Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Repentigny.
I am very pleased to join this important debate. Bill C-69 is a generational opportunity to realize the full promise of Canada through the resources of our land and the resourcefulness of Canadians. It is an opportunity to achieve a lasting balance. This is not easy, and this debate is most timely and most important.
We are at a pivotal moment. Climate change is the great challenge of our generation. The natural environment signals this to us, of course. It also plays a critical role in assisting us to manage climate change, and it will be the measure of the balance we achieve. The natural environment restores us in our daily lives. Our ingenuity and investment in clean technology and innovation are fundamental to the way forward as we continue to build success in the natural resources sector.
As we debate this bill, a new wave of resource development is before us, with more than 650 billion dollars' worth of projects either under construction or planned over the next 10 years. This is not insignificant. This means good, sustainable jobs and new economic opportunities for the middle class. Therefore, it is imperative we have a modern environmental and regulatory system, one that is open, transparent, and effective, a process that views public engagement as an asset, that is critical toward earning public confidence in government decision-making
This is what Bill C-69 achieves. Bill C-69 is based upon better, clearer rules in order to recognize and achieve greater protection of the environment, fish, and waterways; the centrality and importance of positive relations between Canada and indigenous peoples; collaboration between the federal government and the provinces and territories; more investment in Canada's natural resource sector; and finally, the importance of earning public trust every day.
Bill C-69 strives to integrate Canada's economic and environmental goals to advance indigenous reconciliation and to ensure that worthy projects go ahead in an environmentally sustainable manner. This cannot be accomplished on our own. We can work together better. The provinces and territories are key regulators. Indigenous peoples are central to Canada's economic development. Project proponents make key investments in our innovation economy. Bill C-69 anticipates and accommodates multiple players and multiple imperatives. It is an integrative bill that provides a strong foundation for decision-making.
Beginning with a commitment to the fundamental principle of one project, one assessment for major resource projects, Bill C-69 creates the way in which all parties are part of one process. Industry is asking for environmental processes that are timely and rooted in science, and regulatory reviews that are efficient and offer greater certainty. The general public and indigenous communities are asking for early and meaningful engagement to identify priorities. All of this would be coordinated by the new impact assessment agency.
Canadians are right to expect that impact assessments consider more than environmental impacts. This has been a long-standing criticism of the previous approach, and we should be proud of sustainability advocates from coast to coast to coast. Bill C-69 proposes that major new resource projects be viewed in the wider context of economic, social, and health impacts of ongoing development, as well as environmental impacts. The bill also expands the opportunities for Canadians to participate in the process, improving public funding for citizens to do so, and communicating our own efforts and decisions in language that is easy to understand and readily available.
Bill C-69 would help to renew and improve Canada's relationship with indigenous peoples, supporting new partnerships by improving the consultation process and ensuring clear accountabilities between indigenous peoples and the crown.
Finally, Bill C-69 would enhance how science and data are weighed, and how this contributes to a decision.
We believe that Bill C-69 responds directly to the reasonable expectation on the part of the general public, that policy-making should incorporate input from thorough public consultation, expert reviews, parliamentary studies, and open deliberation.
Bill C-69 is about environmental assessments and regulatory reviews that make resource development better and more sustainable. Our proposals for modernizing the National Energy Board build on this. Under the Canadian energy regulator act, the NEB would be replaced by a new federal energy regulator that would remain headquartered in Calgary, where it belongs. The new federal regulator would be based on the principles of modern, effective governance, more inclusive public engagement, greater indigenous participation, stronger safety and environmental protections, and more timely decisions.
The modern regulator would reflect Canada's changing energy needs and desires with an expanded mandate to review traditional and renewable sources of energy, including offshore, wind, and tidal. It would have the required independence and proper accountability for our clean-growth energy future in the 21st century.
Drawing upon the best energy data and the latest trends to inform its decisions, the new regulator would operate with shorter timelines for project reviews. For major new energy projects, the proposed Canadian energy regulator would collaborate with the new impact assessment agency to provide its own recommendations in a single final report. For all other projects, the new federal energy regulator would retain its existing responsibility to review.
Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that sound resource projects are built. We believe that this calls for a modern environmental and regulatory system that promotes common values and ensures shared benefits. Canada can achieve the public good by ensuring that projects are built in a responsible, timely, and transparent way, creating good jobs and a stronger middle class. We are rising to the challenges of our times by driving economic growth, building investment certainty, advancing indigenous reconciliation, and achieving sustainable solutions. We are restoring public confidence and combatting climate change. We are creating inclusive prosperity.
I am very proud to support this legislation, and I hope all members will join our government in approving better rules to build a better Canada.