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Bill C-69 moves toward a Third Reading vote in the House of Commons

While a date has not yet been posted on the House of Commons website, it appears that Bill C-69 is headed for a Third Reading vote this fall.

CBC reports, “Far from the din of protest over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, legislation that could fundamentally change the future of Canadian energy development is taking shape in Ottawa. Bill C-69, unveiled in February, is headed back to the House of Commons after passing through the committee process, where debate heated up this week as opposition MPs argued the legislation was being rushed.”

The article quotes Green Party leader Elizabeth May who says, “We’re working through this bill and we know that, despite best efforts by everyone around this table, we’re not going to get through a proper review.”

The Council of Canadians mobilized almost 7,000 people to call on the committee to extend debate on the controversial bill.

Council of Canadians campaigner Emma Lui also recently highlighted in this blog her concerns about Bill C-69:

1. Waterways are still unprotected from pipelines and powerlines

The new Canadian Navigable Waters Act still exempts pipelines and powerlines leaving lakes and rivers unprotected. Pipelines like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, which crosses 1,355 waterways, would not be regulated by this act. Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna has stated the Kinder Morgan pipeline would have been approved under the new act.

2. UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Bill C-69 includes sections on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and points about Indigenous traditional knowledge. However, the amendments fall short of requiring free, prior and informed consent as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

(The CBC article today notes that Kluane Adamek, interim Yukon regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, “stresses the importance of including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the legislation – something the environment committee elected to add to the bill’s preamble.”)

3. Corporate capture of Canada’s offshore oil boards

Atlantic organizer Robin Tress writes that Bill C-69 “proposes handing some environmental assessment powers to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOP) and its Newfoundland and Labrador counterpart, CNLOPB, even though this adds to the already blatant conflict between the boards’ promotional and regulatory functions…In essence, Bill C-69 will only make it easier for corporations to blow through regulatory processes, and make it harder for grassroots and Indigenous people to be part of important decisions about our energy future.”

To read Lui’s blog in full, please click here.

For additional analysis on C-69, you can click here.