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An Economic Crisis caused by our own Government

Our province finds itself at a contentious and challenging period. A Provincial election is imminent and we are in the process of dealing with an economic crisis that continues to cause hardships in Alberta. I have been doing as much as possible to ensure my Senate colleagues understand the gravity of the situation. These past several weeks I’ve been concentrating on two pieces of federal legislation. The government’s attempt to update the environmental assessment act through Bill C-69 has resulted in a flawed Bill in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Likewise, Bill C-48 The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act is equally troubling to myself, many of my colleagues, our Provincial government, oil industry stakeholders and many First Nation peoples. During my many meetings with concerned stakeholders on these Bills, a clear and consistent message has emerged; that Bill C-69 needs a massive make over before the Senate can pass it, and Bill C-48 must be defeated. To that end, I have been heavily involved with the Senate Committee hearings on both pieces of legislation, putting on the table solutions to address my deep concerns about both Bills.

At this point in Bill C-69’s process through the Senate, and upon my urging, the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources is set to begin traveling to various parts of the country. I advocated tirelessly to the committee members on the importance of travel for Bill C-69, to ensure they would understand the necessity of speaking to and hearing from Canadians on how the Bill, if left un-amended, would devastate the resource extraction industry, and undermine people’s livelihoods. I will be attending hearings in Western Canada and encourage people who make their living in these industries to also attend and let their voices be heard. We must get this right. I have worked closely with a broad range of groups and parties, leading the process to create a meaningful package of amendments for the consideration of the Senate. These amendments offer a chance for the government to stand with Canadians, giving them the opportunity to continue providing for their families and make meaningful contributions to the country’s economy, while simultaneously not undermining Canada’s gold standard of environmental protection.

Bill C-48 requires a different approach. This Bill, if allowed to become law, will further restrict the natural resource industry and oil sector, diminishing the wealth it generates. We can not, and must not allow this to happen, so Bill C-48 must be defeated. For the last several months I have been working with numerous individuals to ensure the facts surrounding Bill C-48 are well known to Canadians. One of those facts being that this is the only oil tanker moratorium in the world. Why is it that the North coast of British Columbia takes precedence over any other coast of Canada? What is made abundantly clear is that the federal government’s perspective on the issue is flawed, solely political, and not based on science nor facts.

Going forward, I will continue to work with Canadians across a broad spectrum of interests to ensure our country leads the way in consultation and environmental protection, while at the same time securing Canada’s role in providing energy to growing world markets.

"This Bill, if allowed to become law, will further restrict the natural resource industry and oil sector, diminishing the wealth it generates. We can not, and must not allow this to happen, so Bill C-48 must be defeated." - Senator Doug Black
"We must get this right. I have worked closely with a broad range of groups and parties, leading the process to create a meaningful package of amendments for the consideration of the Senate". - Senator Doug Black