Surrey Board of Trade Sounds Alarm at Canada’s Growing Divisions Over Infrastructure Project Failures – Wants Bill C-69 fixed

SURREY, BC – February 20, 2019 – The Surrey Board of Trade is joining hundreds of other chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the country today to demand immediate improvements to Canada’s broken regulatory system to ensure our energy resources get to international markets.

According to the Surrey Board of Trade, the very fabric of Canada is being threatened by the devastating impact of low oil prices, inability to get energy resources to global markets and the increasing tensions between Canadians who live in resource-producing regions and other parts of Canada.

“Canada’s economic well-being is at risk, in addition to political and regional tensions straining the unity of our country. We need to come together as Canadians to deliver a pointed message to politicians in Ottawa and across the country: the businesses in your jurisdictions want you to act and to act now,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“The first priority is to fix Bill C-69. The government also needs to implement the regulatory changes promised in the Fall Economic Update and make immediate plans to get our resources to tidewater. Canadians have had enough of the talk. We want to see real, concrete actions,” added Huberman.

Bill C-69 diminishes the direct economic importance of infrastructure projects. ‘The Impact Assessment Act’, replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 and a new ‘Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’ replaces the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. This means that the new act grants the new Agency and the responsible minister much more discretion including a federal veto which gives the minister the power, before an assessment even commences, to make an order directing the new Agency not to conduct an assessment if the minister believes the proposed project would cause unacceptable effects. This creates uncertainty for investors, for proponents. The new Act leads to increased red tape regulation in Canada

“Specifically, the focus for the Surrey Board of Trade is that moving crude oil by rail through suburbs is far more hazardous than using state-of-the art pipeline technology. A portion of the new construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline will go through Surrey.”

Pipelines play a crucial role in today’s economy. They foster international trade, generate investment in research and development and create jobs, a fact that is not to be taken lightly in the current economic landscape.

“Access to markets, including building trade infrastructure, is what we want to see government deliver. These infrastructure projects are trade enabling, and they will drive economic growth for decades to come.”

There is enormous demand for Canadian energy products, which are some of the cleanest and most ethically-produced in the world, to displace coal as an energy source within growing economies like China and India. Canada is losing an opportunity to put more money in the pockets of every single Canadian and fight climate change.

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For more information:

Anita Huberman
CEO, Surrey Board of Trade