Considering the effects of Bill C-69 on Canada’s Competitiveness
Canadian’s long-term prosperity is contingent on a regulatory system for major projects that is science-based, transparent, dependable and competitive with other jurisdictions. Bill C-69 “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,” requires amendments to deliver those outcomes.
Competitiveness remains a significant issue for Canadian business. In the last two years, new policies have been introduced that negatively impact our ability to compete globally, undermine confidence in the rule of law in Canada, and are resulting in negative consequences for the national economy including; an Oil Tanker Moratorium (Bill C-48), federal regulations to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector, clean fuel standards, climate change policy, and a lack of clarity on implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Each of these on their own could hurt Canadian business. Together, they are creating a crisis resulting in growing uncertainty in the business environment and declining confidence in the rule of law and business investment move to other countries. Canadian oil producers are receiving a discounted price for products with restricted export capacity, yet operate with some of the world’s highest environmental standards.
There is a consensus view among investors, job creators and regulatory experts regarding the inadequacy of Bill C-69 to address the negative consequences affecting the national economy because of regulatory uncertainty and lack of competitiveness.
Redressing the inadequacy will require amendments to:
• ensuring regulators remain independent from political influence,
• expediting review timelines,
• minimizing regulatory duplication,
• limiting consultation to those directly impacted, and
• clarifying the process around Indigenous consultation.
Without making these changes it is highly probable that the current trends of declining foreign investment, declining royalty revenues, divestitures from Canada, and job losses will continue.
For information on what the Alberta Chambers of Commerce Recommends, please see their brief HERE.