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McKenna considering Senate changes to environmental-assessment bill

Last Updated Jun 7, 2019 at 8:03 am PDT

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna holds a sapling that she received after making an announcement, on World Environment Day at the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Summary

Canada's environment minister says she's pleased Bill C-69 made it through the Senate Thursday night

There have been attempts to delay or weaken the Liberal government's environmental-assessment bill

Senators made more than 180 changes to the government bill

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says she is carefully considering the amendments the Senate has made to the Liberal government’s environmental-assessment bill.

McKenna says she is pleased Bill C-69 made it through the Senate Thursday night despite attempts by the Conservatives to delay or weaken the bill.

Senators made more than 180 changes to the government bill, which creates a new agency and process for assessing the environmental, health, social and economic impacts of major resource and transportation projects, including mines and interprovincial pipelines and highways.

The changes take away some of the powers McKenna would have, as the environment minister, to intervene in the process and they shorten the timeline for getting a project from proposal to approval.

The House of Commons passed the legislation a year ago and will now have to consider whether it will approve the changes proposed by the Senate.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he would support the bill if the government agrees to all the proposed changes but has previously said the version of the bill the government put forth was a dagger to the energy industry and an affront to national unity.

The Canadian Press