ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE

For Immediate Release: June 20, 2018

Statement from Patrick DeRochie on the House of Commons passage of Bill C-69, legislation to restore credibility to the energy project review process

Ottawa, Ont. – Environmental Defence welcomes today’s House of Commons vote to pass Bill C-69 and advance the federal government’s mandate to reform Canada’s environmental laws and the energy project review process. While far from perfect, the legislation is a notable improvement over the changes made to environmental laws in 2012 that deeply undermined public trust in government decision-making.

Bill C-69 is the result of two years of significant government efforts and consultations with industry, environmental groups, Indigenous peoples and communities from coast to coast. The government has clearly tried to take into account both environmental protection and economic development. We look forward to working with the Senate to fine-tune and pass the legislation to better protect Canada’s air, water and climate.

In particular, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act portion of Bill C-69 makes welcome changes to restore credibility to the broken energy project review process. It ends the National Energy Board’s laissez-faire approach to pipeline project reviews, removes barriers to public participation, and requires consideration of a project’s contribution to Canada’s climate targets. It also recognizes the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and mandates Indigenous representation on the Canadian Energy Regulator.

Despite these improvements, Bill C-69 still potentially allows high-carbon projects, such as fracking, in situ tar sands and pipelines, to proceed. Environmental Defence will continue to work with the government and stakeholders to ensure energy and industrial projects are aligned with Canada’s climate targets as the government fine-tunes Bill C-69, undertakes a strategic assessment of climate change, and puts regulations in place under the Act that will protect the environment and contribute to a safe climate future.

The federal government has a clear mandate to reform Canada’s environmental laws and restore public confidence in the project review process. Senate consideration of the bill should leverage the expertise of Senators to refine the bill, not to delay or kill the legislation. Environmental Defence looks forward to working with the Senate to pass Bill C-69 expeditiously and help the government fulfill its mandate to restore public trust in Canada’s environmental laws.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

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For more information, or media requests, please contact:

Barbara Hayes, Environmental Defence: 613-255-5724; bhayes@environmentaldefence.ca