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Noia writes Prime Minister regarding need for Bill C-69 to respect Atlantic Accord

From Noia
Issued June 12, 2019

Noia CEO Charlene Johnson wrote Prime Minister Trudeau yesterday evening regarding Noia’s concern that Bill C-69, as it currently stands, does not adhere to the intentions of the Atlantic Accord. 

Below is the content of the letter.

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:

On behalf of Noia’s almost 600 members in the offshore oil and gas industry service and supply chain, I ask you to ensure Bill C-69 (the Bill) respects the role of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (offshore boards) as lifecycle regulators with considerable expertise in the offshore oil and gas industry. As the Bill currently stands, it does not meet the intentions of the Atlantic Accord nor does it meet the intentions of the recent agreement related to the Atlantic Accord to deepen joint management of the offshore.

The Atlantic Accord is a unique, foundational document agreed to by the federal and provincial governments which enshrines joint management for the offshore. Through the offshore boards, both levels of government share the responsibility for environmental regulation, safety and enforcement in the offshore. This is a truly Canadian example of how our governments can cooperate to ensure a thriving industry that manages our environmental responsibilities, the safety of those who work offshore, and the socioeconomic benefits that are derived from our natural resources. Bill C-69 does not take appropriate legislative measures to ensure the joint management principles of the Atlantic Accord are respected. The legislation must recognize that as per the Atlantic Accord, management of the offshore, including environmental stewardship, should be a shared and equal responsibility of both the provincial and federal governments. Where a review panel is required under Bill C-69, the panel composition must comply with the joint management requirement as per the Atlantic Accord.

As Noia has stated in numerous consultation processes involving Bill C-69, in order to ensure the competitiveness of our offshore without compromising our environmental responsibilities, short-term offshore activities such as exploratory drilling wells should be removed from the designated project list and be reviewed by the lifecycle regulator. A study of international jurisdictions recently provided to you by Noia, highlights that Canada is significantly out of step with other OECD countries and this will likely impact our ability to compete globally for investment and develop our natural resources. The offshore boards have decades of experience in regulating the offshore and ensuring environmental stewardship. This leadership should be recognized in the new legislation, as designated by the Atlantic Accord.

As jointly managed entities, the offshore boards provide the federal and provincial governments with equal decision-making power. In recent years, the joint management principles have been eroded and your government has now been presented with an opportunity to right a wrong and meet the intentions of the Atlantic Accord with a jointly managed process. Any other course of action through this legislation amounts to centralization of decision making within the federal government in Ottawa and would be a direct contradiction to the agreed upon spirit and intent of the Atlantic Accord.

Addressing the issues noted above will ensure the tenets of the Atlantic Accord and its intentions of joint management are respected. Doing so is vital to ensuring a viable offshore oil and gas industry that greatly contributes to the national economy by being globally competitive and attracting international investment.

Please contact me at your convenience should you have any questions on Noia’s perspective on Bill C-69.


Charlene Johnson
CEO Noia

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