The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications recommended to not proceed with Bill C-48 on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. The Bill now goes to the full Senate who will decide if they accept that recommendation.
You have one more opportunity to influence how the Senate votes on Bill C-48. Your voice matters. It needs to be part of the conversation. The date it will be sent back to the Senate has not been scheduled, so I ask that you contact as many Senators as you can as soon as you can to ask them to reject the Bill.
Contact information can be found at: https://sencanada.ca/en/contact-information/
Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, “prohibits oil tankers that are carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of crude oil or persistent oil as cargo from stopping, or unloading crude oil or persistent oil, at ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border. The Act prohibits loading if it would result in the oil tanker carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of those oils as cargo.” (openparlaiment.ca, accessed May 19, 2019)
I sent the following email to the Senators expressing my concerns with the legislation:
I had an opportunity to listen to witnesses address the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources on Bill C-69 when you travelled to Calgary. I feel very fortunate to have had that experience, and I thank you for allowing us to watch the review process. It was a real “Canadian moment” for me.
With the publicity around Bills C-48 and C-69, I learned more about the Senate and the important obligation it has to ensure fairness, thoughtfulness and sensibility when enacting new legislation. The Senate has an important role to play when the federal government fails to be balanced, pragmatic, and loyal to Canada.
That is why I am writing to you today. I would like to ask you vote down Bill C-48.
Canadian oil and gas exports mainly go to one customer – the USA. They have a lot of control over the price we receive, so they purchase our products at a steep discount, which results in lost royalties and revenue for all Canadians. This makes our lives less affordable because we don’t have government revenues to support our world-class programs, such as health care and education.
Additionally, when oil and gas projects are made more expensive due to unnecessary, overburdening regulatory requirements and taxation, it hurts all Canadians because the price we pay for our natural resources is impacted. It’s imperative that we find a balance between environmental responsibility and economic progress through resource development. Bill C-48 does not provide this balance.
Put bluntly, Bill C-48 harms people.
The economic situation in Alberta is dire. Thousands of people continue to lose their jobs in addition to the more than 100,000 people who have already lost their job in the last 4 years; Albertans are staying unemployed for an average of 20.9 weeks; suicide rates are rising to alarming levels; domestic abuse is increasing; and drug use is at epidemic levels. I have no doubt that the current economic crisis is a contributing factor, and a robust, functioning energy sector could be the solution to a lot of these problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges that being unemployed affects people’s social interactions and their overall health, including their mental health. WHO even found that male unemployment affects the health of members of the family unit. Bill C-48 will result in more unemployment and, therefore, more harm.
I ask you to look at the Bill’s impact to everyday Canadians, and in doing so, I hope that you too draw the conclusion that this Bill needs to be defeated.