In Canada, major infrastructure projects, such as the building of an interprovincial pipeline, a nuclear energy facility or large-scale mine are subject to federal review. For energy projects, that review is governed by two pieces of legislation: the National Energy Board Act (NEBA) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Act (CEAA).
Bill C-69 is a piece of government legislation
Bill C-69 is a piece of government legislation titled “The modernization of the National Energy Board and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.” The bill will overhaul both the NEBA and CEAA, changing how major infrastructure projects are reviewed and approved in Canada. Changes would include replacing the National Energy Board with a new “Canadian Energy Regulator” and an altered federal environmental assessments process to include a broad range of impacts to be reviewed by a new “Impact Assessment Agency.”
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) have expressed concern over the legislation. The Canadian government introduced Bill C-69 with the expressed aim to increase trust and certainty in Canada’s review process. However CAPP, its oil and natural gas members and numerous other industry and business groups across the country say that the Bill will have the opposite effect, driving away investment into Canada by making it extremely difficult to approve major projects like pipelines in the future.
The impacts of a flawed Bill C-69
“The impacts of a flawed Bill C-69 go well beyond hurting Canada’s oil and natural gas industry. Every Canadian will be hurt by driving investment out of the country and preventing important nation-building projects from being developed,” said CAPP president and CEO Tim McMillan.
Bill C-69 was given royal assent in June 2019. It is now law in Canada.
The law consists of two major components:
- The Impact Assessment Act
- The Canadian Energy Regulator Act
It also amends portions of the navigation protection act.
The Impact Assessment Act sets out rules and guidelines for conducting a federal assessment of environment, health, social and economic impacts of major infrastructure projects related to:
- Renewable energy
- Oil and gas
- Linear and transportation-related
- Marine and freshwater
- Hazardous waste
- Federal lands and protected areas.
Some key resources:
- The legislation.
- An overview.
- Practitioners Guide to Federal Impact Assessments.
- Impact Assessment Agency of Canada website.
The Canadian Energy Regulator Act creates a new Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) with the mandate as an independent energy regulatory body that is responsible for ensuring that pipeline, power line and offshore renewable energy projects within the federal government’s jurisdiction are constructed, operated and abandoned in a safe and secure manner that protects people, property and the environment. The CER replaces the National Energy Board.
Some key resources: