A big promise of the Trudeau Liberal campaign in 2015 was a complete rewriting of the Federal Environmental Review process. There was no question the 2012 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act was a failure. When you have panels of review agencies resigning over conflicts of interest, it's time to start over. The courts cancelled Northern Gateway, with just cause due to the flawed review process. As citizens began to impede the road for Energy East, the re-opening possibility of Keystone XL south of the border let TCPL return to their preferred plan while Big Oil sycophants claimed "Trudeau did it". Then Kinder Morgan, the Bricklin of the oilpatch. Nothing says the existing system is broken better than the full stop put on TMX for the same issues that killed NGP.
The badly needed replacement legislation, Bill C-69, has 412 pages, removes 2 Acts from the books, establishes 2 new Acts and amends many more. The bill has been advanced with Time Allocation twice, has adopted approximately 130 amendments of 320 proposed, defeated six further amendment votes and gone on to the Senate where things are not as comfy for the Liberals.
What guaranteed failure of the old environmental regime was the regulations written to enable it. They delivered flawed processes with an unacceptable level of science, consultation, scrutiny or diligence. It was written for applicants, not Canadians. And what progress has the government made on new regulations? Anyone? Bueller?
This Prime Minister said no omnibus legislation on his watch. Bill C-69 is omnibus legislation. He and his Ministry said environmental regulations would be developed in parallel with this bill moving forward. There is zero evidence available to confirm this, yet the bill is now 2/3 the way to becoming law. A shiny sales pitch is not proof of a good product. Many opponents from all parties remain against it. The View Up Here looks at where C-69 is and needs to get to.