Members of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan voted unanimously calling on Ottawa to halt and repeal the Impact Assessment Act (Bill C-69). The bill is criticized by many who say it would hurt workers by creating even more regulatory processes and politicization in the Canadian energy sector.
Bill C-69 would overhaul the environmental review and approval process for resource projects and result in a more complex and time-consuming process. The Saskatchewan Government says this would stop, not start, major energy projects and erode our economic competitiveness. Colleen Young, MLA for Lloydminster, believes the bill adds unnecessary steps and ought to be scrapped.
“We already have a National Energy Board that has been in existence since 1949 and has some of the strictest regulations in place to design, construct, manage and operate oil and gas pipelines in this country. They’re ones we have claim to fame that have the highest integrity when it comes to construction of pipelines,” says Young.
The Saskatchewan Government says Bill C-69 fundamentally contradicts several of Canada’s long-term strategic goals and would hinder natural resource-related economic development in the country. Young shares this sentiment and believes it will target pipelines and other projects.
“If the goal of Bill C-69 is to diminish oil & gas production and ensure no more pipelines are built, this legislation has hit the mark.”
Energy & Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre recently presented Saskatchewan’s position to the Senate Committee in Ottawa. The committee is tentatively scheduled to meet in Saskatoon on April 11 for hearings. Young says she’s hopeful that the Senate will consider the province’s perspective.
“I think that she laid out a pretty good case for the Senate Committee in order for them to reconsider. Either scrapping Bill C-69 or ensuring that the work they do around this roadshow going on where they’re listening to people across the country, changes the necessary regulations in the bill to get it right.”
The Saskatchewan Government says their unanimous motion makes it clear to the Senate that the legislation cannot go forward in its current state.