Shannon Stubbs, the Official Opposition Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and the MP for Lakeland, responds to the Supreme Court ruling on the constitutional challenge to Bill C-69, led by the Government of Alberta, and joined by seven other provincial government intervenors:
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a devastating indictment of the NDP-Liberals’ ‘No More Pipelines’ Bill C-69 and affirms that it’s an “unconstitutional arrogation of power by Parliament.” As Conservatives, indigenous communities, provinces, municipalities, and a broad coalition of diverse private sector proponents warned throughout debates when the Liberals passed it almost 5 years ago, the ruling affirms that Bill C-69 is broad in scope, rife with constitutional overreach, unwarranted jurisdictional interventions, and that “Parliament plainly overstepped its constitutional competence” in the designated project list. When the Liberals passed Bill C-69 through the House of Commons, even after the Senate unusually sent it back for further amendments instead of passing it the first time, all Provinces, and all Territories – governed by various political parties that represented tens of thousands of concerned Canadians in every corner of the country – outright opposed Bill C-69 or called for revisions, especially with regard to jurisdictional issues, the Liberals ignored them all and pushed it through anyway.
“This government was warned. They ignored everyone. And for nearly five years it’s been a largely unconstitutional law that the Supreme Court agrees ‘exceeds the bounds of federal jurisdiction.’
“The fact is the scope and impacts of Bill C-69 always extended well beyond pipelines and major resource development; it was always divisive, and added uncertain red tape with no concrete timelines. It continues to risk Canada’s energy self-sufficiency and security, tens of thousands of jobs, billions in investment, and billions in revenues for all three levels of government. Bill C-69 remains a major threat to Canada’s economy and competitiveness and is a barrier to major projects of all kinds.
“Last year, the Woodland Cree Nation intervened in support of the eight provinces that pursued the challenge against C-69 through to the Supreme Court after the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled it’s a “wrecking ball” of “federal overreach” and “paternalism” to jurisdictional responsibilities, and “altogether infringes on Aboriginal and treaty rights…”. Today, the Supreme Court ruling affirmed the Federal government’s responsibility to “secur[e] the welfare” of Indigenous
Canadians, and what the Woodland Cree emphasized in their Supreme Court submission that Bill C-69 “limit[s] [their] ability to develop resources by extending the federal order of government’s
reach beyond its constitutional limits and create[es] obstacles” which block resource development and other projects they need “to fund and develop important and necessary infrastructure for [the Nation], including safe roads, clean water, schools, healthcare and support for elders.”
“Eight years of Trudeau’s top-down, central planning, anti-private sector, anti-development, anti-energy policies and his inflationary carbon tax 1.0 and 2.0 have driven billions of dollars in natural resource investments and major projects out of Canada and destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs that provide powerful paycheques for Canadians, which harms Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and benefits dictatorships and other resource-based countries with much lower environmental standards than Canada’s. The “Just Transition” policy, which represents a fundamental overhaul of Canada’s economy, not an altruistic skills training plan for workers, along with their plot to legislate an emissions cap–which will function as a de facto production cap–will be more of the same.
“This decision is an indictment of the Government of Canada’s position but a win for Canada overall. Bill C-69 is one tool the Prime Minister’s NDP-Liberals use to create uncertainty for future projects and paycheques through “death by delay,” and arbitrary rule changes. The NDP-Liberals undermine private sector good faith efforts to comply with constantly changing and new red tape that make it impossible for natural resources projects, traditional and renewable energy development, and major infrastructure of all kinds, to get through Canada’s regulatory process and to actually get built on time and on budget by the private sector.
“Half a decade of a bad law by Trudeau’s NDP-Liberals, and a travesty of potentially generational economic losses for all Canadians, as a consequence.”