Skip to main content

Report on Business Senate committee will hold hearings in Canadian communities impacted by major development

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna has indicated the government is open to accepting some amendments to Bill C-69 from the Senate.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The Senate committee studying the Liberal government’s impact-assessment legislation will hold hearings in communities around the country that would be impacted – either positively or negatively – by major project development.

In a closed-door hearing Tuesday, the Senate’s Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources adopted a motion to schedule hearings outside Ottawa, while noting it has tight deadlines to deliver a report.

“The goal is to get to resources communities or Indigenous communities where people haven’t felt heard in the past," said Alberta’s Paula Simons, a member of the Independent Senators Group who tabled the motion.

Story continues below advertisement

Senator Simons said the committee needs to avoid unduly extending its deliberations with the road show but instead must wrap its work to get an amended version back to the full Senate, and then back to the House of Commons so that it can be dealt with before Parliament rises in June ahead of a federal election in the fall. The committee must also get a travel budget approved by the Red Chamber’s internal economy committee.

Industry supporters and conservative politicians – who argue the legislation would kill future pipeline and other major projects – have urged the committee to visit resource communities to hear about the economic impacts and jobs that development projects bring to their towns.

While the legislation has created a storm of opposition in Alberta, the committee also intends to visit Indigenous communities as well as towns in eastern Canada and Quebec to examine the wide-ranging impacts of the Liberal government’s Bill C-69, which overhauls how Ottawa reviews major resource developments and other big infrastructure projects.

Many Albertans and oil industry executives are particularly critical of the Liberal bill, arguing new complexities and vague language will result in an interminable process that will dissuade companies from proposing oil and gas pipelines or other major developments. The legislation would create an Impact Assessment Agency that would review major projects to determine whether they are in the public interest, taking into consideration economic factors as well as environmental and social impacts and Indigenous rights. It would establish new tighter timelines, but critics say there are too many loopholes that allow delays.

The Liberal government insists the bill will restore public trust in a review process that has become mired in polarized politics and legal battles, but Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna has indicated the government is open to accepting some amendments from the Senate.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter