As of today, April 29th, Arc Financial Founder and Partner and former Alberta Investment Management Corporation chair and director Mac Van Wielingen will be seated at the Senate Committee meetings for the controversial Bills C-48 and C-69. He will be testifying against these two examples of “made-in-Canada” damage in an effort to significantly halt or alter these pieces of reckless legislation. Mr. Van Wielingen has been kind enough to provide The Canadian Energy Network with a copy of his submission to the Senate committees. This is the most comprehensive overview of these bills and their issues with an extensive background on the oil and gas industry in Canada.
Bill C-69 essentially two parliamentary acts in one, is intended to revamp the dated National Energy Board Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Act by replacing it with the Canadian Energy Regulator and creating another entity called the Impact Assessment Agency. These changes are estimated to increase the regulatory burden and lead to a bottlenecking of proposed projects.
The proposed bill, C-48, would place a moratorium on tanker traffic from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Canada-U.S. border with Alaska. This moratorium includes any tanker that is transporting more than 12 500 metric tonnes of crude or persistent oils. Actions that are banned include; anchoring/mooring in port, unloading, loading, and transportation to and from the port. Legislation actively calls it the “Oil Tanker Moratorium Act
Here are some of the main points Van Wielingen Makes
These are some of the issues that encompass Bill-C69:
1. Bill C-69 shifts discretionary power to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada that allows them to prematurely kill a proposed project. This moves the power away from the Minister of Natural Resources. (Read More)
2. Unconstrained public participation and increased time Frames increases the risk of a more politically-related process where opponents have free reign to potentially overwhelm and drown out expertise-based deliberations. Their motivations may be to simply drag out timeframes and hearings to dissuade project proponents, even though they won’t be directly impacted by a project.
3. The increased politicization of decision making and the risk of bias leads to a reduced reliance on independent expertise and subject experts. This is a shift signifies a more political based decision making rather than from independent, non-political, and competency-based processes.
In regards to Bill C-48, here are some of the issues that this piece of legislation has:
1. It is inconsistent with other realities of shipping in Canada, compared to the West Coast, the East Coast receives 85% of Canada’s annual 20,000 tankers with no moratorium in the works.
2. Needed Bill C-48 is confirmatory of already negative financial and corporate investor sentiments of Canada and will only escalate political tensions (within Canada) while being unnecessary as our regulatory regime deal with these types of issues
3. Bill C-48 disrupts Canada’s strategic need to access multiple markets to reduce market risk, and for our energy sector to realize its vision to be a world-class supplier.
As Mr. Van Wielingen points out, there are numerous and drastic consequences that these pieces of legislation can have if they are enacted in the form that they are in now. Canada is a leader when it comes to the environment and hydrocarbon development, so why would we hinder one of the main economic drivers of this country?
You can read Mr. Van Wielingen’s submission to the Senate Committee here: https://canadianenergynetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Mac-Van-Wielingen-Bill-C-69-and-Bill-C-48-Written-Testimony-Submission-April-22-2019.pdf