Highlights of the 2012 Federal Budget
March 29, 2012 by Michael Styczen, P.Eng
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered the Harper government’s 2012 budget today, mixing together austerity measures, pension reforms, and the end of the penny.
For the energy and resources sectors, there are a number of highlights in the budget, most significantly the setting of limits on the time for environmental review of major projects.
The budget speech cited a need to cut through a "complex maze" of rules and “long and unpredictable” approval processes, and stated the government’s commitment to ensure that needed pipeline infrastructure is built to access Asian markets. Accordingly, new rules will limit review processes for pipelines to 18 months. Mining projects will be limited to two years, and all other approvals would be limited to a one year review period. In addition, Flaherty reaffirmed the government’s commitment to “one-project, one-review”, likely limiting the scope of federal review of projects already undergoing a provincial review.
Other energy and resources highlights include