Up the creek without a paddle

June 13, 2019

On Wednesday, as you likely know, federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and the Liberal cabinet hacked and slashed the full package of Bill C-69 amendments that were sent to the government by the Senate.

Here’s the math – numbers always tell the story:

  • The full Senate, including Conservative, Liberal, Independent and formerly Liberal (Non-Aligned) Members, and after countless hearings and travel across Canada, voted to send 229 amendments to the House of Commons
  • Minister McKenna and the Liberal cabinet rejected 130 proposed changes – or 57%
  • They accepted only 62 amendments – 27%. Bottom line here is that the advice and recommendations of 3 out of 4 witnesses in the C-69 hearings across the country were ignored.
  • They wrote in changes on a further 37 amendments and added them to the 62 they accepted, saying that the 99 amendments in total they would consider marked the most on any piece of legislation since 1946.
Minister Catherine McKenna as seen by Ottawa portrait photographer Paul Couvrette

After reading the amendments, and carefully going through them, our bottom line view at Suits and Boots is that this is a body blow to Western Canada and pushes the litigation risk for major resource projects off the charts.

Here are our comments made to BNN’s Jon Erlichman yesterday morning: https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/without-amendments-bill-c-69-means-litigation-risk-factor-is-now-off-the-charts-suits-and-boots-founder~1705517.

We are not alone in our assessment. A wide range of industry and political leaders echoed our concerns. Here is an excellent commentary by the Canada West Foundation.

And here is a great op-ed piece by Jack Mintz : Only one country is contemplating destroying its own resource sector: Canada.

What’s next?

The full House of Commons will debate the Bill as amended by Minister McKenna and the Liberal government. The Liberal majority will rubber stamp this Bill, and send it back to the Senate, where it could – and should – still be killed as is. That will likely take place early next week – we’ll be back to you when that happens.

While the debate in the House on Bill C69 moves ahead, it would be worthwhile letting every single Liberal Member of Parliament know that Canada’s resource economy will be up the creek without a paddle if Bill C-69 passes as amended by their Minister of Environment and Climate change, who is pictured above.

Here is the link to the full list of Liberal Members of Parliament. You know what to do next. As we did with the 105 Senators who we successfully persuaded to adopt significant amendments, we need to send to these Liberal MPs your personal messages about what this legislation will do to your family, community, province and country. Your voice deserves to be heard. The Senate listened to you – Minister McKenna and the Liberal government clearly have not.

As always, please be polite and respectful in all your communications, especially with Minister McKenna’s office.  These MPs – all MPS of all parties – are duly elected by their constituents and deserve our respect. Many clearly have different views on this issue than us, and that is understandable. Our best chance of persuading them to move to our direction is to continue what we did with our messages to the Senate: being polite, firm and respectful, and highlighting in your own words what this means to you.

And, if you’d like us to keep standing up for Canada’s resource sector, keeping our families afloat and paddling in the right direction, thank-you in advance for your donation to our cause.

Thank you for your support.

Rick Peterson,
Founder, Suits and Boots