Premier Rachel Notley addressing Senate committee Thursday on Bill C-69
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is making her case in person to a Senate committee studying proposed legislation that would change how major energy projects are approved.
Notley appeared before the energy, environment and natural resources committee on Thursday on Ottawa.
She and her government have already spoken out against Bill C-69, which has passed in the House of Commons and is now before the Senate.
The bill proposes a new way of handling environmental assessments on large natural resource projects, including oil pipelines and mining operations.
She said it makes no sense for the federal government to have bought the Trans Mountain pipeline while it is pushing legislation she says will prevent most future energy projects from being built.
“Senators, we have to get this right. We can’t swap one broken system for another. We can’t build trust with more investor uncertainty,” she said.
Before leaving Alberta, Notley released a statement saying, “Ottawa just doesn’t get it. They don’t understand Alberta — and what this province contributes to the national economy and the well-being of all Canadians.”
WATCH BELOW: Alberta minister in Ottawa opposing Bill C-69
Notley has said she is concerned the changes would impinge on a provincial right to manage resources.
“Bill C-69 must be fixed – for the sake of our economy and our country. In Alberta, we are nation-builders. We contribute much to this country and we punch above our weight. We have done our part and we have worked hard for the benefit of all Canadians,” she said.
She also has said the proposed rules and timelines could be so onerous they would discourage companies from pursuing mega-projects.
As well as speaking to the Senate committee, the province said Notley will make a formal submission outlining a number of proposed amendments to the current legislation, including those that seek to:
- Exclude certain project types so that we can be assured that existing projects, pipelines and in-situ facilities are not subject to additional oversight.
- Compel greater legislative certainty around the factors that must be considered in assessing a project.
- Formally recognize our Climate Leadership Plan so that projects approved under it could be exempt from further environmental assessment.
- Ensure the federal government is acting in the public interest as it evaluates potential projects, and that socio-economic benefits of a project are evaluated and considered.
- Limit the federal minister’s discretion to add projects to the existing projects list. This would maintain clear lines between federal and provincial jurisdictions, and would ensure there isn’t duplication of the efforts or a serious stall in project approvals.
WATCH BELOW: Government should trash Bill C-69 and start again
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