NOIA CEO addresses National Press Gallery regarding Bill C-69


OTTAWA -- Today in Ottawa, Noia CEO Charlene Johnson addressed the National Press Gallery regarding Bill C-69. Her remarks are as follows:

Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us for what is a national economic issue, as is evident by the broad representation at this table.

Canada is a natural resource-based economy; with natural resources found from coast to coast to coast – and off our coasts.

Noia represents approximately 600 service and supply chain companies ranging from offshore supply boats and helicopters to health and safety equipment and training, engineering solutions and fabricators, to local bakeries and taxi companies.

In the offshore, we are competing globally for limited investment capital.

Investors have told us they want stable and competitive regulatory regimes.

Bill C-69 does not offer this.

In 1985, federal legislation determined that offshore boards in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia would regulate the resources off their shores.

The resources were to be managed jointly, including environmental stewardship and safety, with equal representation from the federal and provincial governments. However, joint management has eroded and our position is that Bill C-69 must reinstate joint management as prescribed in the Atlantic Accord.

Bill C-69 discounts the local knowledge of the regulator gained from decades of experience and being adjacent to the resource. Rather it focuses on centralized decision making in Ottawa.

Noia also asks that exploration wells – a short-term activity with welldefined mitigation measures – be removed from the designated project list and undergo a board assessment.

Just like all Canadians, we expect strong environmental stewardship.

And, just like all Canadians, we expect the opportunity to work in our home province, in our natural resource industries. We want Protection and Progress, not added Process.

First and foremost, the environment must be protected. But added process, lengthier assessments, does not equate to greater protection.

When jurisdictions that are leaders in environmental stewardship are undertaking reviews of offshore exploration wells in a fraction of the time that we are – Norway 79 days and Australia 144 days, compared to over 900 days in Canada – something is not right.

The scale of the assessment should align with the scale of the activity.

We ask the Senate and the federal government to fix Bill C-69.

Allow us to attract investment. Allow us to further develop our natural resources.

Allow us to participate in a strong Canadian economy, based on our natural resources, from coast to coast to coast, and off our coasts.

Thank you.

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