February 28, 2019
Provincial Government Presents Submission on Bill C-69 to Senate
The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources, were in Ottawa today to present the Provincial Government’s submission on Bill C-69, which proposes to replace the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 with the Impact Assessment Act – setting a new federal process for impact assessments of major projects.
The intent of Bill C-69 is to provide a timelier and more certain regulatory process, which would facilitate development in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Provincial Government is concerned that the Bill, in its current form, will increase the regulatory burden, costs and timelines, without enhancing environmental outcomes.
Throughout the passage of this Bill, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has sought amendments to:
- Reflect the Federal Government’s commitment to decrease ambiguity on timelines;
- Clarify the role of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board in environmental assessment;
- Enshrine in legislation a regional environmental assessment process;
- Remove exploration wells and geophysical activities from the designated project list; and
- Respect the principles of the Atlantic Accord.
Legislative changes in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, removed the role of the C-NLOPB as the Responsible Authority for environmental assessment. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has been working to ensure clarity and certainty to facilitate competitive resource development that is done in an environmentally sustainable and transparent manner.
"Environmental assessment as it currently exists is not working and amendments must be made. Right now there is opportunity to make those amendments so we can advance a better approach – one that positions our province, and country, as an ideal place to invest and create jobs, while maintaining appropriate environmental oversight. Today, we advocate for a better process that supports economic development, ensures timely and effective assessment, respects the role of organizations like the C-NLOPB, and enhances our global competitiveness.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“Our plan is to make Newfoundland and Labrador a globally preferred location for investment, and attracting new investment has many benefits both provincially and nationally. In fact, over the last two years, $18 billion has been invested in our mining and oil and gas industry by the private sector. Continued growth in our offshore and in our mining industry requires an efficient, effective, transparent regulatory regime that is globally competitive. Bill C-69 must balance economic opportunities with clear, prudent and time sensitive environmental assessments to ensure effective government oversight and regulation.”
Honourable Siobhan Coady
Minister of Natural Resources
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2019 02 28 12:30 p.m.