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Wood Buffalo’s Mayor tells Senate Committee Bill C-48 is a “systematic attack on the oil sands”

(Edmonton, AB – April 30, 2019) – Describing it as “disastrous,” the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Mayor appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications in Edmonton, Alberta today to express concerns about Bill C-48. Commonly known as the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, the legislation would ban oil tankers along British Columbia's north coast.

“Bill C-48 is a systematic attack on the oil sands and Canada’s ability to export its oil on the international market,” said Don Scott, the Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray and the heart of the oil sands. “Not only will this bill prevent Alberta oil from reaching tidewater, it essentially tells investors to put their money elsewhere; and it delivers a devastating blow to communities, like ours, that depend on the economic investment, well-paying jobs, contracting service opportunities, and economic spin-offs created by oil sands development.”

Noting that the bill does not apply to oil tankers on the East coast of Canada, Mayor Scott suggested the bill “pits West against East and ensures Canadians do not fully benefit from their oil reserves.” He also pointed out that the bill has no effect on the hundreds of tankers transitioning between Alaska and Washington state each year.

“What Bill C-48 will do is keep Canadian oil—oil from an industry that’s regulated to the highest environmental and labour standards—from reaching tidewater and accessing global markets,” concluded Mayor Scott, “It will negatively impact the economic potential of Alberta and Saskatchewan. And that will be to the detriment of all Canadians.”

Today’s appearance comes on the heels of an appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources on April 10 in Fort McMurray to discuss Bill C-69 on behalf of the Coalition of Canadian Municipalities for Energy Action. That bill would overhaul legislation related to resource impact assessment, regulation, and development. The Coalition’s advocacy efforts related to Bill C-69 will continue on May 1 and May 2 when Mayor Scott travels to Ottawa with Wood Buffalo Councillors Krista Balsom, Sheila Lalonde, Verna Murphy to meet with federal officials to discuss Bill C-69 concerns. 

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