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QUEBEC — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today delivered the welcoming address at the 5th World Forum on Energy Regulation in Québec City. The Minister highlighted the importance of responsible resource development to the economy and reiterated the Government’s focus on diversifying Canada’s energy markets.
“We see opportunities to expand and diversify the markets for our energy and other natural resources beyond our traditional markets in the United States — particularly in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Minister Oliver. "To take advantage of these opportunities, we need to develop significant additions to our energy infrastructure — and a number of major projects have been proposed.”
“Forbes magazine rates Canada the best place in the world to do business, but we cannot overlook the key role regulatory processes play in our economic well-being, especially as they apply to the development of energy and energy infrastructure,” said the Minister. “Providing a regulatory regime that is efficient as well as effective is a basic part of offering a stable, predictable climate for investment. This is not just a Canadian concern, but common to all countries.”
The Government of Canada knows that a safe, reliable, and affordable energy supply is fundamental to attracting investment, creating jobs, building long-term prosperity, encouraging national competitiveness and assuring our quality of life. That is why improving the performance of the regulatory system has been an ongoing priority of the federal Government.
Last month, as part of the 2012 Economic Action Plan, the Government announced a major initiative designed to eliminate duplication and other inefficiencies in the system.
Responsible Resource Development is founded on four main pillars: to make project reviews more predictable and timely; to reduce duplication of project reviews; to strengthen environmental protection; and to enhance Aboriginal consultations.
Among other changes, the plan will eliminate inefficiencies between levels of government by enabling provincial governments to replace rather than duplicate assessments by the federal government, provided they can meet federal requirements. The plan also proposes to place firm time limits on reviews, which would have to be completed within two years.
At the same time, it proposes measures to strengthen Canada's already high standards for safety and environmental protection. For example, substantial financial penalties would for the first time be imposed for non-compliance with conditions set by environmental reviews.
“Energy maintains and builds the strength of developed nations and is a prerequisite to the economic success of emerging economies — and efficient, effective regulation is the foundation,” said Minister Oliver. “That is why the Government of Canada is committed to renewing Canada’s regulatory system with our plan for Responsible Resource Development.”
For more information on Responsible Resource Development, please visit Canada’s Economic Action Plan website: www.actionplan.gc.ca/responsibleresourcedevelopment
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Natural Resources Canada
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