The Federal Government initiated a review of Canada’s federal environmental and regulatory processes in 2016. Under this initiative, the Minister of Natural Resources established an Expert Panel to conduct a targeted review of the National Energy Board’s (NEB) structure, role and mandate under the National Energy Board Act.
The Expert Panel was tasked to engage broadly with First Nations, interested stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments, as well as the public. The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) made a submission and David Podruzny, CIAC’s Vice-President, Business and Economics, made a presentation to the Panel at their Edmonton, Alberta engagement session on March 7. The consultation process wrapped up on March 31 and the Expert Panel will submit its recommendations to the Minister by May 15, 2017.
Why is NEB Modernization important to Canada’s Chemistry Sector?
Canada’s chemistry industry is an important contributor to our nation’s economy. It converts and adds value to raw resources such as natural gas, crude oil, minerals, and biomass, creating intermediate products that are used as inputs in other areas of the chemistry industry, and by almost all other manufacturing sectors.
Collectively the chemical sector in Canada is responsible for taking almost 21 per cent of domestic gas consumption and converting components such as methane and ethane into high value petrochemicals such as methanol and polyethylene. In addition, almost 70 per cent of CIAC members’ shipments are in the area of petrochemicals. Robust energy transportation infrastructure is key to chemistry sector growth in Canada.
Highlights from CIAC’s submission:
- Canadians derive significant benefit from the reliable and safe pipeline infrastructure that is in place across this country.
- Canada’s long-standing record of science based, objective assessment and decision making under the NEB has allowed this country to develop our world class energy reserves in the national public interest in a sustainable way.
- Parliament has the responsibility to develop broad public policy positions for the good of the country. The permitting process should not be the forum for public policy debate, and such debates should not be allowed to delay timely adjudication of project applications.
- Government policy decisions and directions should influence projects before they get to the application stage at the NEB, not during. We view certainty of public policy and process as key influencers in the sustainable and orderly build out of pipeline infrastructure in Canada.
- Public Participation expectations should be addressed through improved communication, transparency, and openness of the process, but not at the expense of procedural fairness, science-based objective assessment, and set timelines for reviewing applications.
Details on the Expert Panel Terms of Reference and Engagement Process: http://www.neb-modernization.ca/neb-welcome.
CIAC’s submission to the Expert Panel: http://www.canadianchemistry.ca/library/uploads/CIAC_Submission_to_NEB_Modernization_Expert_Panel_Final.pdf