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Chair of Ministerial Working Group on Regulatory Efficiency for Clean Growth Projects issues statement

Press Release

From: Privy Council Office

Ottawa, Ontario, February 1, 2024 – Today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour and Seniors, and Chair of the Ministerial Working Group on Regulatory Efficiency for Clean Growth Projects, issued the following statement:

“An efficient and effective review process for clean energy, critical minerals, transportation and other major projects is essential. It keeps our economy competitive and creates good, well-paying jobs. It creates more opportunities and builds up regional economies in rural and remote parts of the country. Other countries, including the United States, Japan, Australia, and those throughout the European Union are putting in place strategies to accelerate clean growth. Canada is already home to a world-class regulatory system, and we want to keep that competitive advantage to attract new clean growth projects. The Government of Canada committed to improving our regulatory and permitting processes without compromising environmental protections and Indigenous People’s rights. Project proponents and investors have told us that more clarity and certainty in terms of expectations, timelines and decision-making processes will provide them with added confidence to invest in Canada and get major projects built faster.

“The government is taking further action to improve federal regulatory and permitting processes to make them more efficient, transparent and predictable. This will advance other national priorities such as: accelerating Canada’s most promising sectors and opportunities for a net-zero economy; producing the abundant clean energy needed to power our net-zero future; advancing meaningful Indigenous engagement and participation; and ensuring the timely completion of environmental reviews without cutting corners.

“The Government of Canada will:

  • Drive coordination across federal regulatory departments: ensure predictable timelines are met through early coordination, information-sharing and effective communication across more than 10 federal departments and agencies responsible for regulation of major projects.
  • Amend the Impact Assessment Act: bring it in line with the October 2023 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding federal jurisdiction in impact assessments, by introducing legislation this Spring.
  • Launch a public permitting dashboard: increase transparency and accountability on the progress of major projects, beginning with major projects subject to a federal impact assessment and building on the existing Canadian Impact Assessment Registry.
  • Collaborate with provinces and territories to maximize efficiencies: apply more flexible approaches and leveraging existing partnerships, such as the Regional Energy and Resource Tables to maximize efficiencies and reduce duplication across federal and provincial and territorial regulating and permitting processes, while respecting roles and jurisdictions.
  • Improve Engagement with Indigenous partners: work with Indigenous partners to determine the best ways to enhance federal coordination of Crown consultation activities and ensure opportunities for meaningful and equitable engagement and participation of Indigenous Peoples in regulatory processes from the outset and in a manner that adheres to our commitments under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Catalyze Indigenous ownership: in collaboration with Indigenous leaders and experts, develop an Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program to facilitate Indigenous equity ownership in major projects in the energy and natural resource sector, with more details to be announced in Budget 2024;
  • Address issues unique to the North: advance major projects in the three territories through the Northern Regulatory Initiative, through regional studies, improved participation of community members and regulatory dialogues in the North.

“This work will remain a priority for the Government of Canada. The Ministerial Working Group for Regulatory Efficiency of Clean Growth Projects will keep working to complete and put in place more changes throughout Spring 2024.

“The Government of Canada committed in Budget 2023 to improve the efficiency of the impact assessment and permitting processes for major projects, to clarify and reduce timelines, and to improve engagement and partnerships. That’s what we’re doing with by advancing these measures.

“Informed by what we heard from regulatory experts, these measures reflect the common interest the Government of Canada shares with the provinces and territories to attract investments and projects that advance a low-carbon economy. Federal-provincial-territorial collaboration is critical to the success of this approach.

“Canada has an ambitious and achievable plan to bolster investor confidence. That plan depends on improving regulatory timelines and certainty. That’s how we build our net-zero future faster to drive economic growth, create good, well-paying jobs, and ensure prosperity in every sector of the economy and every region of the country.”

Working Group Members:

  • The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
  • The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
  • The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
  • The Honourable of François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
  • The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services
  • The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
  • The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Contacts

For more information (media only), please contact:

Hartley Witten
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Labour and Seniors, Seamus O’Regan Jr.
343-575-1065
hartley.witten@labour-travail.gc.ca

Media Relations
Privy Council Office
613-957-5420
mediacentre@pco-bcp.gc.ca

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