Remove politics from Bill C-69, Calgary Chamber says
February 20, 2019
CALGARY – Canada’s advantage as a natural resource economy is being severely threatened by a federal bill that will put a chill on investment in many industries if passed in its current form, says the President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber.
Sandip Lalli says the core of Canada’s economic engine is currently jeopardized by the devastating impact of our inability to get energy resources to global markets. This would be compounded by the passage of the flawed Bill C-69, that overhauls the regulatory review process for major infrastructure projects.
“Our regulatory system must be based on science, not politics,” said Lalli. “Today we are joining chambers and boards of trade across Canada in a call for the federal government to amend Bill C-69. The economic future of this country hinges on our ability to attract investment and get Canadian products to new customers and international markets. Bill C-69 in its current form will do the opposite.”
The Calgary Chamber provided recommendations to amend the bill in a letter to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. The Chamber continues to advocate for changes to the bill and has asked to speak directly to the committee about the bill’s shortcomings.
The Chamber’s recommendations focus on ensuring the regulatory review of a project is science based and independent of political influence. The regulatory process is lengthy and costly for proponents. Projects that have received approval from an independent agency should not be subject to the risk of cancellation due to the politics of the day. Instead, the process should be governed by strong long-term policy that focuses on business competitiveness. The Chamber is also asking that the public voices of those most directly impacted are not drowned out by those less affected, some of whom may have interests in unnecessarily delaying projects.
Finally, the Chamber is asking for more certainty and less risk around review timelines, with fewer opportunities for stops, starts and time extensions that could delay a decision inevitably under the current wording of the bill.
The Calgary Chamber also worked with the Alberta Chambers of Commerce on further recommendations to reduce financial risk for proponents and clarify new project criteria and those subject to federal review. That work can be found here.
“Delays in getting our responsibly-produced products to market have a direct impact on Canadian households, who rely on the jobs and tax revenue these projects generate to help build stronger communities.
“Together, on behalf of business communities across Canada, we are asking our federal leaders to put aside politics and commit to making the amendments required for Bill C-69 so we can get our products to global markets for the benefit of all Canadians,” said Lalli.
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ABOUT THE CALGARY CHAMBER
The Calgary Chamber is an independent non-profit, non-partisan business organization. For 128 years the Chamber has worked to build a business community that nourishes, powers and inspires the world.