The Calgary Chamber has joined business groups across the country calling on the federal government to amend Bill C-69, which they say will put a chill on investment for the natural resource economy.
“Our regulatory system must be based on science, not politics,” said Sandip Lalli, president and CEO of the Chamber, in a news release.
“Today we are joining chambers and boards of trade across Canada in a call for the federal government to amend Bill C-69. The economic future of this country hinges on our ability to attract investment and get Canadian products to new customers and international markets. Bill C-69 in its current form will do the opposite.”
She said the core of Canada’s economic engine is jeopardized by our devastating inability to get energy resources to global markets. This would be compounded by the passage of the flawed Bill C-69, which overhauls the regulatory review process for major infrastructure projects, she added.
“Delays in getting our responsibly-produced products to market have a direct impact on Canadian households, who rely on the jobs and tax revenue these projects generate to help build stronger communities,” she said.
“Together, on behalf of business communities across Canada, we are asking our federal leaders to put aside politics and commit to making the amendments required for Bill C-69 so we can get our products to global markets for the benefit of all Canadians.”
In a letter to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, the Chamber outlines a number of recommendations.
“The Chamber’s recommendations focus on ensuring the regulatory review of a project is science based and independent of political influence. The regulatory process is lengthy and costly for proponents. Projects that have received approval from an independent agency should not be subject to the risk of cancellation due to the politics of the day. Instead, the process should be governed by strong long-term policy that focuses on business competitiveness. The Chamber is also asking that the public voices of those most directly impacted are not drowned out by those less affected, some of whom may have interests in unnecessarily delaying projects,” it said.
“Finally, the Chamber is asking for more certainty and less risk around review timelines, with fewer opportunities for stops, starts and time extensions that could delay a decision inevitably under the current wording of the bill.”
– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business