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

Sponsor

Status

Third reading (House), as of June 12, 2018

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Summary

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.

Elsewhere

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.

Votes

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

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 4 p.m.
See context

Conservative

David Yurdiga Conservative Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to debate Bill C-69.

It is obvious that Bill C-69 would ensure that major private sector pipelines will never see the light of day. This Liberal Bill C-69 will forever be known as a black death to the oil and gas sector, killing jobs from coast to coast to coast. The Liberal government has enacted a series of anti-resource policies and has sent signals that discourage economic growth. The hikes in tax rates, increased capital gains taxes, which entrepreneurs are averse to, and the carbon tax all affect investment in Canada. We have witnessed that Liberal policies and lack of action on the energy file have chased over $80 billion out of our country, taking with them hundreds of thousands of jobs.

When I was first elected, anyone across the country who was willing to work could find a job in Alberta. Those willing to work hard, often more than 40 hours a week, could support their families, send their kids for post-secondary education, and still save for the future. Small businesses across Alberta were also booming from the economic activity that the industry brought into almost every town and community in the province. That is not the case today. An oil crash later, a provincial government change, and a federal government change have all Albertans concerned for their future.

The global price of oil will always fluctuate, but what many Canadians do not know is that we do not receive the price per barrel that is commonly reported. The price reported is the North American benchmark, West Texas Intermediate. Our oil is traded as Western Canadian Select. The difference between the two prices is about $34 a barrel, on average. The good news is that pipelines can help to close that gap in prices. The more access we have to markets other than the United States, the better the deal we can obtain.

Instead of supporting the building of these pipelines, the Liberal government has introduced regulation after regulation to cripple the industry and deter investment. Today we are talking about the unpopular move that the Liberal government has struck against the west and our oil industry by robbing the National Energy Board of most of its powers through the creation of the Canadian energy regulator.

The National Energy Board has served as a world-class regulator for the natural resource sector since its creation in 1959. Since then, it has reviewed and approved major energy projects across Canada. Over the last decade, the NEB has approved the pipelines Alberta desperately needs, which made it a target for political interference. When the Liberal government took power, the natural resource minister's mandate letter called on him to “Modernize the National Energy Board to ensure that its composition reflects regional views and has sufficient expertise in fields such as environmental science, community development, and Indigenous traditional knowledge.”

While the government believes Bill C-69 would complete this mandate, I would like to cover how this bill would drive investment out of Canada.

One of the changes the bill would bring in is the establishment of timelines. The government claims that there will be timelines of 450 days for major projects and 300 days for minor projects, respectively, pursuant to subclauses 183(4) and 214(4). While many Conservatives are in favour of timelines for projects, the devil is in the details, and unfortunately we did not have time or enough witnesses at our round tables to go over these details. The application process can be dragged out, and that will not be considered in the timelines. The lead commissioner will be given the ability to exclude time. Lastly and most importantly, the minister can approve or deny an application before it even gets to the assessment phase. We only have to look at the cancelled northern gateway pipeline to see that the government has no problem putting national interests on hold and dismissing a pipeline for political reasons.

I am also concerned about the changes to the NEB standing test. Currently, individuals and organizations directly affected by the project or capable of providing valuable knowledge are heard by the National Energy Board. The new rules would allow anyone to participate and be heard. This would ensure that groups who oppose all energy projects across Canada will be given a bigger voice. Groups outside of Canada will be given a voice as well, and they do not have our best interests at heart.

I can only imagine what our global competitors think of this legislation. It would give them the opportunity to fund groups that will oppose every project that has the ability to threaten their market share. To think that this will not occur in the future is foolish and short-sighted.

Briefly, I would like to bring your attention to the projects that have died under the Liberals' watch.

The Prime Minister imposed offshore drilling bans in the Northwest Territories without notice to the territorial governments, which killed exploration and future development, and the Petronas-backed NorthWest LNG megaproject on the west coast was cancelled. The Liberal government has ever-changing policies and roadblocks, which led to the cancellation of energy east. The Liberals also cancelled the Conservative-approved pipeline project known as the northern gateway, which would have brought our oil to tidewater. They legislated the northern B.C. coastline tanker ban, which will ensure projects like the northern gateway and Eagle Spirit will never be possible.

In addition, many Canadians and experts are concerned over the purchase of a 65-year-old pipeline at twice its book value, but the biggest concern is the current condition of the pipeline.

Some of the questions I have are these: What is the life expectancy of the 65-year-old pipeline? What is the projected cost of the maintenance and upgrade of the 65-year-old infrastructure? Will the newly created crown corporation be self-sufficient or end up like the CBC, dependent on taxpayer handouts? Will the construction of the twinning of the pipeline be subject to Bill C-69? Did the government assume all liability from Kinder Morgan, including liabilities from the past?

We should all recognize that the natural resource sector has brought tremendous wealth to my riding, all of Alberta, and Canada. The oil sands alone have brought $7.4 billion to the Canadian economy outside of Alberta: $3.9 billion to Ontario, $1.3 billion to British Columbia, $1.2 billion to Quebec, $333 million to Newfoundland, $143 million to Manitoba, $142 million to Saskatchewan, $96.7 million to Nova Scotia, $50.8 million to New Brunswick, $11.4 million to the Northwest Territories, $6.3 million to Prince Edward Island, $1.6 million to Yukon, and the list goes on. These figures include everything from especially made overalls to high technology for reducing global emissions.

Members need to consider that if we keep our resources in the ground, as environmentalist David Suzuki wants us to do, we are not saving the environment; we are just moving resource development to countries around the world that have lower safety standards and lower environmental protections. I believe that if resources are needed, it is better that they come from here and not from human rights abusers and dictators.

I know that many members of Parliament have voted for regulations of every type and will continue to do so. What they need to consider before voting on this bill is that we are part of a global market. Right now we are competing with countries across the world to sell our goods and attract investment.

We only need to look across the border to see a government intent on bringing in billions of dollars of investments and the jobs that come with them. Since taking office, the Trump administration has given the energy industry a tremendous amount of confidence to invest by cutting regulations and taxes. Future natural resource jobs in my riding, in Alberta, and across Canada are at stake if this bill passes, and that is why my Conservative colleagues and I stand against this bill.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 4:15 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise here today to speak to Bill C-69, one of the most important attempts to modernize our environmental protection laws in Canada.

In large part, I think it was meant to deal with some of the actions of the Conservative government, which gutted a lot of our environmental protection laws in the previous Parliament through changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Fisheries Act, et cetera. We dealt with fisheries in Bill C-68, but Bill C-69 is an answer to try to fix some of the other acts that were radically changed by the previous government.

I have to say, off the top, how disappointed I am that the government not only brought in this bill as an omnibus bill, a huge bill, well over 300 pages long, but it moved time allocation in the first debate after only two hours. It moved time allocation on the bill yesterday as well. This is a bill that really should get fulsome debate. I am disappointed that not only did the government move time allocation, but it took so long to bring in this bill.

The NDP originally asked the Speaker to rule this an omnibus bill so that we could deal with it separately. The government agreed that we could vote on the navigable waters section separately. We also asked that the bill be split up for committee study. The first section, on the impact assessment, is ideally suited for study by the environment committee. The central part, which deals with the National Energy Board and the Canadian energy regulator, belongs with the natural resources committee. The navigation protection section, obviously, should have gone to the transport committee.

That division of labour would have provided for a thorough and efficient study. Instead, the whole bill was thrust onto the environment committee, where, with impossible deadlines, many important witnesses could not testify. I was contacted early on by a consortium of Canadian scientists who had studied this and wanted to present evidence before the committee. This was not a single scientist; these were a lot of the important environment scientists in Canada. They were denied access to the committee simply because, I imagine, there were too many witnesses trying to testify before the committee in those tight timelines.

At committee, the NDP submitted over 100 amendments, none of which were accepted. Tellingly, the government submitted over 100 amendments of its own. This tells me that the legislation was clearly rushed into the House and should have been written with more care.

The Liberals are hashtagging this bill #BetterRules, but the Canadian Environmental Law Association, the legal experts who arguably know more about this subject than most Canadians and most politicians, has said that this legislation in neither better, nor rules.

I will quote from a briefing note prepared by Richard Lindgren of the Canadian Environmental Law Association:

[T]he IAA is not demonstrably “better” than CEAA 2012. To the contrary, the IAA replicates many of the same significant flaws and weaknesses found within the widely discredited CEAA 2012....

[T]he IAA does not establish a concise rules-based regime that provides clarity, consistency, and accountability during the information-gathering and decision-making process established under the Act. Instead, the key stages of the proposed impact assessment process are subject to considerable (if not excessive) discretion enjoyed by various decision-makers under the IAA.

At the most fundamental level, for example, it currently remains unclear which projects will actually be subject to the IAA.... [It] contains no benchmarks or criteria to provide direction on the type, scale, or potential effects of projects that should be designated under the new law.

I would like to spend a little while speaking more to the second part of the bill, the energy regulator section.

This section disbands the National Energy Board and creates a new but rather similar body called the Canadian energy regulator. The section opens with a preamble and a statement of purpose. Surprisingly, in this day and age of a brave new world of energy, neither makes reference to linkages between energy and climate. In fact, there is no mention at all of climate in this entire section.

Much of the public work of the old NEB was about regulating pipelines. One could easily come to the conclusion that this is a case of closing the barn door after the horses have left, since it seems unlikely that the new regulator will ever have to review an application for a major new oil pipeline.

The Minister of Natural Resources has risen countless times in this place declaring that the government has restored confidence in the energy regulation system, and that is why the Kinder Morgan pipeline can be built. Unfortunately, he is deeply misinformed.

A couple of months ago, I met with Dr. Monica Gattinger of the Positive Energy group at the University of Ottawa, who studies this very issue of public confidence in energy issues, and Nik Nanos, whose polling firm had asked Canadians about that confidence. Perhaps not surprisingly, Mr. Nanos found that public confidence in the Canadian energy regulation system was at an all-time low. If we thought it was low during the Harper government, it has continued to decline, and now only 2% of Canadians have strong confidence in the energy regulation system. That lack of confidence is shared by members of the public on both sides of the issue: it is lowest in both Alberta and British Columbia. It results in situations like the Kinder Morgan impasse. I should mention that the last time I heard the minister speak on this subject, he did admit that confidence was suddenly a problem in this area.

The Liberals promised during the last election to put the Kinder Morgan proposal through a new, stronger review system, but instead sent a three-member ministerial panel on a quick tour along the pipeline route, giving communities, first nations, governments, and the concerned public almost no advance warning to prepare their presentations. No record was made of the proceedings.

Despite the serious shortcomings of this process, the panel came up with six questions that it said the government would have to answer before making its decision about Kinder Morgan. I will mention only the first three.

First, can the construction of the Trans Mountain expansion be reconciled with Canada's climate commitments?

Second, how can pipeline projects be properly assessed in the absence of a comprehensive national energy strategy?

Third, how can the review of this pipeline project be squared with the government's commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

I would suggest that none of these questions was answered, even in part, before the government made its decision to approve the Kinder Morgan expansion, and none of them were answered before the government bought the pipeline, which was actually the old pipeline. This leaves a lot of questions about how the government is to regulate itself in getting that pipeline built.

Amazingly, none of those questions are properly answered in the legislation before us, which comes two years after the Kinder Morgan decision. After the government has accepted Bill C-262, which calls for government legislation to be consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, there is no mention of this in the body of Bill C-69. Only after much pressure did the government agree to put it in the preamble, where it would have no legal effect.

We need to restore the confidence of Canadians in our energy regulatory system and in our environmental impact processes. Without that confidence, it will be increasingly difficult for Canadian companies to develop our natural resources, which are at the heart of our national economy.

The Liberals continue to pretend they are doing good, but they are all talk and no action, or as we say in the west, all hat and no cattle. We need bold action to build a new regulatory system that gives voice to all concerned Canadians.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 4:30 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, as much as I want to join in the conversation and keep discussing climate, in looking at Bill C-69 I really want to make a point and ask the hon. member for his commentary.

We had an expert panel on EA. The government spent over $1 million to get its advice, and that advice was very clear: the projects subject to review must include much more than the large controversial projects, and we must ensure that all areas of federal jurisdiction are covered. Smaller projects can do serious environmental damage. I want to ask my hon. colleague from South Okanagan—West Kootenay about this, as he has an extensive scientific background. Smaller projects are not going to be caught at all by Bill C-69.

This is about the review of a couple of dozen projects a year, all big ones. That is a fatal mistake for a federal government to make. It will be fatal to our environment. Smaller projects can destroy a species and wipe out a key ecosystem, and we will never even know about it. That is what I would like to ask my hon. colleague to comment on.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 4:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a first for me. I am using my tablet to deliver my speech. We all need to row in the same direction, and every Canadian must be part of the effort to protect our planet. Today I am pleased to rise to debate 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.

We believe in taking action and building on what we have already done to ensure that Canada remains an environmental leader. Those of us on this side of the House believe that. As I often say, the Liberal Party likes labelling the Conservative Party as anti-environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will keep saying that as long as the Liberals keep slapping a label on us that in no way reflects how hard Conservative men and women are working for the environment.

My Green Party colleague called this bill incredibly weak earlier today. This, from a party whose primary focus is the environment. I find this surprising coming from that member, but I completely agree with her. I agree that this massive bill is weak and unacceptable, and it does not meet the objective of protecting the environment for our children and grandchildren.

I am a member of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, and I want to work. This committee has good intentions, and we would like to implement measures to improve the environment. However, I would guess that this government probably forced the chair, who is from the governing party, to pressure the committee to introduce a bill quickly. This is irresponsible.

It is irresponsible because the environment is important to all Canadians and to the members of the Conservative Party of Canada. These kinds of actions are unacceptable.

I will explain what happened in committee. We received 150 briefs totalling 2,250 pages within a month and a half. Fifty organizations appeared before the committee, 100 were not able to appear but submitted briefs, and 400 amendments were moved, including about 100 by the Liberal Party of Canada.

I would like to point out that, just like all Canadians, all MPs are human beings. If we want to do a good job, we need time to do research and to read, so that we are not saying just anything. We have to be rigorous and conscientious. If this government really intended to put together something to protect the environment, it would not have acted this way.

On another matter, in the 2015 election campaign, the Liberal Party of Canada had this to say on page 39 of its platform:

Canadians want a government they can trust to protect the environment and grow the economy. Stephen Harper has done neither. Our plan will deliver the economic growth and jobs Canadians need, and leave to our children and grandchildren a country even more beautiful, more sustainable, and more prosperous than the one we have now.

It seems important to them to talk about Stephen Harper, who was our prime minister and someone I am very proud of. What was our economy like when the Liberal government took over? It was doing very well. We introduced a balanced budget in 2015, and we left the Liberals with the tools they needed to keep it going, but this spendthrift government managed to create a structural deficit.

The 2019 election cannot come soon enough. This government is going to run a deficit of over $80 billion during its term, so let us hurry up and put the Conservatives back in power so that we can provide sound economic management.

With regard to the previous Conservative government's supposed failure, as I mentioned, here are some of the practical measures that it put in place. The Liberals like to say that we are anti-environment, but that is completely false. I will set out the facts and give concrete examples.

We created the clean air regulatory agenda. We established new standards to reduce car and light truck emissions. We established new standards to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and their engines. We proposed regulations to align ourselves with the U.S. Working Group III standards for vehicle emissions and sulphur in gasoline. We sought to limit HFCs, black carbon, and methane. We established new rules to reduce emissions from carbon-based electricity generation. We implemented measures to support the development of carbon capture technologies. We implemented measures to support the development of alternative energy sources. We enhanced the government's annual report on the main environmental indicators, including greenhouse gases. We, the big bad conservatives, even abolished tax breaks for the oil sands. In 2007, we invested $1.5 billion in the ecotrust program. It was not a centralist program like the Liberals tend to introduce. Rather, it was a program that worked well with the provinces.

Do you know who sang our praises? Greenpeace, that is who. Wow. We must not be as bad as all that when it comes to the environment. Maybe someday the Liberals will realize that we Conservatives are not here to destroy the planet.

I would like to point out that I, a Conservative MP, established a circular economy committee in my riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier. Why would I waste time doing that if I were anti-environment? That is real action. In my view, and in the view of all the witnesses I had the privilege of hearing at the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, Bill C-69 is unacceptable. The witnesses told me and the rest of the committee that this bill is nothing but the usual Liberal window dressing.

I am obliged to say that I personally, along with the other members of the Conservative Party, cannot accept this bill. We want to move things forward, but the government across the aisle does not.

We are willing and able to contribute and help the people across the aisle implement proactive, productive, efficient, and rigorous measures. However, it takes time to do that. Let us give ourselves the tools we need to respect the environment instead of defiling it. Let us implement a process that will protect the environment.

In their electoral platform, the Liberals said they wanted to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren. First of all, environmentally speaking, this bill accomplishes nothing. Secondly, financially speaking, we are going to mortgage the lives of our children and grandchildren. That is unacceptable.

On that note, I know my time is running out. I am now ready to take questions from my colleagues here in the wonderful House of Commons.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 4:45 p.m.
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Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately it is not an honour for me to rise to speak to Bill C-69, which would create some burdensome regulation and red tape and add additional uncertainty to our natural resource sector.

Over the last few months, we have seen the impact the policies of the Liberal government on this industry and the jobs that go with it.

Bill C-69 has not even gone through the House yet, has not been given third reading, but we have already seen the ramifications of it. The private sector has seen the writing on the wall and is divesting itself of their interests in Canada: Statoil, Shell, BP, and certainly Kinder Morgan, which has made a substantial profit from the Canadian taxpayers of $4.5 billion on the purchase of an existing pipeline. As part of those companies divesting themselves of their interests in Canada, they have also taken $86 billion in new investment and new opportunities to other jurisdictions.

Let us be clear: these companies are not going to stop investing in the energy sectors, but they are going to stop investing in the Canadian energy sector. They are taking those dollars to other jurisdictions. They are going to be investing in places like Kazakhstan, Texas, and the Middle East, not in Canada. Unfortunately, we will suffer the consequences when it comes to our economic opportunities.

I want to take an opportunity to clarify something we heard again in question period today. The Liberals keep touting themselves as somehow building a pipeline to tidewater. All this $4.5 billion has done is purchased an existing pipeline. It does not remove any of the obstacles to the building of the Trans Mountain expansion. In fact, the Liberal purchase of this pipeline, which we heard is closer to $2 billion in market value than $4.5 billion, does not build one inch of new pipeline to tidewater. They should be very clear that this purchase does nothing. It removes none of the obstacles that the provincial Government of B.C. has put forward. It does not remove any of the protesters who will be blocking the construction of the pipeline. It does not remove any of the judicial challenges that opponents of the pipeline have put forward.

When the Liberal Prime Minister had opportunity to show some leadership, stand with Canada's energy sector, and use section 92 of the British North America Act, the constitutional tools he had to ensure the project was done, he did none of those things. This will cost our economy thousands of jobs.

I want to make another thing very clear, and I think my colleagues across the floor do not quite understand this. These jobs are not for wrench monkeys and roughnecks, which are also extremely important, as they are the backbone of our energy sector, but they are for highly skilled individuals. They are engineers, geophysicists, and geologists. I have spoken to many of them in western Canada. Some of them have been without jobs for more than two years. These are highly skilled individuals who will go to other areas of the world to find work, and they will not come back. It will be very hard to attract these highly skilled individuals back to Canada.

I have spoken about the impact this has had on western Canada. I have certainly spoken to many of these unemployed energy sector workers in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C. However, the Liberal government also needs to understand that the implications of its decisions on the energy sector ripple right across the country. I would like to talk about just one example.

A General Electric plant in Peterborough, Ontario, made turbines for the pipelines across Canada. General Electric had announced plans to expand that facility should energy east, Trans Mountain, or northern gateway be approved and move forward. However, when energy east was killed on a political decision by the Liberal government, and after the foot-dragging and mismanagement of the Trans Mountain decision, General Electric announced it would close its plant in Peterborough, costing 350 jobs.

Therefore, the ramifications of the Liberal decisions, lack of action on Canada's energy sector, and the Prime Minister saying we are going to phase out the oil sands have real consequences across the country. These 350 jobs in Peterborough, Ontario, are now gone because of the Liberal decision on the energy sector. These families in Peterborough are now going to have to find new work.

I do not think our colleagues across the floor really do understand that. In fact, the Liberal member of Parliament for Peterborough—Kawartha supported killing energy east and supported Bill C-69. She is not fighting for her own constituents. She is not fighting for the jobs of those families in her own riding. The Liberals are making an ideological decision to listen to the vocal minority of activists.

Even today, my colleague from Hamilton East—Stoney Creek talked about how great things were in Hamilton because it was building all these grain cars. I am not too sure how all these new grain cars help the energy sector. They will not be hauling oil in grain cars because we do not have a pipeline. Maybe he is anticipating that the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who have lost their jobs in the energy sector are all of a sudden going to start farming. I do not think that is a real solution.

The solution is standing behind our energy sector, championing it and the jobs it creates and the social infrastructure it supports. That is the direction we should be supporting, not trying to find new jobs for those who have lost their positions. These are very well-paying middle-class jobs across the country, jobs that have now been lost in places like Fort McMurray, Calgary, Leduc, and certainly in Peterborough, Ontario, because of these ideological decisions. Bill C-69 would simply make matters worse.

We have heard from stakeholders and employees in the energy sector. They say that one of the most important drivers of investment in Canada has been that confidence, that reliability, and that regulatory certainty in Canada. Bill C-69 would do everything it possibly could to dismantle that certainty in our regulatory process.

The process is being politicized. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change would have the sole responsibility to decide whether a project would be for the greater good or in the national interest. One person, one minister, would have that decision.

Let us say an investor or a large energy company has an opportunity to apply for a project in Canada. It goes through all the regulatory processes and does all of its environmental assessment studies and financial assessments. However, as part of Bill C-69, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change will have the authority to say no even before it has its foot in the door. Even if it has passed all those environmental assessments, even if it has the support of first nations and communities along the way, even if it is proven to be in the national interest, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change has the authority to say that it is not something the government supports. That is what happened with energy east. The government put so many double standard burdens upon that project that there was no way the stakeholder would go ahead with it. That is what we are seeing as part of this process.

I spoke earlier about the ramifications this had on the sector and how we saw a government make ideological decisions, not decisions made on consultation with Canadians, not decisions based on science, not decisions that are fiscally based, and certainly not decisions based on economics. For example, let us look at agriculture.

This week or last week the Minister of Agriculture said that the vast majority of Canadian farmers supported the carbon tax. That was patently false, and we have heard that it is false. The Liberals are making decisions contrary to what Canadians are asking them to do. That is where this becomes extremely frustrating.

Farmers have reduced their use of diesel fuel by 200 million litres a year. Our energy sector now takes a third of the carbon footprint to produce one barrel of oil than it took 10 years ago. Members are going ask why the government is not investing in renewable energy and fossil fuels. Who do they think has been doing all the investing in renewable resources? It is our fossil fuel companies. Those are the ones which have the funds to invest, and they have been doing it for decades.

Why does the taxpayer have to be doing this when the private sector has already been doing it, and doing it successfully for decades? What the sector is asking for is for the government to get out of its way. It wants the government to let it do what it has been doing successfully, better than anybody in the world for generations. It just wants to do its job and get back to work.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, I agree. I am very concerned. The Liberals campaigned on being science based, open, and transparent. They were going to make decisions based on those criteria, but Bill C-69 shows very clearly that they are going to make decisions that are not science based. We have seen that in a larger narrative within the government. Let us look at the food guide and front-of-package labelling. All these things that are going to have a significant impact on our industries and constituents are not based on science whatsoever. In fact, we have heard from stakeholders and constituents that they are actually going in the complete opposite direction of what science would tell them to do.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 5:15 p.m.
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NDP

Cheryl Hardcastle NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I certainly cannot argue with the fact there is much distorting of the truth here. I really want to talk to the hon. member about the last Parliament, when the Conservative government did remove or gut the environmental assessment process. It also removed almost all of the protections of our waterways. That is a fact that can be looked up.

Then the Liberal government promised that it was going to restore those things. As we see with Bill C-69, it has really fallen short of the mark. Bill C-69 has done nothing. It does nothing to reverse these changes, which the Liberals promised they would do.

Do the Conservatives still believe that waterways and lakes do not need any protection? Is that what I am hearing—that we do not need any protections for water?

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 5:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to add my voice to this debate, obviously in opposition to the bill before us.

I will begin as I always do, because I want to get it in early, with a Yiddish proverb: “Misfortune binds together.” That is how a lot of Calgarians feel, especially in my riding.

Bill C-69 is simply more misfortune piled on other ill-advised decisions by the government that have hurt constituents and energy workers in my riding. They have spent a lifetime getting experience, an education, and then pursuing a career they were hoping would last their entire lifetime. This is something they were passionate about, producing energy in a responsible and ethical way, which they will now not be able to do.

I have been told repeatedly by executives, industry, and energy workers, including a constituent of mine, Evan, a few days ago, that when Bill C-69 passes Parliament, it will put an end to all future major energy infrastructure projects. No company will put forward major projects again, because the process will be much too complex, involve too many criteria, and will be too complicated, with too much political risk associated with satisfying a minister in order to reach the completion date of just the permitting process. The CEO of Suncor has said publicly that this will put an end to investment in the energy industry. The CEO of Sierra Energy has said exactly the same thing. Therefore, misfortune binds together.

I will explain other things that bind together as a result of this particular piece of proposed legislation, which that would damage the opportunity of energy workers and their families to continue working in this very successful sector.

We should be very proud of this sector of the economy, because we have been exporting the R and D, innovation, commercialized products and services from it for a long time, alongside the product that we export to our friends down south. Even though we have had difficulties negotiating a successful NAFTA renewal, they are still our friends, and we are still trying to make them understand that at the end of the day, our success is their success.

We often hear government members say that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. The Liberals are making it seem like it is a zero-sum game: one unit of the environment gained is one unit of the economy lost. It is zero-sum, and there are no two ways around it. When we look at Bill C-69, that is evident. The Liberals are trying to gain many more units of environment, and we are going to be losing out on the economic side, based on commentary by both energy workers and executives, who are simply saying that there is no way that they can invest in the Canadian economy, hire energy workers in Canada, in Calgary and Alberta, with these types of rules in place.

On the misfortunes I talked about, there is the carbon tax, for instance. Often in this chamber, I hear members say things like, “We should refine it and upgrade it where we mine it, where we extract it out of the ground”. Well, the highest carbon taxes are paid by refineries and upgraders. It is a GHG-intensive industry.

Do we say the same thing to farmers who produce wheat, that we should upgrade it and refine it here? Do we say that to the farmer who produces canola? Do we say that to the farmer who produces big lentils? Maybe we should force all farmers to produce soup. They should not be allowed to export lentils outside Canada. The same idea, the same drive that says we should never export any type of bitumen or oil out of the country until it is refined and upgraded to the highest level product, could be applied to our agricultural sector.

I have heard repeatedly from energy workers that the tanker ban off the B.C. coast is damaging, because it sends a signal that there is a tanker ban now. Actually, it is just a pretend ban because it just moves tankers 100 kilometres farther off the coast to an area where there already is tanker traffic, which is going to continue as long as it does not stop in a Canadian port. However, it sends a signal that those types of workers and that sector of the economy are not wanted anymore by the government.

On the misfortune, there is a close electoral alliance between radical environmentalists, their foreign financiers, and the future electoral prospects of the Liberal government. That is the case. We know it to be true. The Liberals' success in the 2015 election was closely linked to their making promises on the environment that they absolutely could not keep. They made those promises fully knowing they would never be able to keep them. The misfortune continues.

Twice already, the Prime Minister has said he would like to phase out the oil sands. Every single time the Prime Minister says that, the first thing I get by email and phone from Albertans in my riding is, “He has done it again. He said it again.” The last time he said it was at the Assemblee Nationale in Paris.

Many workers question the sincerity of the Prime Minister when he says that he wants this sector to succeed, which is supposedly why he expropriated Kinder Morgan and purchased its pipeline for $4.5 billion. Workers do not trust him. They do not believe him when he says it. They think he is speaking from both sides of his mouth. He is saying one thing to one crowd and something completely different to another crowd. They do not trust him. However, it is their misfortune that he is the Prime Minister right now.

Bill C-69 increases the number of criteria that will be considered during the regulatory process. What logically happens is that before a company even puts in an application to consider a major new energy infrastructure project, they will do their research and due diligence. That will add months and years to the pre-regulatory process. Before even applying, one has to have more information to prove to the regulator that one meets all of the new criteria. Embedded in Bill C-69 is the opportunity for the minister to say “no” at multiple stages of the process.

I have heard Liberal caucus members say how great the bill is and that shortened timelines give certainty. The bill does no such thing because it will increase the number of criteria and datasets that one needs to collect to prove one's case.

This is exactly where I am going to come to my last point of why energy east was cancelled. Energy east and the company's executives and energy workers said they had no way of meeting the new requirements of downstream and upstream emissions. To collect that vast sum of information and provide it to the government was impossible. The company made the only wise decision on behalf of its shareholders and abandoned the permitting regulatory process. There was no other choice. However, that was a political decision by the government. The government is responsible for that and nobody else. The business decision that drove driving Kinder Morgan out of the country, which led to the government expropriating the company and purchasing the pipeline, was the same type of decision-making process Trans Canada had to use on energy east. Those decisions are deeply connected.

Obviously, I will be voting against this bill. The last point of data I want to provide is that under the government, we have seen thousands of kilometres of pipeline cancelled, whereas under in the previous government, we had thousands of kilometres of pipeline finished.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 5:35 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech, and especially for his Yiddish proverb. We all wait for that with bated breath each time he rises.

We have heard a lot of concern from the Conservatives about the excessive powers the minister would have to intervene at any stage of the impact assessment process and to put a stop to it, or create an extra process.

I am wondering if the member could comment on the fact that it was the Conservatives who initially gave the minister and cabinet that power with the National Energy Board. Previously, National Energy Board decisions were final, but the previous Conservative government gave that final say to cabinet, and now those members are concerned that the Liberals have run with this and made it rampant throughout Bill C-69 and will put it into law. Could he comment on that?

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 5:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member both for his question and his appreciation of Yiddish proverbs. We sometimes share them in the lobby.

Some ministerial accountability for the decisions Liberals make and the activities of the department should be expected by the House of Commons. It should be an expectation. Excessive amounts of ministerial oversight, such as an ability to overrule or redirect decisions and impose one's own personal political views on a process or individual projects, is the wrong way to go. The balance between having just enough regulatory and ministerial oversight and too much burdensome regulation with ministerial discretion is the balance that we are trying to find, and it is not in Bill C-69.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 5:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to rise in response to Bill C-69, the government's environmental and regulatory bill, one that is supposed to be revolutionary. This just brings us to another long list of broken promises that the Prime Minister made when he campaigned in 2015 as the member for Papineau at the time. He made some great promises to Canadians.

We heard a lot about sowing the seeds of fear, that Canadians had lost confidence in some things like our environmental assessment plan. The groups that were promoting that had a sole purpose. There was a lot of talk about foreign-funded groups and how they had influenced elections, both on this side of the border as well as the other side of the border recently.

We know very well that during the 2015 election, and I know because I was one of the candidates who was targeted, groups were targeting Conservative members of Parliament. They were talking about how damaging Mr. Harper was to our environment. We heard people say how we were fearmongering with respect to Bill C-59. If we looked at it and followed where the dollar started, these groups started in other jurisdictions, and perhaps not in Canada.

What would be the sole purpose for those groups to sow the seed of fear or perhaps put doubt in the minds of Canadians in the industry or in the government of the day. It would be to really shake up the economy. Why would they do that? Probably because the money they get comes from big oil or big energy groups in the U.S. This is the fact. We know this. To some extent, the Prime Minister, the Liberals, and perhaps the NDP have bought into those groups. I know about the NDP candidate who I ran against in my region, the one who had probably the best photography team I have ever seen. Again, my riding was one of those targeted because ridings they thought they would win, but I proved them wrong.

Let us talk about the growing list of broken promises, and this is so relevant to Bill C-69.

The Prime Minister talked about a small deficit of $10 billion at that time, and the budget would be balanced. There is a record and a history with this. He also said that under his government, the Liberals would be the most open and transparent government in Canadian history. There is a smattering of applause on the other side, but we know it is not true. When he created the mandate letters, he said that the ministers would be more accountable and more open to Canadians. He also said that he would let the debate reign, yet today we are in the 41st closure of debate.

During the campaign, the member for Papineau said that under his government the Harper government's way of doing omnibus bills would be in the past, that it would never happen again. Today, we are speaking to a 400-page bill.

We know the Prime Minister is not really very happy. He is not a very strong champion of our energy sector. We know this from one of his very first speeches to the world, when he said that under his government Canada would be known more for our resourcefulness rather than our resources. We know he has gotten himself into a little trouble for some of the comments he made on the world stage, when he said that he wished the energy sector could be phased out a little faster. We also know he got himself into trouble when he went into Alberta, during a time when we were facing some terrible issues, to speak to the out-of-work oil workers. There is that famous clip where a gentleman asked “What am I going to do? I'm out of work. I don't know whether I'm going to have a home. I don't know how I'm going to feed my children”. What was his comment? “Hang in there”.

The Liberals hated our Navigable Protection Act. The reason I bring this up is because the fisheries, oceans and Canadian Coast Guard committee, FOPO, studies some of the changes to legislation brought forward by government. The Liberals said that Prime Minister Harper had a war on the environment, and the changes he made to the Navigable Waters Protection Act were because the Conservatives did not care.

The Liberals like to bring in academics, NGOs, and environmental groups. Witness after witness, when asked to provide proof if any of the changes from 2012 to the Fisheries Act and Navigable Waters Protection Act would cause any harmful death or damage to our waterway, not one witness could provide proof. In fact, one of our hon. colleagues was part of the group that wrote the changes to the legislation. He talked about why some of these navigable waterway regulations were changed. He said that it was because of our farmers. If farmers had a drainage ditch that had been washout and repairs had to be made, whether to accommodate their livestock or their crops, it took a lot of time, waiting to get that done. Also, if a municipality was isolated because a road had been washed out, there were a lot of challenges in getting the repairs done.

I could go on and on.

The Prime Minister and all of his ministers like to stand and with their hands on their hearts, they pledge they will consult with Canadians from coast to coast to coast. They tell us that every Canadian will have a say. We know the consultations are not true. In fact, they are shutting down debate.

As I like to do every chance I get, I want to remind folks on the other side, and all Canadians, that the House is theirs. Shutting down debate means the 338 members of Parliament who were elected to be the voices of all Canadians do not have their say. They are not able to bring their constituents' voices to Ottawa. The Prime Minister, his cabinet, the other Liberals want to bring the voice of Ottawa to those communities. We know that the only voice that seems to matter is the Prime Minister's voice.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 5:50 p.m.
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Whitby Ontario

Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member spoke about the Stephen Harper government and how it was accused of fearmongering and sowing doubt. The Conservatives are still doing that.

The hon. member spoke about the economy and jobs and how the ministers needed to be accountable. Under this government, we have had the fastest growth in the G7. Over 600,000 jobs have been created by Canadians. We have a robust oceans protection plan. We have Bill C-69. We have a $1.3 billion investment in biodiversity and conservation.

What would the hon. colleague across the way say to his constituents, who have benefited from the fact that our government has taken the growth of the economy and the environment hand in hand?

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 6 p.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have just very clearly seen that members on this side of the House want to talk about bills. We want to talk about Bill C-59. We want to talk about Bill C-69. All the parliamentarians on this side of the House want to express their views. Unfortunately, the Liberals have cut parliamentarians' speaking time so much that some members have to talk about two bills at once.

I would like my colleague who spoke about both Bill C-59 and Bill C-69 in the same speech to tell me whether he sometimes feels forgotten by the government because he sits on this side of the House. The Conservatives, the NDP, the Bloc Québécois, and the Green Party all represent our constituents here in the House, and they want to hear us speak about all of these bills.

I commend my colleague over here for wanting to speak about two bills, because he knows that we will not have time to talk about all of these things and that the members on the other side of the House often prevent us from speaking. I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about that.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 6 p.m.
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Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his comments. I was in the middle of preparing my remarks on Bill C-59 and I am planning on speaking to Bill C-69 next week. I will have a chance to talk about it at third reading. I may have lost it, I am not sure. I have already said half of what I intended to say on the matter.

At the same time, I know that our sitting hours have been extended because we cannot fit all the members who want to speak into the limited time that the House has to implement all of our legislation and amendments. It is a shame we do not have thousands of hours to speak in the House. These are the hours we have, and we have only four years to fulfill all our election promises.

Now, we are working on fulfilling our promises, and I think I will get a chance to speak on Bill C-69 next week and Bill C-59 a few minutes from now.

Bill C-69—Time Allocation MotionImpact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 6th, 2018 / 7:10 p.m.
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Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

moved:

That in relation to 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, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage and five hours shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said bill; and

That, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration of report stage and at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration of the third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.