The CEO of Enbridge Inc. says it’s “critical” to Canada’s energy future that substantive changes are made to proposed federal legislation to revamp how big resource projects win federal approval.
Speaking after his company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Calgary, Al Monaco says there are three or four major problem areas in Bill C-69 that must be addressed.
His comments come as the Senate considers amendments to the bill that would repeal the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and retire the National Energy Board, leaving the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and the Canadian Energy Regulator as authorities responsible for assessments of the environmental, health, social and economic impacts of designated projects.
Earlier in the day, following a speech at a solar conference in Calgary, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said it’s vital that the bill be passed as soon as possible because it replaces a broken system that is preventing projects from being built.
But critics including the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers have demanded changes designed to prevent public policy debates from being part of project assessments, restrict application interveners to those directly affected by the project or with expertise, set firm timelines and limit government ministers’ discretionary powers.
Monaco says he applauds the aggressive stance of Alberta’s newly elected United Conservative Premier Jason Kenney in support of energy projects.
“I think it’s great news that people are going to take the extra effort to ensure that people really understand the role that energy plays and what it does for our quality of life,” he said.
Enbridge pipelines handle about 62 per cent of Canada’s exports of crude oil into the U.S. and move about 18 per cent of all natural gas consumed in the U.S.