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The federal government is damaging Canada's economic future with Bill C-69: CAPP

CALGARY, Jun 12, 2019 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) --

It is now clear the federal government is ignoring the Senate and the will of Canadians, damaging the country's economic future by not accepting the package of amendments the Senate proposed to Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

The amendments to Bill C-69 were developed after the biggest cross-country legislative consultation process ever held. The Government of Canada has rejected amendments that would have made this bill workable.

Energy produced the Canadian way is world class. We expect rigorous regulation and oversight. But when projects meet all reasonable regulatory requirements, proponents, and their investors need a level of certainty that those projects can be built.

In order to attract investment into Canada's economy and create jobs, CAPP has asked for a regulatory system that provides clarity and transparency through the decision-making process. Simply put, the industry asked that the rules be determined before project proponents start the process. Instead, Bill C-69 creates a system that allows for indefinite project delays and the continued stagnation of major projects which will drive even more investment out of Canada.

Some of the critical issues with Bill C-69 as currently proposed by the federal government are:

    --  Loss of local voices - Stakeholders and local communities
        directly impacted by a project will not be given greater
        consideration in the project review process. This means funded
        activists living in New York City will have the ability to
        drown out the voices of Canadians living next door to
    --  Jobs are not important - Economic benefits for Canadians, such
        as job creation and increased investment in our nation, are not
        considered an important factor in project reviews. The
        government does not want to consider potential economic and
        social effects to determine if a project is in the public
    --  Project reviews are not the right forum for policy debates -
        Bill C-69 allows for debates on public policy which should be
        determined in other forums. The oil and natural gas industry
        fully accepts following established policies around climate
        change and the intersection of sex and gender, but ask they be
        developed outside of the project review process. In addition,
        it's a waste of stakeholders' time and proponent resources to
        be required to consider alternatives to a project, even when
        those alternatives are outside of their own industry. For
        example, a pipeline project group should not have to debate the
        merits of a wind farm or mine in their proposal.
    --  No hard cap on timelines - Industry asked for a limit on
        project review timelines so companies can gain clarity on when
        they will proceed to approval or rejection. When proponents
        consider investing billions of dollars in a country on a
        project that will operate for decades, it's reasonable to ask
        for the government to commit to a timeline - yet they rejected
        the requirement to put a hard cap on the length of the review
    --  Refusal to respect the expertise of regional regulators: The
        government's Bill C-69 does not sufficiently respect the
        expertise of provincial and life-cycle regulators in project
        assessments. The Bill significantly reduces their role by not
        allowing the regulatory bodies with the most knowledge of the
        industry and region to make up a majority on review panels.

Global investors have told Canada's business community, including the oil and natural gas industry, that Bill C-69 is uncompetitive, and that they have lost confidence in Canada's ability to build anything. Major projects are being cancelled, companies are selling Canadian assets, and investing billions in other countries. Bill C-69 is a massive fail for Canadians and cannot pass.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers quotes: Tim McMillan, president and CEO

    --  "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."
    --  "The federal government has offered Canadians a false choice
        between growing the economy and protecting the environment. We
        can do both. The Senate amended Bill C-69 is a workable
        solution that provides the clarity industry needs to start
        investing in Canada again."
    --  "Adopting Bill C-69 without the Senate's proposed amendments is
        putting Canada's economic future in jeopardy, and sacrificing
        the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Canadians by
        introducing an unworkable Bill that increases uncertainty for
        investors and makes it harder for those directly impacted by
        projects to participate."
    --  "By refusing to accept the amendments proposed by the Senate,
        the Government of Canada is choosing to ignore the thousands of
        Canadians across the country that lent their voice to the
        review process."

Supporting information

    --  Total capital investment in Canada's oil and natural gas sector
        is forecasted to fall to $37 billion in 2019 compared to $81
        billion in 2014.
    --  Between 2014 and 2017 about 60,000 fewer people were employed
        in exploration and production, oil and natural gas, and oil
        sands construction across the country. Bill C-69 will put the
        future of major projects and employment throughout Canada at
    --  The International Energy Agency's, World Energy Outlook 2018,
        projects total global energy demand will rise 27 per cent over
        2017 levels by 2040.
  o Combined, oil and natural gas will account for 53 per cent of the
    worlds' total energy demand by 2040.

Media Advisory: CAPP's board of directors will be available for media comment immediately thereafter.

     Date:                  Thursday, June 13, 2019

     8:00 a.m.

        Location:   The Metropolitan Centre

     333-4 Avenue SW

     Calgary, Alta.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and oil throughout Canada. CAPP's member companies produce about 80 per cent of Canada's natural gas and oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues from oil and natural gas production of about $101 billion a year. CAPP's mission, on behalf of the Canadian upstream oil and natural gas industry, is to advocate for and enable economic competitiveness and safe, environmentally and socially responsible performance.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

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SOURCE: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Jay Averill, Manager, media relations, (P) 403-267-1151, (E)

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