Bill C-69 Facing a Tsunami of Opposition
Statement by the Honourable Doug Black
Alberta Elected Senator Doug Black issued the following statement in support of a national consultation by the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources regarding Bill C-69 the Impact Assessment Act :
"At the First Ministers conference in Montreal, the Prime Minister noted the strong opposition towards Bill C-69 and acknowledged that the Senate would be making amendments to the bill.
"I have been a big proponent for taking time to review and to change Bill C-69. The opposition to the current bill is large and the Senate owes it to Canadians to take the time to get it right.
"I will be suggesting to my colleagues that the Senate conducts national hearings. By carefully listening to the issues surrounding this Bill, Senators will have full knowledge of what changes would be appropriate. Having the Energy Committee travel to the regions would allow every day Canadians to step up and express their views, especially those that have lost jobs or are feeling economic distress.
"To this end I have written the following letter to the Chair of the Energy Committee, where Bill C-69 has been referred to for study following 2nd Reading."
View a copy of the letter to the Chair of the Energy Committee urging National Consultations.
December 17, 2018
The Honourable Rosa Galvez
Standing Senate Committee on Energy,
the Environment and Natural Resources
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
Dear Senator Galvez;
As your committee prepares to undertake the crucial review of Bill C-69 An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, I am writing to urge you and your committee members to actively endorse traveling to meet with Canadians on all sides of this issue.
As I, and others, have indicated in the Senate, this may be the most important piece of legislation that the Senate considers during this Parliament. Accordingly, we need to ensure that we get it right.
A significant part of that is ensuring that Canadians feel that they have a voice in the deliberations of the important work your committee will do.
Living in a region which is substantially affected by Bill C-69, and located thousands of kilometers from Ottawa, it is unreasonable to expect interested parties to travel to the capital in order to meet with the committee. Just as the National Finance Committee did last year when studying the proposed changes to the taxation code affecting small business, my strong view is that it is the obligation of the committee to give concerned Canadians an opportunity to be heard, by travelling across the country. I would suggest, at a minimum, that the committee have hearings in St. John’s, Halifax, and Saint-John, Montreal, as well as Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.
Thank you for considering this matter.
The Honourable Doug Black, Q.C.
cc: Members of the Energy Committee