Con "fixer" Bruce Carson and Lib National Campaign Co-Chair Daniel Gagnier worked together on a national energy program for industry lobby group, the Energy Policy Institute of Canada,
both given speeches and published numerous papers in support of it.
Former EPIC president, now Senator,
Doug Black was duly grateful :
"I would like to acknowledge our three vice chairs that presented our work to the energy ministers: Bruce Carson, Gerry Protti and Daniel Gagnier."In light of EPIC's subsequent presser in 2012
(h/t Hugh) that :"Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver announced legislative changes that would put EPIC's recommendations into federal law. Regulatory changes within omnibus Bill C-38 reflect recommendations of EPIC surrounding regulatory streamlining." ... I thought we might take a look at a few of EPIC's regulatory streamlining recommendations and how they have shaped current Con policy on property rights, pipelines, public participation, and First Nations.
[EPIC itself has been offline since last Thursday's press coverage of new RCMP allegations against former vice-chair Bruce Carson.]
Let's start with Property Rights
under the push for tarsands-to-tankers pipelines.
Theirs, not yours. EPIC : Canadian Energy Strategy Framework,
Page 31 :
"It is a well established common law principle that a right to mines and minerals includes the right to do all things necessary to work and recover the minerals. In other words, since a grant of mineral rights is essentially meaningless unless accompanied by the right to actually recover those minerals, it is assumed that the grant of mineral rights includes the right to recover the minerals as well.Therefore, since an initial grant of mineral rights also conveys the right to recover the minerals, the regulatory scheme should focus on how
these rights are exercised, not whether
they can be exercised. Otherwise, the initial grant of rights would be rendered meaningless.
This does not suggest that a right to recover minerals provides the rights holder with a free pass to recover those minerals in any way they see ﬁt, regardless of the environmental or social implications. It does suggest, however, that if recovering the minerals will necessarily
result in certain and acceptable environmental effects, then the initial grant of rights should be interpreted as impliedly authorizing those effects."I had never considered that mining or mineral rights automatically pre-approves accepting their resulting effects on the environment - as say the results from fracking - but EPIC cites the Aberta courts and Supreme Court of Canada as backing them up on this.For what this looks like in real life, see: Alberta Mother Fights Five Neighbouring Fracked Wells
(h/tMogs)Back to EPIC : "If the regulatory scheme determines whether or not each resource development should be allowed to proceed based on equal consideration of environmental, social and economic factors, then the scheme is failing to take into account the previous acquisition of property rights and is disregarding long established legal principles relating to private property. "Consideration of environmental and social factors subordinate to corporate rights to private property!
EPIC then extrapolates a further extension of those rights in getting product to market. "... just as there is a presumption that mineral rights-holders should be able to recover the minerals in question, there should also be a presumption that mineral rights-holders should be able to transport recovered minerals to market, such as through a pipeline. Otherwise, the mineral right would lose its inherent value. This does not mean that all proposed pipelines should automatically be approved without examination of environmental and socio-economic considerations. What the presumption does mean, however, is that the need
for a pipeline required to move resources to market should be evident in the proposal itself, and that any proposed pipeline project that aims to connect a new supply basin to market must be evaluated with the understanding that a pipeline (though not necessarily the speciﬁc pipeline project being proposed) should be allowed to proceed to allow producers to access downstream markets.
Otherwise, the upstream mineral rights become worthless.With respect to most renewable resource projects, pipelines, transmission lines and nuclear generation projects, similar logic should also apply.Just as the initial grant of mineral rights creates a presumption that those rights
should be developed, a preliminary determination by elected public representatives that a renewable project, pipeline, transmission line or nuclear generation project is needed and in the interest of the province or country ought to create a presumption that the development should be allowed to proceed."Wow. I wonder if that would obtain under legal challenge or if, as Steve would say, it's a "no-brainer".And speaking of Steve
: "Statements from the Prime Minister claiming that Canada should become an “energy superpower,” and his recent promotion of Canada as an energy supplier to China, are examples of the kind of leadership required, at least at a general policy level, to provide clear signals of the government’s intent to ofﬁcials, regulators, industry and other governments."Strong stable Steve gets a cookie. A fortune cookie. Public regulators get the point.Tarsands-to-First Nations-to-Tankers Pipeline
, Page 24 :
"The federal government needs to take a proactive role in negotiations with First Nations to ensure the national interest is effectively represented. [Well hello, Jim Prentice!] Almost all potential opportunities for market diversiﬁcation require new or expanded infrastructure and the collaboration of First Nations."Tarsands-to-tankers-to-China
, Page 25 :
"China, Korea and Taiwan are seeking more secure supplies of oil and natural gas. Both the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and the Kinder-Morgan expansion in Vancouver could help to meet this growing Asian demand, and there is clearly an opportunity for even further capacity development."Public participation,
"Joint review panels are a unique aspect of environmental assessments in Canada that have created a plethora of legal concern and given rise to signiﬁcant delays and accompanying costs with no apparent beneﬁt to the decision-making process. In addition, joint review panel members are often independent from the regulators and are divorced from governments’ overarching energy policy goals. The federal government must develop regulations that restrict participation in federal EA reviews to those parties that are directly and adversely affected by the proposal in question. ... determining whether increasing energy infrastructure from Alberta to the west coast is in the Canadian public interest, but once that policy has been determined it should not be revisited in speciﬁc project reviews. Regulatory proceedings for speciﬁc projects should focus on the merits of the project and the evidence on the record. The only third parties that should be allowed to participate in these reviews are those parties that have the potential to be directly and adversely affected by the proposed project."... which is exactly what we got in the pipelines hearings in BC.
So there it is - EPIC's word made flesh in the Environmental Assessment Act 2012.
I guess EPIC's bragging rights about their influence on government legislation for their 38 energy member organizations wasn't an exaggeration at all. They wrote it.
To you small and large L liberals. I'm sure it's royally pissed you off that I've tarred Liberal national campaign co-chair Daniel Gagnier for his work with Bruce Carson.
I don't much care about Carson - he's gone as a fixer for Steve.
What I do care is that we now have Gagnier, representing EPIC's views since 2010 and currently their registered lobbyist
as of Friday, fixing up a tarsands agenda for Trudeau.
Thank you for reading.
.EPIC's epic National Energy Program, Part one
Bruce Carson : "the secret sauce".