Understanding Canada’s new regulatory framework.
Patrick O'Rourke, CFA 403-539-8615
On June 20, 2019 the House of Commons of Canada passed Bill C-69 which repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and replaces it with the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act. While the legislation has widely been viewed by industry as decidedly negative, we believe an examination of both the new and old regulatory systems is warranted in order to best understand what the regulatory framework now looks like, and how it compares to project development regulations in other jurisdictions.
What is Bill C-69?
The Bill names the "Impact Assessment Agency of Canada" as the authority responsible for 'impact assessments' and establishes a planning phase for impact assessments of designated projects, which includes requirements to cooperate with and consult certain persons and entities, and requirements with respect to public participation. It enacts the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, which establishes the "Canadian Energy Regulator" (and disbands the existing National Energy Board) and sets out its composition, mandate and powers. The role of the regulator will be to regulate the exploitation, development and transportation of energy within Parliament’s jurisdiction (generally inter-Provincially or internationally). Overall, 99 Amendments were made to the final bill.
What are the Key Issues?
The Federal Government has marketed the changes to industry, investors and voters as a way to streamline the process of approving large energy projects in Canada, but investors and industry have been skeptical of the potential impacts of the bill. Concerns around the bill include:
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