Mr. Speaker, since coming to office, the government has made it clear that economic prosperity and environmental protection must go hand in hand. It has also been clear that it is a core responsibility of the federal government to help get Canada’s natural resources to market. The decision in 2012 to gut environmental laws eroded public trust, put Canada’s environment and economy at risk, and made it harder, not easier, for good projects to go ahead. These changes led to polarization and paralysis.
Bill C-69 was introduced to restore public confidence by better protecting the environment, fish and waterways, while also respecting indigenous rights. In addition, it would provide greater certainty to proponents, leading to the creation of good, middle-class jobs and enhancing economic opportunities.
Canada’s investment climate remains robust. According to the most recent “Major Projects Planned or Under Construction” report, there are 418 projects, worth some $585 billion, already under construction or planned over the next 10 years. This reflects Canada’s position as a destination of choice for resource investors.
Significantly, new projects have continued to come forward in all sectors since Bill C-69 was tabled in 2017, reflecting the continued confidence of the investment community.
In developing this legislation, the government undertook extensive consultations with Canadians. The bill reflects the feedback and advice from a broad range of stakeholders, including investors and project proponents, who indicated that they wanted a clear, predictable and timely project review process.
In addition, Natural Resources Canada routinely monitors market, financial and economic indicators to gauge the competitiveness of Canada’s oil and gas sector. These data inform all of the government’s policy decisions.