for a unit of the environment to be gained. That is not the case. Why is it that every time the Liberals talk about the environment and the economy going hand in hand, what they mean is that taxpayers pay more and more every single time? They pay more in carbon taxes and more in CPP premiums and payroll taxes and a higher tax on the goods they purchase. On and on it goes. Every single time, small businesses are paying more because of tax changes the Liberals are introducing, despite lowering the small business tax after they rediscovered their promise. It goes on an on.

The second point I want to make is on the record of the previous government. There were countless pipelines, both oil and gas, that were approved: the Melita to Cromer oil pipeline capacity expansion, the TMX-Anchor Loop oil pipeline, the Cochin oil pipeline, the Keystone oil pipeline, the Alberta Clipper oil pipeline expansion—Line 67, the Bakken oil pipeline, the Line 9B oil pipeline to Edmonton, the Hardisty oil pipeline, the Deep Panuke offshore natural gas pipeline, and the South Peace pipeline, and it goes on and on.

There was an immense record of success in the previous system that existed to approve large-scale projects. These pipelines I mentioned are operational today. We know that the government has overseen the cancellation of the most kilometres of pipeline of any government in recent memory. Thousands of kilometres of pipeline have been cancelled or not approved under its watch. I do not see very many new projects going ahead, aside from Trans Mountain, and being put before the regulator for consideration, that would have a meaningful impact on either the differential or on bringing our natural gas to new markets and ensuring that they reach different parts of the United States and international markets.

This is my concern. The rhetoric does not match the reality. The president and CEO of Suncor and other major energy companies, such as Sierra Energy, are right. There will be no new major industrial energy projects proposed under Bill C-69. It is a flawed piece of legislation. It does not address the underlying need to ensure that the rule of law is respected in Canada. That is the fault and defect in the current Liberal government. It is refusing to apply the Constitution. It is refusing to apply the rule of law and to ensure that the permit that was provided in the case of Trans Mountain is actually followed through on. A permit from a regulator is not worth the paper it is written on if it is not backed up by the rule of law, with the courts ensuring that those who continue to obstruct a project illegally face the judicial system. That is the way it should be done. It should also have clear support from the government that does not involve nationalizing a pipeline in the name of trying, in vain, to get it built, when in fact, it is simply bringing it under the control of the government so it can set the timelines on what happens in the future.

Albertans do not trust the government. Alberta energy workers do not trust it controlling the Trans Mountain pipeline, and because of that, I will be voting against the bill.