Senators call on Suits and Boots for Bill C-69 input

March 28, 2019

Suits and Boots has been invited to appear before the Senate committee examining Bill C-69.

The organization’s founder, Rick Peterson, and Honorary Chair Brad Schell, a retired oil patch hauler from High River, AB will appear at the hearings being held by the Standing Senate committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in Calgary on Tuesday, April 9.

“This is an amazing honour,” said Peterson, an Edmonton businessman who launched the not-for-profit with six investment industry colleagues last April, “and we’re humbled that the Senators would like to hear the voices of our 3,700 members from coast to coast.”

“This invitation is testimony to the hard work and persuasive abilities of every one of our supporters who phoned, emailed and wrote the Senate about this campaign since we launched it last September. And the fact that our lobbying on behalf of Andrew Roman to appear before the committee also paid off as well is doubly gratifying.”

Mr. Roman is a retired Toronto litigator whose views on the Bill C-69 legislation, formally known as the Impact Assessment act, align with and provide additional legal grounding for those same views shared by Suits and Boots members. The group started this campaign on January 17 to have him appear before the Senate committee. Earlier this week Mr. Roman received an invitation to testify on Tuesday, April 2 in Ottawa.

Peterson said that his group will be asking its members for personal anecdotes and perspectives about the importance of resource projects in their lives and how the delays and uncertainty caused by the current approvals process impacts them. This input will be collected, translated into both official languages, and presented to the Committee on April 9.

“If it’s difficult now to get projects approved, as drafted Bill C-69 will make it effectively impossible,” Peterson said. “That will drive investment dollars out of Canada, stalling our economy and costing real Canadian jobs. On April 9, we will tell the personal stories of what that will mean for working Canadians.”

As drafted, Bill C-69 introduced numerous new requirements proposed projects would have to meet during their review, many of them unrelated to the project itself, and allows a Cabinet Minister to unilaterally cancel a project for political reasons even after years of expensive and time-consuming review. It is also poorly worded, opening up broad avenues for activists to launch delaying lawsuits opposing even the most responsible projects.

The Liberal government used it majority to quickly pass the bill through the House of Commons before last year’s summer break, sending it to the Senate for review before its implications could be understood.

“The Senate indeed has the power to kill C-69,” said Peterson. “It’s used this power to kill or turn back more than 200 bills since Confederation, including bills the House sent to it in the past few decades on major issues like abortion, free trade, GST and greenhouse gas regulation. We are calling on them to again exercise their power of sober second thought.”

Suits and Boots was launched by six investment industry colleagues in April of 2018 with the mission of giving Canada’s resource sector workers a constructive voice in the decisions impacting their lives and livelihoods. The organization has since grown to almost 3,700 members in more than 330 communities in every province and territory in Canada. Suits and Boots has held rallies, confronted anti-Kinder Morgan protestors at Camp Cloud in Burnaby, launched its #KillBIllC69 campaign, flown banners over Parliament, produced a Kill the Bill C-69 song and will be testifying before the Senate Bill C69 Committee on April 9th in Calgary.

Rick Peterson
Founder, Suits and Boots

Shawn Hall
Apogee Public Relations