“Alberta is profoundly disappointed with final passage of bills C-48 and C-69.
Bill C-48 is a prejudicial attack on Alberta, banning from Canada’s northwest coast only one product – bitumen – produced in only one province, Alberta. After thousands of hours of study, the Senate transport committee determined that there was no defensible rationale for this bill. The passage of Bill C-48 is an unconstitutional violation of Canada’s economic union, and our government will challenge it in court.
“Bill C-69, the ‘No More Pipelines Law,’ has been adopted with virtually none of the amendments proposed by the Government of Alberta, or industry groups. The Senate had commendably made 188 constructive amendments to the bill, which were subsequently stripped out by the Trudeau government in the House of Commons. The bill, in its final form, is opposed by nine of 10 provinces, almost every major industry group in Canada, and dozens of First Nations.
“It inserts massive new uncertainty into the federal environmental approval process for major projects, leading energy industry groups to say that no future pipeline will ever be proposed under this regime. It is also a flagrant violation of the exclusive constitutional jurisdiction of provinces to control the development of their natural resources. Consequently, we will challenge it in court.
“I would like to thank the many senators who worked in good faith to correct the enormous flaws in these bills over the past year. In particular, we thank Alberta senators Black, Tannas and McCoy. We are, however, very disappointed that Alberta senators Mitchell, Laboucane-Benson and Simons voted for the final form of Bill C-69, a bill which undermines Alberta’s vital economic interests. In response, our government will accelerate the passage of the Alberta Senate Election Act, originally slated for introduction in the legislature next year. It is clear that senators who are directly accountable to Alberta voters are more likely to fight for our province’s interests.
“The passage of these two bills not only undermines Canada’s economy, but also the Canadian federation. Their passage brings us closer to moving forward with a referendum on a constitutional amendment to eliminate equalization from the Canadian Constitution. If Albertans cannot develop our resources within the federation, then we should not be expected to pay the bills in the federation.”