The-Most-Crucial-90-days of 2019

“No one should see how laws or sausages are made.”

Otto von Bismarck

A few weeks ago, David Staples of the Edmonton Journal kindly introduced us to Andrew Roman, a retired, Toronto-based litigation lawyer who has been writing extensively about Bill C-69.

Mr. Roman has more than 45 years of experience in environmental, electricity, constitutional and competition issues. He has appeared before all levels of court in Canada, including the Supreme Court. He has represented and advised federal, provincial and municipal governments, large and small corporations, environmental groups, First Nations and individuals.

In these past few weeks, it’s become clear to us at Suits and Boots, as well as to many serious policy analysts across Canada, that Mr. Roman’s views and opinions on Bill C-69 are thoughtful, considerate and right-on-the-money. They need to be heard everywhere, and especially in the Senate. That’s why we’ve lobbied the Senate to have him appear before the C-69 Committee hearings.

Over this past weekend, Mr. Roman has posted on his blog what we believe is the definitive response on “How to Amend C-69”. Here it is for your reading: https://andrewromanviews.blog/2019/02/08/how-to-amend-c-69/.

In this very easy-to-read, 21-page document, he has outlined how C-69 came about and why it cannot be allowed to pass as is. He offers 18 recommended changes, complete with proposed wording and the rationale for the amendment. If C-69 is to be amended, Mr. Roman has shown how it should be done. His work is clear, concise, and easy to follow.

This is the equivalent of an IKEA policy assembly diagram for Senators.

Let’s be clear on one thing: it is still our strong position at Suits and Boots that Bill C-69 should be Killed. Even more so after reading Mr. Roman’s recent blog post.

Our #KillBillC69 campaign launched last September 10th has been clear on that. This proposed law, and its predecessor, the 2012 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, are flawed and hurtful for Canada’s resource sector. You’ll see why below. We need a major reset, a full and independent discussion about resource development across Canada conducted by an impartial Royal Commission, and recommendations that any government cannot ignore. That’s why we called for exactly that to happen in a news release last week.

But, as you see in the Bismarck quote above that Mr. Roman used as an intro to his comments, the politics of policy are often ugly. And what we have now in Ottawa is “sausage-making” at its best –  a majority government that is determined to see this bill pushed through the meat grinder of Parliament as a signature piece of legislation before our lawmakers break in June and we head into a federal election campaign over the summer.

We will continue to push to see Bill C-69 killed. This whole issue of resource assessment policy development reeks worse than a sausage factory. Mr. Roman as well calls for measures that would take a major re-write of legislation – but he doesn’t believe that will be done at this time. He’s a lawyer, a realist, and believes in doing what he thinks is possible to achieve. Thus, his proposed amendments.

So, if a sausage is indeed going to be made, if this Bill will not be killed, it has to be amended in the best way possible way. And it is absolutely crystal clear to us at Suits and Boots that Mr. Roman’s proposed solutions should carry the day in the Senate. We could hold our noses and live with an amended C-69 sausage if his recommendations are taken in their entirety. We place more faith in his work than in any lobbying efforts done by industry groups, environmentalists or any other special interest group. You’ll see why when you read his work.

So here’s what we’d like you to do:

1. Click on this link to view the 14 Members of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. These are the people who will hear from experts on Bill C-69 – their feedback and recommendations will go a long way to determining C-69’s fate in the Senate.

2. Please place a phone call AND an email to each one of this Committee Members, and ask them to have Andrew Roman appear before the Committee.

3. Also ask them to have your voice heard in the Committee hearings by inviting Suits and Boots to appear before the Committee as well.

You can see why Bill C-69 as it stands today would inflict more damage to the resource economy than the National Energy Program in 1980.This is an ugly bill. If it can’t be killed, it has to be made into something that we can digest.

With your help we can.

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