by Spencer Fernando

June 10, 2019

A possible ‘constitutional crisis’ looms.

6 Canadian Premiers representing the majority of Canadians have written an open letter to Justin Trudeau, warning him of the implications if Bills C-48 and C-69 are passed.

You can read the full letter below:

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, PC, MP
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington St
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing on behalf of the Governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba,
Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Collectively, our five provinces and territory represent 59 per cent of the Canadian population and 63 per cent of Canada’s GDP. We are central to Canada’s economy and prosperity, and it is of the utmost importance that you consider our concerns with bills C-69 and C-48.

Canadians across the country are unified in their concern about the economic impacts of the legislation such as it was proposed by the House of Commons. In this form, the damage it would do to the economy, jobs and investment will echo from one coast to the other. Provincial and territorial jurisdiction must be respected. Provinces and territories have clear and sole jurisdiction over the development of their non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources, and the generation and production of electricity. Bill C-69 upsets the balance struck by the constitutional division of powers by ignoring the exclusive provincial powers over projects relating to these resources. The federal government must recognize the exclusive role provinces and territories have over the management of our non-renewable natural resource development or risk creating a Constitutional crisis.

Bill C-69, as originally drafted, would make it virtually impossible to develop critical
infrastructure, depriving Canada of much needed investment. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, between 2017 and 2018, the planned investment value of major resource sector projects in Canada plunged by $100 billion – an amount equivalent to 4.5 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. To protect Canada’s economic future, we, collectively, cannot afford to overlook the uncertainty and risk to future investment created by Bill C-69.

Our five provinces and territory stand united and strongly urge the government to accept Bill C69 as amended by the Senate, in order to minimize the damage to the Canadian economy. We would encourage the Government of Canada and all members of the House of Commons to accept the full slate of amendments to the bill. The Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources heard 38 days of testimony from 277 witnesses including indigenous communities, industry, Premiers, and independent experts. Based on that comprehensive testimony, the committee recommended significant amendments to the bill, which were accepted by the Senate as a whole. We urge you to respect that process, the committee’s expertise, and the Senate’s vote.

If the Senate’s amendments are not respected, the bill should be rejected, as it will present insurmountable roadblocks for major infrastructure projects across the country and will further jeopardize jobs, growth and investor confidence.

Similarly, Bill C-48 threatens investor confidence, and the tanker moratorium discriminates against western Canadian crude products. We were very disappointed that the Senate did not accept the recommendation to the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications that the bill not be reported. We would urge the government to stop pressing for the passage of this bill which will have detrimental effects on national unity and for the Canadian economy as a whole.

Our governments are deeply concerned with the federal government’s disregard, so far, of the concerns raised by our provinces and territory related to these bills. As it stands, the federal government appears indifferent to the economic hardships faced by provinces and territories. Immediate action to refine or eliminate these bills is needed to avoid further alienating provinces and territories and their citizens and focus on uniting the country in support of Canada’s economic prosperity.

Yours sincerely,

 

[ORIGINAL SIGNED]

Hon. Doug Ford

Premier of Ontario

 

[ORIGINAL SIGNED]

Hon. Blaine Higgs

Premier of New Brunswick

 

[ORIGINAL SIGNED]

Hon. Brian Pallister

Premier of Manitoba

 

[ORIGINAL SIGNED]

Hon. Scott Moe

Premier of Saskatchewan

 

[ORIGINAL SIGNED]

Hon. Jason Kenney

Premier of Alberta

 

[ORIGINAL SIGNED]

Hon. Bob McLeod

Premier of the Northwest Territories

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