The province of Alberta and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) are heading to court, looking to defeat a federal bill which they claim would end resource development in Canada.
Alberta, supported by Saskatchewan and Ontario, filed a challenge against Bill C-69 in the Alberta Court of Appeal. The province is looking to see the bill ruled unconstitutional.
“This overreach of federal jurisdiction threatens to eviscerate provincial authority over resource development and must be rejected by this court.”
Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, gives the federal government a wide range of new criteria to consider when reviewing proposed resource projects.
The bill allows the government to cancel projects on the grounds of identity politics, gender parity and social impacts, leading critics to call it the “no more pipelines bill.”
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which spoke as an intervener in the challenge, argued the bill blurs the lines between federal and provincial accountability on resource development. If C-69 kills future resource development, future government revenue will also be stunted.
“We need to be able to develop our resources to create jobs and get our neighbours back to work, and we also need these projects to help us pay for hospitals, teachers and lower taxes,” said CTF Alberta Director Franco Terrazzano.
“Resource projects help pay the bills and when they aren’t able to generate that revenue politicians start looking to families to fill the budget gap.”
The CTF calculates that a lack of pipeline capacity could cost taxpayers $12.8 billion between 2013 and 2023.
In a statement to True North, a spokesperson from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) said that Bill C-69 was properly consulted on before being passed and does not infringe on provincial rights when reviewing future projects.
“The Government of Canada maintains that the Impact Assessment Act (the IAA) does not infringe on provincial jurisdiction. We delivered on our promise to Canadians and put in place better rules for major projects that restore public trust, protect the environment, advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, and ensure good projects can go ahead in a timely way,” IAAC wrote.
“Canadians expect us to work together on issues that matter to them – from tackling climate change, to growing the economy, to creating good jobs and recovering from the pandemic. That is what we are, and will continue to be focused on.”