Archive | Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image

Metals mines association, accounting for most federal enviro assessments, OK with Bill C-69 (Canadian Press/CBC News – June 13, 2019)

New bill gives more clarity and flexibility in assessment process says mining association head

The head of the Mining Association of Canada says the hotly contested federal environmental assessment bill is welcome in the industry it will affect the most.

“This promises to be a better system than what we’ve had for the last seven years,” said Pierre Gratton, the president of the association.

Bill C-69 overhauls Canada’s environmental assessment regime for major national resource and transportation projects but the high-octane opposition from the oil and gas sector has drowned out much of the comment from other affected industries. Continue Reading →

OPINION: What national unity crisis? Even Quebec thinks C-69 is a bad bill – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – June 13, 2019)

If there is one principle on which Canadians agree it is that their province owns the natural resources within its borders. If there was ever any doubt, it was settled with the adoption of the 1982 Constitution Act, which explicitly recognizes provincial control over non-renewable resources, forestry and electrical energy. Ottawa oversees only inland and coastal fisheries.

Hence, there can be no national-unity crisis over a subject that unites Canadians. Whether they live in Newfoundland, Quebec, Northern Ontario, British Columbia or points in between, Canadians believe it’s up to their provincial government, not Ottawa, to oversee resource development – from B.C. natural-gas fields and Quebec hydropower to Ontario’s Ring of Fire.

So, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is wrong in insinuating that the six provincial and territorial premiers who this week wrote to him to express their opposition to Bill C-69 are “threatening our national unity if they don’t get their way.” Continue Reading →

OPINION: For some First Nations, pipelines can be a lifeline – by Tom Flanagan (Globe and Mail – June 13, 2019)

Tom Flanagan is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Calgary and a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute. He is the author of the newly released report, How First Nations Benefit from Pipeline Construction for the Fraser Institute.

On June 18, when the federal cabinet discusses whether to proceed with the Trans Mountain pipeline, they should bear in mind the real interests and opinions of many First Nations. The highly visible opposition of some British Columbia First Nations to pipeline construction has created the impression that all Indigenous people are opposed.

That impression, however, is false. Forty-three First Nations and other Indigenous groups support Trans Mountain, while only 12 signalled their opposition in the Tsleil-Waututh litigation on the project.

Apart from the clan leaders of the Wet’suwet’en, 20 First Nations along the route of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which has been planned to feed LNG exports from Kitimat, endorse that proposal. Continue Reading →

Alleged attack on two oil tankers in Persian Gulf stokes fears of rising U.S.-Iran tensions – by Verity Ratcliffe, Anthony DiPaola and Bruce Stanley(Bloomberg/National Post – June 13, 2019)

Two oil tankers were damaged on Thursday in a suspected attack near the entrance to the Persian Gulf, stoking fears that high-stakes diplomatic efforts won’t avert a military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran. Oil prices surged.

The incidents, including an attack on a Japanese-operated vessel, were the second in a month to hit ships near the Strait of Hormuz chokepoint, through which about 40 per cent of the world’s seaborne oil travels.

They come as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a rare ally of both Donald Trump and Iranian leaders, visits Tehran in an effort to ease tensions. Continue Reading →

Trudeau and the Gang of Six: A PM undone by his own handiwork – by Colby Cosh (National Post – June 13, 2019)

There’s almost no other way to put it: the prime minister seems to be losing his marbles

There’s almost no other way to put it: the prime minister seems to be losing his marbles. On Monday, the premiers of five provinces and the Northwest Territories sent him a polite, conventional open letter raising familiar concerns with the Liberal government’s resource bills C-69 (which creates a new regime for federal review of big infrastructure projects) and C-48 (the ban on oil tanker traffic along most of B.C.’s coast).

The premiers, who included the three Prairie conservatives, Ontario’s Doug Ford, and New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs, didn’t say anything you haven’t heard before.

They claimed that C-69 is a “reform” that makes things worse for megaproject investors, who are already shying away from Canada, and that as passed by the House of Commons it tramples provincial responsibility for resource development. The tanker ban, they added, is just the putrid icing on the toxic C-69 cake. Continue Reading →

Only one country is contemplating destroying its own resource sector: Canada – by Jack Mintz (Financial Post – June 13, 2019)

“It would make sense for Canada to have a carbon policy consistent with
its major trading partners, most obviously the United States. However,
it does not make sense for Canada to impose high-cost policies on our economy
that will drive resource businesses to other jurisdictions where development can
still take place.”

The long saga of the Liberal government’s Bill C-48, the West Coast oil tanker ban, and Bill C-69, the new project-approval regime, may be coming to an end this month. It will not go well.

The Senate will likely pass Bill C-48 against the recommendations of its own committee that studied the bill. And on Wednesday, the Trudeau government said it is only willing to accept a minority of the more than 180 amendments proposed by the Senate to C-69, euphemistically called the “No Pipelines” Bill by Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney.

That is, it will accept only those changes proposed by senators aligned with the Liberal party, while rejecting any suggested amendments backed by the industry and provinces who rely on oil and gas. Continue Reading →

‘It’s not Canadian to do this’: Thousands rally as federal resource bills, pipeline delays roil the West – by Tyler Dawson (National Post – June 12, 2019)

The rally, perhaps 4,000 people strong, was to show support for the Trans Mountain pipeline, and lay into the objects of their anger: bills C-69 and C-48

CALGARY — “We’re on the end of a friggin’ pendulum and we’re hanging on for dear life,” Lori Ackerman told the crowd gathered at Calgary’s Stampede Park Tuesday afternoon.

The mayor of Fort St. John, the town in B.C.’s northeastern interior that is the heart of that province’s oil and gas industry, had come to southern Alberta to deliver her message to what organizers hoped would be the largest event in support of the industry in Canadian history. “Resource communities are foundational to this nation,” she declared.

Kill Bill C-69 signs, replete with images of Uma Thurman, sword in hand, from Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill, dotted the crowd. As Ackerman left the stage, a man stopped her: “Good for you, ma’am,” he said. Continue Reading →

One united Indigenous pipeline ownership would be ‘game changer’: Jason Kenney – by James Keller (Globe and Mail – June 11, 2019)

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he hopes the growing number of First Nations-led proposals to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline come together under one banner, which he says would be a “game changer” for obstacles facing the expansion project.

Mr. Kenney met with First Nations leaders Monday to pitch his government’s proposal for a Crown corporation to facilitate Indigenous ownership of pipelines and other major energy projects, ahead of a coming deadline for the federal government to approve the Trans Mountain project.

The United Conservative government plans to set up the Indigenous Opportunities Corp. this fall with $1-billion in loan guarantees and other financing, as part of a plan to elevate the voices of First Nations communities that support the stalled Trans Mountain expansion. Continue Reading →

Indigenous bids for Trans Mountain offer ‘reconciliation through economic development’ – by John Ivison (National Post – June 6, 2019)

There is plenty of evidence to contradict the stereotype that all Indigenous Canadians are trapped in misery. Take the pipeline expansion, for one

In his book Enlightenment Now, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker argues that the prevailing culture of pessimism has made the very notion of progress unfashionable.

The release this week of the final report of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls lends to the impression that we have never had it so bleak when it comes to Canada’s relationship to its First Peoples.

Yet there is plenty of evidence to contradict the stereotype that all Indigenous Canadians are trapped in a cycle of misery. Take the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Continue Reading →

Indigenous supporters of Coastal GasLink say majority of Wet’suwet’en members back project – by Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – June 10, 2019)

Three prominent Indigenous women say a majority of Wet’suwet’en Nation members are in favour of reaping economic benefits from a $6.2-billion pipeline project in British Columbia.

The three women say they feel compelled to speak out after being ostracized by anti-pipeline protesters for supporting TC Energy Corp.’s Coastal GasLink.

Theresa Tait-Day, Darlene Glaim and Gloria George want to give voice to what they consider the silent majority, according to their affidavits, which were filed in B.C. Supreme Court as part of Coastal GasLink’s application to extend an injunction to ensure protesters don’t revive an anti-pipeline blockade. Continue Reading →

Not even a pipeline will soothe Western ire when this legislation sails through the House – by John Ivison (National Post – June 17, 2019)

The Trudeau government is planning an incendiary end to the parliamentary session by passing the environmental impact bill and the B.C. tanker ban

Former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall has compared the government’s environmental assessment bill to kindling, fuelling the flames of Western alienation, and its oil tanker ban to lighter fluid.

If he’s right, the Prairie sun is about to be obscured by more smoke — this time emanating from Parliament Hill.

The Trudeau government is planning an incendiary end to the parliamentary session by passing the environmental impact bill, C-69, and the tanker ban off the B.C. coast, C-48, — to the chagrin of the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan — before attempting to quell Western anger by announcing its support for the Trans-Mountain pipeline on June 18. Continue Reading →

Want a unity crisis? Pass C-69 and C-48 into law – by Brad Wall (National Post – May 31, 2019)

If C-69 is dry kindling to the flames of Western alienation, then C-48 is a carbon-taxed lighter fluid

Federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi has defended Bill C-69, the proposed replacement for Canada’s environmental impact assessment process, by hailing the greater degree of regulatory certainty it would bring.

His various approbations of the bill are directly contradicted by industry groups, regulatory lawyers and many Canadian First Nations. They have cogently argued that the bill does nothing to fix the current uncertainty, creates new uncertainty in how to fulfill the assessment requirements and invites new litigation without precedent.

And so Sohi’s words of reassurance and a toonie might get you a litre of regular unleaded gas in Vancouver, but no pipelines. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Canada’s energy policy, and its increasingly fact-free discourse, demands a rethink – by Mac Van Wielingen (Globe and Mail – May 20, 2019)

Mac Van Wielingen is the Calgary-based founding partner of ARC Financial, the largest energy-focused private-equity firm in Canada, and the founder and chair of Viewpoint Group.

I am a committed, first-generation Canadian. I care deeply for this country that gave my parents a new start after Canada liberated the Netherlands in the Second World War. And, I should say, I accept the science of climate change; I believe we need solution-focused change on both the production and consumption of fossil fuels.

But I am deeply concerned about the future of the country, amid the alarming polarization in the discourse on energy development.

This debate – more specifically, the one around recent legislative initiatives such as Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 – is clear evidence that we’ve moved away from certain basic facts and this country’s energy policy needs a rethink. Continue Reading →

Senators defeat Ottawa’s oil tanker ban bill in rare move, putting legislation on life support – by Jesse Snyder (National Post – May 16, 2019)

OTTAWA — In a rare legislative move on Wednesday, the Senate transport committee voted to defeat the Liberal government’s moratorium on oil tankers in northern B.C., putting the controversial bill on life support after years of political wrangling.

A vote against the bill by Independent Sen. Paula Simons, along with the five other Conservative senators on the committee, swayed a final decision in favour of recommending that the senate nix Bill C-48, which effectively bars any oil tankers from entering northern B.C. waters.

The move does not immediately kill the oil tanker moratorium, but a vote by the senate to adopt the committee recommendations would stop the legislation in its tracks. A vote on the report is expected in coming days. Continue Reading →

Liberal tanker ban looks to be foundering in the choppy waters of the Senate – by John Ivison (National Post – May 15, 2019)

Garneau slipped up by acknowledging the real reason the Liberals are driving the bill through parliament, in the teeth of fierce opposition

Marc Garneau probably wished he were back on the space shuttle. The transport minister — the government’s point person on C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act that is currently being dismembered by uncooperative senators — was called upon to defend the bill before the Senate transport and communications committee Tuesday.

The committee is made up of Conservatives and Liberal-appointed independent senators, who are proving more non-aligned than the government might wish.

Paula Simons, a former journalist who is now an independent senator representing Alberta, suggested to Garneau that Bill C-69 (the government’s environmental assessment reform that is also bogged down in the Senate) is a robust piece of legislation that would subject any plans for a new port on the west coast to the same rigorous scrutiny as any new pipeline. “Isn’t C-48 superfluous and redundant?” she asked. Continue Reading →