ICBA is a founding member of Confidence in Canada, a coalition of more than 130 business, labour, municipal and other groups supporting investment in Canada.
Vancouver, B.C. – We are pleased to see the federal government’s final decision today granting approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) Project. After more than seven years of review, it’s time to get shovels in the ground. The government of B.C. must now respect the federal government’s decision that this project is in the national interest and must proceed without further delay.
The ongoing and unprecedented uncertainty around the TMX project led a group of over 113 business organizations, communities and leaders from across Canada to form the Confidence in Canada movement last spring. The group remains concerned as there is more than just a pipeline at stake. Uncertainty continues, fueled by the mounting regulatory burden and new legislation, including Bills C- 69 and C-48. Canada is mired in process paralysis and political division, self inflicted measures that are undermining our ability to get projects built by adding cost and complexity at the expense of our country’s future prosperity and impacting families and our reputation.
Investment in Canadian natural resource projects has been the lifeblood of our economy for decades, paying high wages and generating government revenues for health, education and social services across the nation. Even as this project is granted approval, Canada is increasingly being passed over for global investments in our natural resource, energy and related technology sectors. This is a lost opportunity for all Canadians.
Canada ranks 13th in the IMD World Competitiveness ranking in 2019, down three places from 2018 with an increasing risk premium. In the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Competitiveness Report, Canada ranked 53rd for its burden of government regulation.
We are at a crucial juncture where Canada needs to take an honest assessment to support our future growth through a comprehensive review of our regulatory and tax competitiveness. Our standard of living and ability to make continued progress on issues such as Indigenous reconciliation and climate action depends on it. Failure to get this right will hold back future generations from achieving their goals and realizing the quality of life that Canadians have enjoyed for decades.
The founding organizations of the Confidence in Canada movement will continue to advocate for citizens, communities and businesses to ensure Canada is an attractive place to invest, work and raise our families for generations to come.
“Canadians know that our country is stronger and better when we lever our strengths and act as a federation. British Columbia came into Canada through the promise of being connected by federal infrastructure. It is now up to B.C. to play a leadership role by respecting today’s decision in the interest of getting Canadian resources to diversified markets where they will receive fair market value.”
– Greg D’Avignon, President & CEO, Business Council of British Columbia
“Bill C-48, the Trudeau government’s north coast tanker ban, combined with Bill C-69, which will make it virtually impossible to get another major energy infrastructure project approved in Canada, are a one-two punch that will put Canada’s energy sector on its knees.”
– Chris Gardner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association
“It is high time that we move forward, collectively as Canadians, to build this infrastructure and get our natural resources to international markets.”
– Iain Black, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
“Today’s news that the TMX pipeline has been approved is welcome news – but it’s long overdue. We call on the federal government to move quickly from approval to construction, so we can the unlock benefits of this project for all Canadians.”
– Val Litwin, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce
“Today’s decision is important in that it doesn’t further exacerbate the challenges we face with investor confidence and alienating Albertans. But we still have a huge challenge ahead of us to create the certainty that we are a country where decisions can be made in a reasonable timeframe and big projects can be built. “
– Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President and Chief Strategic Officer for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business
“Today’s decision by the federal cabinet on the TMX pipeline is a much needed confirmation of the critical role that responsible resource development—be it oil and gas, mining or forestry—plays in the Canadian economy and in the lives of countless workers, their families and communities right across our country.”
– Michael Goehring, President and CEO, Mining Association of British Columbia