It's a pleasure to be here with you today.
My name is Tonja Leach and I'm the executive director of QUEST.
For those of you who don't know us, we're a neutral, non-partisan, business-friendly non-profit service organization, and we have a vision that's local. In fact, it's about as local as it can get. While large energy infrastructure projects still steal the headlines, the really exciting story is unfolding on “main streets” across Canada.
The efforts of communities—local governments, their utilities and energy service providers, builders and developers—are yielding stronger local economies, lower energy costs for citizens and corporations, improved resiliency and security, and, almost as a happy accident, cleaner air, land and water. I am of course talking about smart energy communities, a concept that grounds QUEST and is the ideal end state of our work.
Recognizing that we all likely have a different understanding of what makes up a smart energy community, let me give you our description. A smart energy community seamlessly integrates local, renewable and conventional energy sources to efficiently, cleanly and affordably meet its energy needs. It's a coveted, highly livable place to live, work, learn and play.
We envision that eventually all the requirements of daily life, all of the services that energy provides and the things that make neighbourhoods function—transportation; building heating, cooling and hot water; lighting; wireless data networks; resource recovery operations—will be working together in an invisible symphony.
Let's bring this to the context of energy efficiency and the topic of your study.
We know that many of the measures put in place by federal and provincial governments to enhance energy efficiency have to date yielded great results compared with those from the 1990-2015 period, when demand for energy grew by an average of 1.2% per year. End-use energy demand has slowed, and according to the National Energy Board, it's predicted to continue to do so in the business-as-usual scenario, averaging growth of 0.3% per year. Reasons for this include slower economic and population growth than we have seen historically; improving energy efficiency; the impact of the pan-Canadian approach for pricing carbon; and other policies, programs and regulations.
The energy efficiency industry was estimated to have produced $54 billion in 2013, or approximately 3% of Canada's GDP, and it has likely only increased since that time. Additionally, energy efficiency measures save Canadian households and businesses around $38 billion annually. This, in turn, frees up capital that is spent elsewhere, further enhancing growth and jobs in the Canadian economy. Energy efficiency measures also feature strong returns on investment, often higher than 10% and sometimes even at 20% to 30%. It's estimated that this multiplier effect can result in a sevenfold generation in GDP for every dollar spent on energy efficiency and create between 30 and 57 jobs for every million.
What is the role of communities? While the economics of energy efficiency are very positive, the results to date have largely been a result of building, technology or appliance-scale efficiency advancements, and there's still much more opportunity to capitalize on. Communities influence over half of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in Canada—nearly 250 megatons of carbon dioxide—primarily in residential, commercial and personal transportation sectors.
If we look at them independently, the energy waste from these sectors is 25%, 29%, and 75% respectively, and herein lies the opportunity. An opportunity exists for increased system-wide energy efficiencies, by focusing not only on each of the sectors independently but also on the integration and planning at the community level.
Thousands of Canadian communities are struggling with a complex combination of priorities—think affordability, poor air quality, gridlock and shuttered storefronts. These issues are the unfortunate legacy of outdated planning, design and building practices. Those who laid the groundwork for our cities and towns typically did so in an ad hoc, piecemeal manner, and under the assumption that energy would be forever cheap, abundant and free of consequences.
Today residents of these cities and towns pay more for energy than they need to, to heat and cool homes and businesses, and to get them where they need to go.
On average, community per capita spending on energy ranges from $3,000 to $4,000, equivalent to $1 billion per year in total for an average-size Canadian community.
Add to this complex challenge the fact that, while we have good documentation on energy production, our documentation on energy use is fragmented and incomplete, and the data systems we do have cannot talk to each other. So in addition to struggling with a complex set of priorities and legacy systems contributing to energy waste, communities also don't have the information, tools or resources needed to make educated and effective decisions on how to solve our community-scale energy efficiency challenges.
Take this analysis from the city of London, Ontario, which has a population of 370,000 people. The community spent $1.6 billion on energy in 2014—on gasoline, natural gas, electricity, diesel, etc. Of this amount, only 12% stayed in the local economy and 59% stayed in the province. While developing their community energy plan and undertaking an economic analysis, London calculated that for every dollar of reduction in energy use they would keep $14 million in the local economy, resulting in a compounded energy cost avoidance of $250 million per year by 2018.
The opportunity to keep energy dollars local and circulating within the local economy can be enhanced through the use of conservation and local generation such as district energy or combined heat and power. This can also help utility-demand reduction, smart load integration, renewable content, and cost avoidance.
This profile will of course vary widely between communities, but it's clear that the opportunity to keep energy dollars local and circulating within the local economy can be enhanced through a systems approach to community-scale energy efficiency.
We know there's a significant opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost local economies through the integration of local, renewable and conventional energy sources to efficiently, cleanly, and affordably meet energy needs. We also know that there is a shortage of research to fully quantify the potential.
In 2009, QUEST conducted a study to assess the potential of integrated systems in meeting climate change targets. The results suggested that by doing things like integrating community energy systems, updating land use policy, improving transit, and opening up opportunities for energy through policy changes, we could reduce direct and indirect urban emissions by approximately 40% to 50% in the long run.
Subsequent studies, such as our “Community Energy Planning: Getting to Implementation in Canada!” research, have shown that smart energy communities have a multitude of direct economic benefits such as cost savings and jobs, and indirect benefits such as reduced congestion, improved air quality, improved community health, and increased social interaction as a result of active transportation.
So what is the federal role in all of this?
We would like to see continued support for existing agencies such as those in Yukon, B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The country is well covered by energy efficiency agencies, but there's more that many of them can do. We could also use some federal support to establish and realize the full potential of those programs.
While QUEST has undertaken research to build understanding of the potential for smart energy communities to stimulate the economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and NRCan recently undertook some further research on that, I believe that more research with newer modelling that includes all sectors would be extremely beneficial, not just for understanding the potential but also to enable us to measure our success.
We need to focus on supportive policy that enables smart energy communities but doesn't prescribe the integration of systems. Every community is different and requires a unique suite of solutions to maximize their efficiency. Therefore, policy needs to enable while appreciating the differences in opportunities.
Last, support for accessible energy data via the establishment of a pan-Canadian energy information agency or similar data trust would be very well received by our network across Canada, and I think it would be useful to a multitude of utilities and communities.
Thank you to the members of the committee for inviting CEA to appear before you this afternoon.
I am Francis Bradley, the chief operating officer of CEA.
I am joined this morning by my colleague Sarah Nolan, and I am also delighted to be appearing along with my colleagues from QUEST. CEA was one of the organizations that created QUEST close to a dozen years ago, and I have been a participant in it since its founding.
I first want to take a moment to talk about our association. The Canadian Electricity Association, or CEA, is the national voice and forum for the Canadian electricity sector. Our membership is comprised of generation, transmission and distribution companies from across Canada, as well as manufacturers, technology companies and consulting firms representing the full spectrum of electricity suppliers.
A safe, secure, reliable, sustainable and competitively priced electricity supply is essential to Canada’s prosperity. Providing Canadians with the means to use electricity efficiently is necessary to maximize the potential of the Canadian electricity system, to minimize environmental impacts and to reduce electricity costs. Our members are committed to improving energy efficiency. We believe it is critical to reaching climate change targets as clear benefits for the economy and that it helps reduce Canadians' electricity bills.
Research by CEA has shown that the vast majority of consumers expect their electric utility to provide energy efficiency programs and information. Customers continue to look to their electric utility to help them manage their electricity consumption and their bills. Canadian electric utilities have been delivering energy efficiency programs for three decades. From 2014 to 2017, CEA member electric utilities saved almost 14,000 gigawatt hours of energy through external energy conservation programs. These energy efficiency programs have also resulted in avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 7.4 megatonnes of CO2 across Canada. To put this in perspective, this is comparable to taking two million vehicles off the road.
As you know, governments play a crucial role in creating policy, implementing product regulation, developing industry standards and building codes, and providing incentives to help manage demand. It is critical that governments support energy efficiency. As an example, through the Ontario energy manager program, Toronto Hydro has been able to fund 20 energy managers who cover a wide range of business types, lead awareness programs and identify opportunities for energy conservation improvement. For these businesses, energy conservation has become a part of their general practice.
CEA offers three recommendations to the committee which the government should consider implementing. The first is to partner with electric utilities to achieve maximum results from energy efficiency initiatives. Utilities have the expertise, program design, delivery capability, and customer and supplier relationships that are needed when implementing energy efficiency programs.
SaskPower has partnered with local retailers to offer point-of-purchase discounts on a variety of energy efficiency lighting products, ENERGY STAR technologies and smart technologies. The program is offered in approximately 300 retail locations across 125 communities in the province. The program also features in-store education with representatives at locations across the province.
Utilities have consumption data and an understanding of local conditions of energy demand, as well as pre-existing brand recognition and well-established long-standing relationships with the customers.
Utilities have a unique ability to respond to demand and manage it.
Second, the federal government should prioritize demand-side opportunities such as energy efficiency as a cost-effective option to meet climate change goals. A balanced approach to energy policy that includes a balanced emphasis on and attention to supply and demand is needed. An emphasis on only supply-side options overlooks benefits that accrue from demand-side programs, which, in an era of rising costs, can reduce energy input costs for businesses and help consumers better manage their energy consumption and, consequently, their bill.
In British Columbia, FortisBC’s gas programs began over 20 years ago, and its electricity programs have been offered for almost 30 years. Between 1989 and 2017, FortisBC invested almost $76 million in energy efficiency programs for its more than 172,000 electricity customers. This is expected to grow to almost $84 million in 2018, and it has saved enough electricity to power nearly 50,000 homes.
Finally, encouraging energy efficiency and conservation demand management is good for the utility business and the economy. Investments in energy efficiency can help bridge and/or pace needed electricity infrastructure investments. Economic benefits accrue locally, regionally, provincially and nationally from energy efficiency programs. Direct, induced and indirect benefits include customer savings, improved competitiveness for industry and businesses, jobs and economic growth.
Improvements in energy efficiency are a long-term and sustained benefit to the economy as energy savings are generated every year over the lifespan of a product.
As an example, one utility estimates that their spend of $730 million on conservation demand management between 2005 and 2020 will result in $2.5 billion in economic spinoffs and customer savings.
In closing, there are many benefits that energy efficiency delivers to Canadians: reduced energy expenditures, employment opportunities, increased economic competitiveness, improved energy security, and a cleaner environment through the reduction of GHG and air emissions across Canada.
Energy efficiency is sustainable. It can be a more cost-effective means to meeting electricity demand than traditional or renewable supply options. Increased energy efficiency is a major strategic objective of the electricity sector, and it is imperative for Canada's future prosperity.
I'm going to cover five areas when it comes to energy efficiency and economic benefits: voluntary standards, zero-carbon innovation, building retrofit, capacity building of the workforce, and then a few recommendations at the end.
At the Canada Green Building Council, we believe that green buildings can help achieve Canada's greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments, and significantly improve the energy efficiency of the building sector in the Canadian economy.
Over the last up to 15 years, voluntary standards have driven energy efficiency in the building sector. You can see that voluntary systems such as the LEED rating system had significant penetration rates in the building sector; up to 30% in the institutional sector, and 22% in the commercial sector. Overall, there are currently 1.2 billion square feet of LEED projects in Canada, but 3,700 projects have been certified.
Those 3,700 projects save 12,900,000 megawatt hours of energy through energy efficiency measures. That's enough to power 435,000 homes in Canada for a year. So you can see that voluntary programs have already had a significant impact on the building sector, on energy efficiency in the building sector.
You can also see how voluntary programs also have an impact on how buildings perform at a per-square-foot level. The example here is that the average Canadian office building uses about 350 kilowatt hours per square metre per year. The average LEED building uses about 162, and there are some other buildings, which you see here, that have significantly lower and better energy performance than conventional buildings, which have been brought about through voluntary programs, like LEED and others, in the Canadian marketplace.
Not only do they improve the energy efficiency; they also create jobs and contribute to economic growth. You can see that in 2014 Canada's green building industry contributed $23 billion to the GDP, and almost 300,000 direct jobs, for people employed in constructing these buildings in Canada in 2014.
One very interesting fact is not only that the green building industry employed 297,000—or 300,000—full-time workers but also that this represents more than forestry, oil and gas, and the mining industry combined. Green building construction and renovation is a significant energy efficiency opportunity as well as an economic opportunity.
On slide 5, you can see how these jobs are distributed in Canada by sector, with construction and trades making up the largest proportion, followed by materials and manufacturing, and then professional services.
But energy efficiency measures also result in net savings. The life cycle savings from LEED-certified green buildings in Canada are significant. This is based on a number.... At the time the report was prepared, we had 2,275 certified projects in Canada, representing 24,000,000 square metres. These buildings, on an annual basis, save about half a billion dollars in energy costs. If you aggregate that over the life cycle, estimated at 33 years, it goes up to $6.8 billion dollars in energy savings that have been achieved through readily available energy efficiencies, technologies, equipment and practices.
The next innovation is what we call the zero-carbon building. Zero carbon is the new performance benchmark. In order to get a zero-carbon building, high levels of energy efficiency are required. As you saw in the previous slide, we can drive energy efficiency to very high levels, and then supply the rest of the energy in those buildings through renewable clean energy sources, such as hydro in certain areas of Canada, but also through onsite and offsite renewable energy resources. Canada is actually a global leader in this space.
It builds on the learning curve the industry has gone through with regard to LEED, and we can actually do this right now with the technology, the know-how and equipment available. This is the next phase of innovation, and it will yield significant benefits not only with carbon but also in terms of energy benefits if this is rolled out across the building sector in Canada.
I would like now to go to the second half of my presentation, just finishing off and focusing your attention on building retrofits. Fifty per cent of the building stock that exists today will still be in use by 2050, and there are significant energy savings available from this building stock, between 20% and 40%. These savings can be realized through a number of very accepted industry practices like building commissioning and recommissioning, along with the retrofits of about 60% of larger buildings in Canada.
The council has done a lot of work in this space with various federal and provincial government departments, and the focus here is really the idea of the retrofit economy; to establish a retrofit economy in Canada that would support large-scale retrofitting of larger buildings. If we retrofit about 100,000 buildings in Canada over the next 10 to 20 years, at the end of that process, we'll not only save 21 million tonnes of carbon in associated energy use, but we would save $6.2 billion in energy costs every year by the end of the process.
The federal government, including the Canadian Infrastructure Bank, plays a very important role in leveraging investment for retrofits for commercial, institutional and multi-residential buildings and can leverage funds from the private sector. The federal government also needs to play a role in building confidence in deep retrofit by providing and supporting standardized frameworks that support retrofit performance outcomes. What I mean is that, after the retrofit, we want the buildings to perform in a way that realizes the energy efficiency benefits.
There are of course, as always, a number of barriers in order to realize these benefits. You can see that there are barriers to a strong retrofit economy, but there are also solutions as shown with the investor confidence project, which represents a standardized process to assess retrofit projects and performance outcomes across the country.
The other barrier we have is really capacity. We have enough capacity already in Canada to get this started, with both LEED and zero-carbon buildings with retrofit, but we need to train our workforce to deliver at this scale. There are also new technologies and services that are not well understood, which require new skill development. We also need to scale up: we need a larger trained workforce to deliver the results. We are currently doing some work around the skills gap in Canada, and particularly in Ontario. The skills gap is a real risk for scaling up energy efficiency. For Canada to succeed in this space, the federal government must invest in a changing workforce that designs, constructs and maintains buildings, or in this case, also retrofits buildings across the country.
Our recommendations for this committee are as follows.
Continue to support existing voluntary industry standards. This could be in government-owned and -leased buildings. After all, the federal government is the largest building owner in Canada.
Support and de-risk new voluntary standards like zero carbon through incentives and through research and development, but also in the procurement of government buildings. Again, it's another opportunity for the government to lead in this space.
Create a retrofit economy by either investing in or incentivizing large building retrofits, and at the same time support the training of the construction workforce. This is a really critical link in not only realizing the energy efficiency benefits but also realizing the economic benefits. We would also encourage the government to develop a multi-year retrofit strategy for government-owned buildings. In some cases it might also be possible to encourage the private sector to retrofit buildings to meet government standards.
Thank you for your time. I'll stop here. I'm looking forward to your questions.
Bill is going to create quite a bit of uncertainty. It's not only with the pipeline. It's going to create uncertainty right across the energy-resource sector. It's going to create uncertainty at municipal levels for things as simple as municipal drainage projects.
Bill is supposed to be an environmental bill. While I applaud the intent of it, it misses the mark in a bunch of areas. I want to highlight five different areas where there's definitely going to be uncertainty.
It allows for uncertainty in the area of political interference. It allows room for the and also the and his cabinet to directly impact the consultation process. That kind of political interference is something I thought we as a government were moving away from. It seems as though this bill will actually move even more in a direction of political interference than what we currently have.
Another important aspect is that it removes the standing test for participation in public hearings. In other words, right now people actually have to prove that they have a legitimate reason to make a presentation at a hearing when a project like this is being considered. They have to show that they are going to be directly impacted or that they represent a group that will be directly impacted by the proposed expansion.
Removing that test from the public hearing process, which is what Bill does, allows groups that could be from Sweden—it could allow activists from Sweden—to come to these committee meetings and make presentations. I don't know why we would allow for that kind of situation. It should be the individuals who will be impacted. It should be Canadians who make presentations on projects.
A Voice: We're not letting [Inaudible—Editor] It's not about the Swedes.
Mr. Ted Falk: Well, the project is so far open that we're not sure who is going to be able to communicate on its impact here.
It also allows for endless, limitless extensions on timelines. What does that mean? That means that they could just increase the number of hearings, increase the number of witnesses and allow people who don't have any remotely close interest in the project to testify at these hearings, impacting the decision and delaying the process.
I'm a business guy. I wouldn't make an investment in a piece of equipment if I didn't know when I could put it to work, and have it sit on my yard and collect dust, cost interest, and absorb capital depreciation costs while it hasn't produced one hour's worth of value to anybody.
That's what we're asking our energy resource development companies to do. We're asking them to make an investment in the process. We know that Kinder Morgan spent over a billion dollars already, looking for approvals for the TMX project, and that that billion dollars hasn't generated any income. In fact, it has cost them lots of money. They've lost the ability to use that capital for other projects, because that money was sitting there completely unemployed, other than the fact that it had been spent on all kinds of consultants trying to meet the regulations in place so they could proceed with this project.
We know that lots of other companies have had the same experience. We know that whether it's Energy East or Northern Gateway, these projects have experienced the same amount of frustration and delay. Bill will exacerbate that, with limitless numbers of hearings and consultations. That's one area that is going to be very problematic if this bill actually sees royal assent.
Another thing it does is establish a new set of vague and ill-defined criteria against which projects will be assessed, and that's including social impact. Social impact hasn't been properly defined. In the absence of that, we could see a host and variety of concerns that really have nothing to do with building a safe, environmentally economical pipeline, because somebody has some kind of social issue they think is going to be impacted or that they may want to present.
There are some definitions there that really need to be tightened up and defined properly, regarding what those criteria will be when considering a resource development project like this.
The other aspect that concerns me is that there are major implications, as a result of what is going to be written into the regulations that have yet to be developed. We don't have a full and comprehensive set of regulations that are accompanying this bill. Those could be written in after the fact, which will make it virtually impossible for resource development companies to meet the threshold of those criteria. Without the ability to know what those regulations are ahead of time, I think it's ill-advised to pass this bill. However, it did go through the House and it did find its way to the Senate, but hopefully, the Senate will have the light turned on and will see some of the very problematic areas of this bill, as it relates only, in this particular situation, to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. There are lots of other areas where this bill will have very negative impacts, especially in my home province of Manitoba, where I know that municipal drainage is a problem. Bill will even affect simple things like municipal drainage projects. They're going to have to go through all kinds of consultations and hearings, and it's going to take years, if it is at all possible, for some of these projects to happen, even simple projects that benefit agriculture and that benefit employment. It's going to actually create a situation where nothing happens. There are lots of concerns.
Yesterday, I was reading Bloomberg and I was really intrigued with what Robert Tuttle reported there.
He talked about the highways of Saskatchewan being clogged up with oil tanker trucks, and he said that shows the desperation of Canadian oil producers trying to get their crude to market.
We're stewards of our resources here. We're nothing more than that; we're stewards. We've been given these resources by our creator, and we've been entrusted to use them responsibly, to look after the environment. We've been entrusted with that responsibility as well, to make sure that we look after the earth. We also have this resource that we've been blessed with as a country.
We need to make sure that we allow companies—in a responsible, environmentally friendly way—to develop these resources, and then we need to provide them with the ability to get these resources to market. That's something I take very seriously. I'm a steward of the land, but I'm also a steward of the resources. These resources are something that we need to make sure are developed in an environmentally friendly way, but also in an economically viable way.
Today, tanker trucks are journeying 500 miles from the pipeline and rail terminals. It says here:
||It's a phenomenon that Ken Boettcher, president of Three Star Trucking Ltd. in Alida, Saskatchewan, started to see three or four months ago when oil shippers around Kindersley, near the Alberta border, began requesting trucks to move their crude, in some cases, as far as North Dakota.
He said it's “never been a common practice before. They can probably buy it cheaper and bring it down here and blend it.” He's referring to the Americans. The trucker traffic during 2018 has spiked to over 200,000 barrels of crude oil per month being moved by tanker truck.
You know, Bill is supposed to be an environmental bill. However, if it's going to prevent us from safely building pipelines to get our resources to market, there's nothing environmentally friendly about having to then turn around and use tanker trucks to uneconomically, with huge environmental liability, move our crude to market by hauling it down the highway. It doesn't even make sense that we would want to consider that.
In addition, the cost of doing that 500-mile trip is about $15 a barrel one way. If they have to come back empty—I don't know what you would haul in a tanker truck on a return route—it doubles. It's $30 a barrel cost to move that oil by tanker truck, as opposed to what it would cost by pipeline. That's very significant. I think the environmental liability and risk are much more significant in hauling it, and there's also the danger that is posed to traffic on the highway with increased loads. I think it's something that needs to be considered.
Without the Trans Mountain expansion project going ahead, I think we're going to see a continued exploitation of our producers by the Americans, by Donald Trump's oil companies. I think we're going to see more of that. It actually peaked in August, when there was a $52.40 discount for our oil over world price. That is significant. That's happening because our current structure allows us to have one customer, and that's the Americans.
As long as we're going to be in that kind of situation—
An hon. member: Roughly.
Mr. Ted Falk: Well, we have a few on the west coast there, but they're insignificant to the volume.
We're willing to pay $70 a barrel for unfriendly oil coming from Saudi Arabia on our east coast, down our Saint Lawrence River to ports along the river there that are virtually unregulated, and then we're willing to sell our oil for $20 a barrel to the Americans. That doesn't even makes sense that we're leaving $50 a barrel on the table.
This is not only hurting our oil producers, it's hurting all Canadians, because this is money that could be left in the country. It is money that could be used to fund social projects. It's money that could be used to build schools, houses. I think we heard that every single day that we allow this kind of scenario to persist, we are giving up the equivalent of one brand new school per day, or one municipal hospital a week.
That's significant, committee members. We have to make sure that can't happen. That's why I think we need to have this study.
I think it's very important that we go ahead with the study to find out what the industry thinks about Bill in relation to the TMX, but not only just TMX. What does industry think going forward? Is it going to be willing to invest money here?
Mr. Chair, I could talk a lot further on the financial implication of buying a $4.5-billion project that has limited revenue opportunity at this point, on that money being sent down to Texas to the Americans instead of remaining in our economy here in Canada, and on putting taxpayers on the hook for $4.5 billion, and now the expansion project has been estimated to cost another $9 billion.
We could have seen that money coming into our country as an investment, and now it's going to have to be funded by Canadians. That's another $9 billion out of our economy, and that's not even part of the $4.5 billion yet. This is money that Canadians are going to have to be responsible for. It's going to come out of their pockets, and we as taxpayers are guaranteeing it. We're on the hook for it.
I just don't think that's a very responsible thing to do, and it's not just me. I would like to also quote some other people who feel the same way I do.
William Lacey, the chief financial officer of Steelhead Petroleum says, “The implementation of Bill C-69 does not create the stability that investors are seeking.” That's something I've already spoken to.
He continues by saying,
||Rather than having a framework that is clear and transparent, it introduces tremendous uncertainty into the approval process....Further, though the discussion today may be about the approval of pipelines, this is about whether Canada is somewhere where capital can be deployed....and whether that investment is competitive versus other jurisdictions around the globe. Capital is mobile, and today it is choosing to leave.
We've seen $80 billion already leave the economy in the last year in the energy sector.
Rachel Notley, NDP premier of Alberta says, “Bill C-69 in its current form stands to hurt our competitive position”. She says that capital is already fleeing to the United States due to the challenges.
RBC president and CEO Dave McKay says,
||We would certainly encourage the federal government to look at these issues because, in real time, we’re seeing capital flow out of the country.
||We see our government going around the world saying what a great place Canada is to invest—yes, it is a great country, it’s an inclusive country, it’s a diverse country, it’s got great people....
||But if we don’t keep the capital here, we can’t keep the people here—and these changes are important to bring human capital and financial capital together in one place.
The Quebec Mining Association..... Mr. Chair, you know I have a fondness for mining. I didn't even talk about the impact this is going to have on future exploration in the mining industry, and I'll refrain from doing so in the interest of time, but I will quote the Quebec Mining Association here: “The time limits introduced by the bill will be enough to discourage mining companies and weaken Quebec and Canada in relation to other more attractive jurisdictions.” That statement was made earlier this year.
Certainty and simplicity should be at the core of any sort of government policy. Bill provides no certainty and no clarity in actuality. Industry has no way forward with Bill C-69. The bill only seeks to add more uncertainty, as Bill C-69 does not demonstrate a Government of Canada commitment to project development.
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was cancelled. Bill will not add any more clarity to future projects in the energy sector or any other sector. The consequence is that the economy will suffer, as investment will continue to decline. Jobs are created and lost, but business investment shows what companies and people think about the future of our country. What people and companies believe of a country is reflected in the amount of capital investment for the future. Without wise and bold investment made for the future, the pool of jobs created today will wither away in times of economic stress. Bill C-69 will not help our economy weather hard times. Bill C-69 will only help our economy to get into hard times.
I urge the Standing Committee on Natural Resources to adopt my motion. I think it's important that the committee do so.