Bill C-69 improves the process for energy project reviews

Pembina Institute reacts to Canadian Energy Regulator Act (Part 2 of Bill C-69) passing third reading in House of Commons

Regulatory decisions about energy projects must be made with the end goal of decarbonization by mid-century. Photo: Province of B.C.

OTTAWA — Nichole Dusyk, postdoctoral fellow at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the House of Commons passing Bill C-69:

“The Canadian Energy Regulator Act demonstrates the government has worked to fulfill its mandate to modernize the National Energy Board and ensure robust and fair project reviews. The Act removes barriers to public participation, transfers authority for impact assessment to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, expands the list of factors that must be considered in project reviews, and changes the governance structure to reduce the potential for conflict of interest.

“We were pleased to see important additions made to the Canadian Energy Regulator Act at the committee stage including the requirement to consider climate obligations in the review of all energy projects. In the 21st century, energy policy is climate policy and every decision about energy infrastructure must be made with the end goal of achieving Canada’s Paris Agreement commitments and decarbonization by mid-century. The government now needs to initiate a robust strategic impact assessment of climate change to provide specific emissions thresholds and clear pathways to reach these goals.

“As tabled, Bill C-69 introduced a number of provisions to enhance the role of Indigenous rights-holders in project assessments. The committee rightly thought it necessary to take this a step further and reference the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in all three parts of the bill. Going forward, it is critical that the Government of Canada works with Indigenous Peoples to ensure the UNDRIP principles are fully operationalized from the earliest stages of project design through to decommissioning.

“Bill C-69 is an important piece of legislation and the work is far from over. Key pieces of regulation that are still to be established will determine how effective the reforms ultimately are. We look forward to working with the government to ensure implementation measures are created to require an impact assessment for all major projects, enhance opportunities for public participation throughout project lifecycles, and ensure the economic viability of energy infrastructure is evaluated against the realities of a decarbonizing world.”



Kelly O’Connor
Interim director, communications and stakeholder relations


Reacts: New federal laws will strengthen Canada’s environmental assessment regime (February 2018)

Op-ed: Time to make the NEB a trusted energy regulator in a decarbonizing world (November 2017)

Report: Good governance in the era of low carbon (March 2017)

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