Federal environmental legislation known as Bill C-69 passed in the House of Commons Thursday without the amendments the provincial government wanted. The bill must be debated in the Senate again, and it could have implications for the Atlantic Accord.
Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady wrote a letter June 11 to federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, stating: “It is our understanding that the provisions of Bill C-69 will not come into force until a later date in the C-NL offshore to allow the appropriate [Atlantic] Accord amendments to be developed and implemented.” The provincial government has insisted Bill C-69 must respect the principle of joint management of the offshore oil sector as laid out in the Atlantic Accord.
In an interview Friday, Coady did not rule out refusing to adopt potential Accord amendments if the province doesn’t get what it wants, and PC leader Ches Crosbie said he would try to resist any amendments in the House, where the Liberals are teetering on the edge of a minority.
Crosbie also wants the government to submit a reference question to the Court of Appeal, asking whether the Atlantic Accord or Bill C-69 takes precedence. NTV’s Michael Connors reports.