Ottawa, Ont. – By rejecting the worst of the Senate’s amendments to Bill C-69, the Federal Government has resisted lobbying from the oil and gas industry that would have gutted protections for our climate, the health of Canadians and our natural world. Canadians deserve a modern, democratic and thorough process to review the impacts of industrial projects, and rejecting these amendments restores key safeguards.
In particular, nearly all amendments that attempted to downplay or exclude consideration of climate change in the review of industrial projects were rejected – an important step towards ensuring that Canada’s future is a climate-safe future. Many of the amendments proposed in the Senate used language directly from the oil and gas industry. By rejecting industry’s last-ditch attempt to do an end-run around the best interests of the public, the government respects the thousands of Canadians who participated in the extensive public consultations over the last three years.
The government stayed strong in protecting public participation by rejecting amendments designed to restrict, including again removing the “standing test” which significantly constrained the ability of Canadians to give input on major industrial projects. However, we are concerned that the government has accepted an amendment that could leave a large amount of discretion in what is meant by “meaningful” participation.
We are also very discouraged that the government has chosen to accept an amendment that would allow energy lifecycle regulators to chair project review panels. This places too much power in the hands of industry-friendly institutions that have already lost the trust of the public. We urge the federal government to reconsider.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
For more information or to arrange an interview:
Barbara Hayes, Communications Manager, Environmental Defence, firstname.lastname@example.org