Sask. and Ont. rail against Bill C-69 after energy and mines ministers conference

The Saskatchewan and Ontario governments were the only two not to sign a statement released earlier this week after a conference of energy and mines ministers in Nunavut earlier this week.

The two provinces say the bill would 'erode Canada's economic competitiveness'

Minister for Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi, closes the Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference at the Frobisher Inn in Iqaluit. (Travis Burke/CBC)

The Saskatchewan and Ontario governments were the only two not to sign a statement released earlier this week after a conference of energy and mines ministers in Nunavut earlier this week.

On Tuesday, delegates at the annual Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference (EMMC) in Iqaluit released a communique that said, among other things, that the federal and provincial governments will work to, "ensure an effective regulatory review process that enhances economic competitiveness and maintains a sustainable environment."

Greg Rickford, Ontario's Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Bronwyn Eyre, Saskatchewan's Minister of Energy and Resources, released a joint statement Wednesday explaining their refusal to sign the communique.

Wednesday's statement focused on Bill C-69, which is currently being reviewed by the Senate. Rickford and Eyre's statement says the bill would hinder natural resource economic development for the country.

The bill involves three separate acts: the Impact Assessment Act, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act and the Navigation Protection Act.

It proposes creating an Impact Assessment Agency and replacing the National Energy Board with the Canadian Energy Regulator.

"The changes in the new Impact Assessment Act would result in a more complex, costly and time-consuming process, while creating uncertainty that could ultimately erode Canada's economic competitiveness," Wednesday's statement said.

The ministers said the bill contradicts several of Canada's long-term strategic goals.

Their statement also said that the provincial ministers are completely against a "job-killing carbon tax."