OTTAWA – Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says regulations to cap emissions from oil and gas production will be published later this fall despite a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision affecting federal environmental law.
The opinion issued Friday said some parts of the federal environmental assessment legislation are unconstitutional because they could allow Ottawa to regulate activities that lie solely within provincial jurisdiction.
Guilbeault says the government is still studying the opinion, but an earlier Supreme Court decision upholding the federal carbon price makes clear that Ottawa has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
He also says an appearance by the CEO of oilsands giant Suncor at a parliamentary committee Monday furthers the government’s resolve that such regulations are necessary.
Guilbeault says nothing Rich Kruger told the natural resources committee made him feel more confident that the company would take steps on its own to reduce its carbon footprint and help slow climate change.
The government promised during the 2021 election to publish regulations to set a cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector and ratchet them down by 2030, as the sector accounts for more than one-quarter of Canada’s total annual emissions.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2023.