Senate Committee votes down Canadian oil tanker moratorium


CALGARY -- The Senate Standing Committee on Transportation has voted to defeat Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) praises the committee for its study of this Bill and taking the time to travel and consult directly with Canadians. Bill C-48 is a highly divisive policy based purely on politics. The decision could spare Canada serious, self-inflicted social and economic damage.

Bill C-48 would do virtually nothing to address legitimate marine safety concerns of local communities regarding thousands of cruise ships, fueling and other types of vessels that traverse Northern British Columbia waters on an annual basis; it contains no measure to improve emergency marine response capacity. Bill C-48 cannot, under international law, ban any vessel from passage in Canadian waters. This almost exclusively targets Canada’s energy sector and would block the possibility of export of Canadian petroleum products to international markets. Lack of market access currently costs Canadian producers between $10.8 billion and $15.6 billion annually.

Under the leadership of Committee Chair, Saskatchewan Sen. David Tkachuk, the committee was charged by the Senate of Canada to fully explore the implications of the Bill.

In the best interest of Canadians, senators have recommended the federal government drop the Bill entirely. Our industry joins many other stakeholders in hoping they decide to kill the Bill.

CAPP quotes: Tim McMillan, president and CEO

“The Government of Canada asked the Senate to review the proposed tanker moratorium and make recommendations in the best interests of this country. The Senate Committee responsible for the Bill has completed its work and delivered the message to government – kill Bill C-48.”

“There is no rationale for the government to proceed with Bill C-48. It would permanently take away Canada’s opportunity to move our energy products to growing international markets in Asia. Tankers have safely been travelling in waters off the West Coast for decades.”

“Many Indigenous communities are seeking economic self-determination through responsible resource development, including the oil and natural gas sector. This vote leaves the door open to economic reconciliation, which is in line with the federal government’s overall goals of reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.”

Supporting information

Total capital investment in Canada’s oil and natural gas sector is forecast to drop to $37 billion in 2019 compared to $81 billion in 2014.
Between 2014 and 2017 about 60,000 fewer people were employed in exploration and production, oil and natural gas, and oil sands construction across the country. Bill C-48 puts additional jobs, businesses, and communities at risk by putting an insurmountable barrier in the way of healthy economies.

The Senate Standing Committee on Transportation and Communication traveled to Prince Rupert, Terrace, Edmonton and Regina to hear from Canadians on Bill C-48.

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