According to an article by Brian Liley, “The federal government’s plan to revamp how pipelines and other major projects are approved will lead to no new pipelines in the future according to one industry association.”
The report breaks down a video in which leaders from across the natural resource sector testify before the House of Commons Environment Committee on the impact of Bill C-69.
Interestingly, the president of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association said C-69 would bring new projects to a standstill.
“In fact, it is difficult to imagine that a new major pipeline could be built in Canada under the Impact Assessment Act, much less attract energy investment to Canada,” said CEPA President Chris Bloomer.
Bloomer also took issue with the government’s claim that the revised process will bring greater clarity.
“Instead, it introduces a new regulatory agency and unique new processes and information requirements that have never been tested. The public participation standing test has been removed,” Bloomer said. “Science and fact-based assessments can now be obscured by the layering of other policy-based assessments that are ill-defined, fluid and open to potential strategies of delay and obfuscation of the processes by groups opposed to any project.”
Why are these comments important?
The Trudeau government has, for years now, put forward their program of “social license”, a paradigm where extremely expensive and potentially unneeded regulations would be used to acquire support from Canadians who simply could not support pipeline development.
Comments like Bloomer’s, alongside those of BC NDP leader John Horgan, who continues to empathetically state that he will fight pipeline development regardless of benefit to the nation, create an awkward dissonance in which what the Liberals preach is simply not true.
Even after cancelling the Northern Gateway project and putting in many vast new regulations, the federal government still can’t convince BC that a project that will inject $7 billion dollars of new wealth without producing a drop of new oil is to the benefit of Canada’s economy and people.
If after all this, progress is not made, can we put any weight behind the idea of a social license? Can we trust them to defend Canadian economic interests when their base demands otherwise?
Let us know by commenting below!