March 2, 2019 9:24 am
Updated: March 2, 2019 12:27 pm

Energy reform bill will fail if not accepted by Senate, granted royal assent by spring

WATCH: Premier Rachel Notley was on Parliament Hill to push for changes to Bill C-69. She's asking the Senate to put a hard time limit on project assessments, ensuring the number of jobs a project will create is taken into consideration and to exempt the majority of projects in Alberta due to the climate change plan here. Tom Vernon speaks to the premier from Ottawa.

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The federal government’s promised overhaul of environmental evaluations for energy projects is poised for major Senate surgery.

But the upper chamber must race to pass the bill before an election deadline sends it to the shredder.

Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act, fulfills a Liberal campaign promise to change how major energy projects get reviewed for their environmental, social and economic effects.

The aim is to speed up reviews and make their criteria clearer.

Introduced in February 2018, the House of Commons already made 136 amendments before sending it to the Senate.

Now it’s before the Senate energy committee — many of whose members are vowing further changes.

Those amendments won’t be proposed for several more weeks after the committee agreed to take its study on a nine-city tour.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan states its case against federally-proposed Bill C-69 to Ottawa

That leaves less than two months for the Senate to finish third reading and for the government to determine how many of the expected amendments it will accept.

If the bill doesn’t get royal assent this spring, it will fail because any bills on the order paper go back to square one after the election.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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