Bill C-69 vote is a step forward in protecting Canadians and climate

Pembina Institute reacts to the House of Commons C-69 vote

OTTAWA — Nichole Dusyk, senior analyst at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the House of Commons vote to amend Bill C-69:

“Last night the House of Commons voted to preserve the integrity of a foundational piece of environmental legislation. In doing so, the government is one step closer to fulfilling an election mandate to restore public trust in major project assessments. Canada’s current system for reviewing new industrial projects is not working for anyone. We know that getting projects built requires thorough and credible review processes. While Bill C-69 could be stronger, it will nevertheless benefit all Canadians, including industry, by making project reviews more robust, transparent, and fair.

“We applaud the House of Commons for refusing to accept Senate amendments that would have gutted the requirement to consider climate change when reviewing major projects. It is no longer acceptable to punt climate action to another policy or jurisdiction. Protecting Canadians requires fully integrating climate considerations in all planning and decision-making. Going forward, the federal government needs to ensure that the implementation of Bill C-69 is fully consistent with the seriousness of the climate crisis.

“This bill was never about individual projects, but rather a reform of the entire decision-making and assessment process. It is about creating tools and processes to ensure natural resource development decisions, whether about a mine or a dam or a pipeline, are made in a fair way.

"Public mistrust of the National Energy Board has repeatedly led to decisions that are not viewed as credible — the public no longer believes the NEB is going to protect the public interest. The legislation contains a number of significant reforms to increase the independence of the new Canadian Energy Regulator and ensure robust reviews of major energy infrastructure. It is disappointing however that the House has voted to reverse one of its own amendments, prohibiting lifecycle regulators — including the Canadian Energy Regulator — from chairing project review panels. While the legislation as a whole takes strides toward more credible project reviews, this amendment means that the legislation is not as effective as it could have been.”



Kelly O'Connor
Associate communications director