OTTAWA, ON (June 12, 2019): It has been a busy week in the national debate over the development of energy resources and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s experts are available to comment on what it all means for Canadians.

The government’s legislation banning tanker traffic on the north west coast, Bill C-48, will go to a vote on Monday after the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications recommended that it be killed.

The government has also announced that amendments will be made to Bill C-69, legislation designed to change the environmental assessment review process. But some key amendments proposed by the Senate have been rejected.

A group of six premiers has warned that the two bills will have serious detrimental effects on the resource economy.

And finally, next week the government will announce its intentions on the Trans Mountain Expansion project.

Experts at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute will be available for media questions on Bill C-69 and these recent government actions. According to MLI Munk Senior Fellow Ken Coates, the government should step back and proceed with caution on these major regulatory changes.

“Why rush? The Government of Canada is contemplating moving ahead quickly with Bill C-69, pushing away a long series of amendments proposed by some Senators.  If we have learned anything in the past year, it is that there are grave concerns about the potential impact of this legislation, particularly on the oil and gas sector. Given the other steps the government has taken to delay investment and development in the energy sector, is it really necessary to bring in rules that fundamentally transform how the resource economy operates?” asks Coates.

Given Bill C-69’s potential impact on Indigenous communities engaged in the resource sector, MLI Senior Fellow Stephen Buffalo also urged a slow and thoughtful approach towards the bill. “A national government that purports to care profoundly about the needs and interests of Indigenous communities seems to be paying little attention to the aspirations of oil and gas producing communities,” Buffalo has written.

“The Government of Canada needs to take a timeout. It needs to put a hold on Bill C-69 while the underlying challenges facing the Canadian oil and gas sector are addressed. The prosperity and aspirations of many First Nations hang in the balance.”

To arrange an interview with Ken Coates or Stephen Buffalo, media are invited to contact:

David Watson
Managing Editor and Communications Director
613-482-8327 x 103

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