The C.D. Howe Institute says Bill C-69 – aimed at revamping the approval process for the natural resources sector – will further depress a sector that struggled for investment in 2018. Projects will be delayed and exposed needlessly to political risk.
Between 2017 and 2018, the planned investment value of major resource projects fell $100 billion, according to the Institute. The plunge is equivalent to 4.5% of Canada’s gross domestic product.
The new report has several recommendations for the federal government:
- Specify clear criteria for assessing projects that can be applied in a consistent and timely manner.
- Preserve the role of “lifecycle” regulators (i.e., the National Energy Board/Canadian Energy Regulator and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) in leading assessments.
- Require a project’s adverse effects be found “significant” before involving political decision makers.
- Ensure review panels can focus on relevant submissions by maintaining an appropriate standard for participation in hearings.
- Update guidance for federal officials to ensure consistent consultation of Indigenous peoples – that satisfies the past decade of case law on the duty to consult.
- Compile and annually report on timelines for federal environmental assessments across major projects in Canada compared to other countries.
Details are available in the 48-page report, “A Crisis of Our Own Making: Prospects for Major Natural Resource Projects in Canada,” co-authored by Grant Bishop and Grant Sprague and available to download by clicking here.
This story first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal.
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