Monday , 27 September 2021

Lakeland communities will be heard by Senate Committee on Bill C-69

Local leaders from Bonnyville, Cold Lake, the M.D. of Bonnyville and Lac La Biche have been approved to sit in front of the Senate Committee about their concerns over Bill C-69.

The Coalition of Canadian Municipalities for Energy Action, spearheaded by Lakeland Mayors and Reeves, was given the green light to voice how the bill would directly impact their communities when the committee visits Fort McMurray on April 10.

This comes after a long effort since late 2018 to address their concerns about Bill C-69.

“It’s basically intact so that the senate can hear our issues at the grassroots,” said Bonnyville Mayor Gene Sobolewski, who got things going with a hiring a lobby group a couple months ago.

“Something has to be done and if the elected officials can’t together as a collective voice and bring forward to the Senator how that bill is going to impact those individual communities.

“We’re going to be there as a coalition and each and every member is going to tell the Senate, even if it’s repetition, how that bill is going to impact our community. Not only from the municipal standpoint, but from the social and economic standpoint,” said Sobolewski.

Sobolewski in the press release Wednesday morning highlighted concerns about Bill C-69’s ‘Impact Assessment’ which would have “fundamental” effects for local infrastructure and other projects moving forward.

“It also does not provide the necessary clarity on municipal land-use planning, waterway use, and indigenous consultation or federal grants,” he said in the release.

The other highlighted concerns were about the energy resource industry’s approval process and other regulatory procedures.

“Aside from the direct impact to municipalities and their administrators, the Bill may also impact local families and workers, in addition to municipalities through its changes to Canada’s resource development sector and the surrounding economy,” added Sobolewski in the release.

The Senate Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee will arrive in Fort McMurray on April 10 to hear these concerns.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.