The Canadian Senate voted yesterday to keep a ban on oil tankers in the northern part of British Columbia in what could be seen as the latest blow to the country’s embattled oil industry.
The legislators also voted in favor of Bill C-69, this one dealing with infrastructural projects such as pipelines, after approving 188 amendments to it. Bill C-69 has now been sent back to the House of Commons for review, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
Both the tanker bill, C-48, and the pipeline bill, C-69, will make it even harder for the oil industry to boost exports at a time when there is growing hunger for Canadian heavy crude. This, however, does not seem to be the top concern of the Senators despite quite vocal opposition from the provincial governments of Canada’s oil heartland and intense lobbying in parliament.
The vast majority of Trudeau-appointed Senators have decided it is more important to support a bad Liberal bill than to listen to concerns from provincial governments from across the country,” said the Conservative caucus leader in the Senate, Larry Smith.
Bill C-69 concerns the National Energy Board. Its authors propose to dissolve the NEB and replace it with another body, a Canadian Energy Regulator, which would take on many but not all of the responsibilities of the NEB, which has been attacked for being too close to the energy industry to be unbiased in its decisions on various projects.
If that’s bad for the Trans Mountain expansion—the only pipeline project Ottawa has approved since the Liberals took office—the Bill C-48 could kill the project for good, as a group of First Nations interested in buying into the project warned. A ban on oil tankers along the northern coast of British Columbia will render the project pointless combined with the strong opposition of the B.C. government to any tanker traffic off its coast.
By Irina Slav for Safehaven.com
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