C-48: An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast
The Senate is proposing to modify C-48 in a number of ways; most substantively by requiring a two-stage review: firstly, a regional assessment which would be led by the Minister of the Environment under authorities established under the (yet to be passed) C-69. The Minister of Environment would be required to invite the provincial governments of B.C, Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as indigenous communities in the moratorium area to enter into an agreement or arrangement respecting the joint establishment of a committee to conduct the assessment and the manner in which the assessment is to be conducted. This body would then be required to start their work 180 days after coming-into-force of C-48 and could take up to 4 years after coming-into-force to present their report to Parliament. This would then feed into the second stage, a Parliamentary Review, which would take place 5 years after coming-into-force, and which would consider evidence gathered by the Regional Assessment and conduct further study and hearings before presenting its report to the Minister of Transport.The requirement to hold a regional assessment is problematic because it would carry unresolved financial implications that were not considered during the House debate of the Bill, and it would result in a lack of clarity over whether the authority provided to the Minister of the Environment in Bill C-48 would be inconsistent or in conflict with the authority provided to the Minister of the Environment in Bill C-69. Lastly there is significant consultation fatigue in the part of Coastal First Nations after years of reviews and studies and over 40 years of work to try and formalize the moratorium. It is unreasonable to ask them to participate in yet another review only 180 days after coming-into-force of C-48.