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QUESTION PERIOD — Environment and Climate Change

Federal Environmental Assessment

May 1, 2024

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

Leader, last October, the Supreme Court of Canada issued an opinion that said major elements of Bill C-69 — the job-killing “no more pipelines” act — were unconstitutional. At long last, in the recent budget, the Trudeau government broadly outlined their proposed changes in response to the opinion.

In the 2015 election, Justin Trudeau condemned the use of omnibus legislation and promised to end its practice. However, once in government, he quickly forgot about his promise. Leader, we learned on Monday that changes to the unconstitutional and anti-development Bill C-69 are being brought forward in another omnibus budget bill.

Why don’t you want this studied as stand-alone legislation? Why are you cramming this into a budget bill?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for your question. The government took the Supreme Court decision very seriously, as it does with all Supreme Court decisions, because it respects the Constitution and will continue to do so. It brought forward the changes designed to ensure that a reoriented legislation satisfies the Constitution and follows the guidances provided by the Supreme Court.

As is our practice in this chamber, when we do receive the bill, it will be distributed to many committees who will have the opportunity to study it. I will invite all senators with a special interest in that subject to make sure that they are properly attuned to the committee work and can contribute properly to the study.

In fact, the government does not take this very seriously. But I have good news, leader: There is already a bill before Parliament to fix this mess that this incompetent Trudeau government made with Bill C-69 — and that, senator, is Bill C-375 from Conservative MP Gérard Deltell. It recognizes provincial jurisdiction over natural resources, and removes duplication between federal and provincial environmental assets.

Will the Trudeau government support this bill?

Senator Gold [ + ]

I’m not in a position to know whether the government has taken a definitive position on this bill, but, as is my practice, if and when the bill does come to this chamber and the government has a position on it, I will certainly be communicating that to you.

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