Natural Resources Minister Oliver Promises to Streamline Approvals

Environmental, Energy and Resources Law

January 25, 2012

Federal Natural Resources Joe Oliver, in a speech in Calgary on Wednesday, committed to reforming and streamlining the federal environmental approvals process in the coming months. 

He expressed a concern that the process was not as "effective, efficient and expeditious as it could be."  He further referred to the regulatory process as "unpredictable, often increasingly lengthy and needlessly complex".

Read it on Global News: Global News | Federal energy minister: new regulatory process to be introduced within a year

Minister Oliver had previously stated that the system was "broken" and has promised to implement “definitive timelines from start to finish on the regulatory process". 

Minister Oliver is the latest federal Natural Resources minister to promise to streamline energy and natural resources approvals processes.  Previously:

  • in 2005, Liberal Natural Resources Minister John Efford promised to streamline Canada's "cumbersome" regulatory approval process, and spoke about oil and gas projects across Canada caught in the "quagmire" of regulatory approvals
  • in 2005, news reports indicated that Prime Minister Martin had commenced discussions with the United States on speeding up the regulatory review process for oilsands projects, and encouraged decision-makers to speed up the regulatory review process with a one-stop shop for project proposals
  • in 2006, Conservative Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn talked about the need for a "strong regulatory framework" in the context of LNG approvals, in order to eliminate duplication without compromising integrity in order to provide the security that industry needs
  • in 2009, Conservative Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt spoke about her plan to cut pipeline red tape through sweeping legislative changes to make the approvals system more transparent and efficient, in order that pipelines could be built quickly enough to enable Canadian energy to get to markets
  • in 2010, Conservative Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis spoke to a Commons committee about the increasing complexity of regulatory approvals and environmental assessments, the need to give certainty to industry and the need to optimize and streamline the approval process