Saskatchewan

Premier Moe calls passage of Bills C-69 and C-48 a 'dark chapter' for energy and industrial sectors

The Senate passed a environmental assessment bill and a B.C. tanker bill on Thursday. Both have been opposed by the Saskatchewan government.

Both bills passed final hurdle on Thursday

Premier Scott Moe said the passage of Bill C-69 and C-48 are 'deeply concerning'. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

Two federal bills heavily criticized by Saskatchewan's premier have passed through the Senate, prompting a fresh attack from Scott Moe.

On Thursday, the Senate passed Bill C-69, which overhauls the federal environmental assessment process for major construction projects. Senators voted 57-37.

Bill C-48, which bans tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of oil from docking along B.C.'s north coast, an area that stretches from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border, passed narrowly on a vote of 49-46.

On Friday, Moe said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, "will answer to Canadians this October for why he does not support their jobs, and for why he disapproves of our sustainable energy and industrial sectors."

"The passage of Bills C-69 and C-48 marks a dark chapter for our energy and industrial sectors, and is deeply concerning for our government and all those that value the economic prosperity of our nation," Moe said in a statement Friday.

C-69 imposes more requirements for consulting affected Indigenous communities, widens public participation in the review process and requires climate change to be considered when major national resource-exploitation and transportation projects are being evaluated.

The Senate made more than 200 amendments to that bill earlier this month, but the government accepted only 99 of them, mostly to do with reducing ministerial discretion to intervene in the review process.

Both bills will now proceed to a formal Royal Assent ceremony — set to be held on Friday afternoon — to become law.

An oil tanker anchors at the terminus to the Trans Mountain pipeline in Burnaby, B.C. TMX's shallow port can’t accommodate modern supertankers. (Chris Corday/CBC)

For months Moe, workers in the oil and gas sector, and interest groups in Saskatchewan and Alberta have condemned the bills. Rallies opposing the bills and the carbon tax have been held in both provinces.

"Through this legislation, the federal government has sent a clear message to the Canadian and international investment community that they do not support the competitiveness of our wealth generating and job creating sectors," Moe said.

Pro-pipline supporters rally outside a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources regarding Bill C-69 in Calgary on April 9. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Moe called the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion earlier this week a "positive step," but said the passage of Bills C-69 and C-48 is a step back.

About the Author

Adam Hunter

Journalist

Adam Hunter is the provincial affairs reporter at CBC Saskatchewan, based in Regina. He has been with CBC for 13 years. He hosts the CBC podcast On the Ledge. Follow him on Twitter @AHiddyCBC. Contact him: adam.hunter@cbc.ca

with files from The Canadian Press

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