Senate committee to hold public hearing in Edmonton on oil tanker ban Bill C-48

Click to play video 'Rachel Notley testifies before Senate committee on oil tanker Bill C-48' Rachel Notley testifies before Senate committee on oil tanker Bill C-48
April 9: Then-Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told senators to throw Bill C-48, a bill that would ban oil tanker traffic off the northern coast of B.C., in the garbage. Sarah Kraus reports.

The Senate committee on transport and communications will conduct public hearings Tuesday in Edmonton on Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act.

The hearing will take place on April 30 at 9 a.m. at Delta Hotels Edmonton Centre Suites (10222 102 Street) in the Champlain Room.

Bill C-48 aims to make law an existing moratorium on tankers that carry more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil in the waters between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaska border. The act would enforce penalties of up to $5 million.

It passed in the House of Commons last spring and is being debated in the Senate.

READ MORE: Catherine McKenna tried to plant questions in Senate’s environment committee: Tory senator

Premier-designate Jason Kenney, a former Conservative cabinet minister, promised to hit Ottawa repeatedly with a legal stick on oil issues if he won the election.

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On April 9, he spoke at a pro-oil rally in Calgary outside a hotel where senators were holding hearings on another piece of critical energy legislation.

READ MORE: Federal finance minister visits Calgary as protesters rally for pipelines

That day, then-premier Rachel Notley urged senators meeting in Ottawa — via video link from Calgary — to throw Bill C-48 in the garbage, “where it belongs.”

Notley said the proposed law is discriminatory because it wouldn’t be able to stop international tanker traffic, but would impede Alberta’s efforts to get oil to new markets.

READ MORE: Notley urges senators to toss Bill C-48 ‘in the garbage’

She said it’s a double standard given that Ottawa supports the liquefied natural gas industry, tankers on the St. Lawrence Seaway and Newfoundland’s Hibernia oil project.

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“Let’s show Canadians that 90,000 jobs in downtown Calgary are just as important as 90,000 jobs in downtown Montreal,” said Notley. “Don’t block us. Back us.”

WATCH BELOW (Feb. 14): Pro-pipeline truck convoy preparing to leave Alberta for Ottawa.

Click to play video 'Pro-pipeline truck convoy preparing leaving Alberta for Ottawa' Pro-pipeline truck convoy preparing leaving Alberta for Ottawa
Pro-pipeline truck convoy preparing leaving Alberta for Ottawa

Two federal bills have been particularly divisive in Alberta and spurred protests across the country.

A truck convoy left Red Deer in February for Ottawa, with drivers bringing awareness to several issues impacting Alberta while demanding bills C-69 and C-48 be scrapped.

READ MORE: Alberta environment minister says federal energy bill C-69 inadequate in current form

Introduced to the House of Commons in February 2018, the federal Liberals’ Bill C-69 would change how natural resource projects are assessed. The legislation would get rid of the National Energy Board, replace it with a Canadian Energy Regulator, and also create an Impact Assessment Agency to measure how best to mitigate environmental impacts from proposed developments. Some say it could also lead to confusion and delays over project timelines.

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— With files from The Canadian Press