Standing Committee on Natural Resources
Minister's Binder and President's Binder - February 8, 2024

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Committee Profile

House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources (RNNR)
44th Parliament – 1st Session

Conservative (4)

Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, AB) – Vice-Chair

Ted Falk (Provencher, MB)

Earl Dreeshen (Red Deer—Mountain View, AB)

Jeremy Patzer (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK)

Bloc Quebecois (1)

Mario Simard (Jonquière, QC) – Vice-Chair

New Democratic Party (1)

Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, ON)

Liberal (6)

George Chahal (Calgary Skyview, AB) – Chair

John Aldag (Cloverdale—Langley City, BC)

Julie Dabrusin (Toronto—Danforth, ON)

Yvonne Jones (Labrador, NL)

Viviane Lapointe (Sudbury, ON)

Francesco Sorbara (Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON)

Shannon Stubbs

Photo - Shannon Stubbs

Riding: Lakeland, AB
Political Party: Conservative
Profession: Public Servant, MLA
Elected to Parliament: October 2015
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources (Critic)

General Information:

Ms. Stubbs graduated with Honours/B.A. in Political Science and English from the University of Alberta. She interned in Ottawa for the Leader of the Official Opposition, Preston Manning, and worked in the constituency office of MP Deborah Grey. Ms. Stubbs worked in the field of public relations, where she advocated on behalf of not-for-profit organizations, charities, educational institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and the oil and gas sector. She worked in the Oil Sands Business Unit of the Alberta Ministry of Energy, and she eventually moved on to the International Offices and Trade Division of the Ministry of Economic Development. She provided policy development, research and communications support, led the organization of a series of public-private workshops on transportation infrastructure, labour needs, royalties and taxation, First Nations relations, and environmental stewardship in Alberta’s oil sands regions, and hydrocarbon upgrading development. Additionally, she co-led an international marketing and advocacy project for the oil sands and heavy oil technology, supply and services businesses.

Ms. Stubbs ran unsuccessfully as a Wildrose candidate in the 2004 and 2011 Alberta elections. She served as Danielle Smith’s Chief of Staff from 2010–12 and the party’s Director of Legislative Affairs from 2012–14. Ms. Stubbs has served as the federal MP for Lakehead since October 2015. She served as both the Shadow Minister and Deputy Critic for Natural Resources from 2015-19. Prior to her re-appointment to the Natural Resources critic role, she held the CPC critic roles for Rural Economic Development and Rural Broadband, and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Ms. Stubbs has sat on numerous parliamentary committees and was the Vice Chair of the Standing Committees on Natural Resources, Public Safety and National Security, and the Special Select Standing Committee for Pay Equity.


Ms. Stubbs has focused many questions during Question Period on jobs in the energy sector. In the past, she frequently accused the government of undermining the credibility of the country’s world-renowned regulatory system and urges the government to approve pipeline projects like Energy East, as well as liquefied natural gas projects. More recent interventions in QP have been focused on inflation and criticizing increases to the federal carbon tax. She has spoken of her support for increasing Canadian oil production to replace “dictator oil” and has argued that the Emissions Reduction Plan and “just transition” measures risk thousands of jobs in Alberta. She often argues that the government has “broken” Canada’s regulatory process and has failed to get mines, pipelines, and drilling operations built.

At RNNR, she has focused heavily on Canada’s regulatory system, and perceived delays in getting energy projects built She is a vocal advocate for building more pipelines and supporting the oil and gas industry in Canada, and has argued that the oil and gas sector is a pivotal player in developing alternative and renewable energy technologies and the fuels of the future.

Ms. Stubbs has been openly critical of the government’s Critical Mineral Strategy, stating that its main purpose is to help businesses navigate the government’s “onerous and opaque regulations, instead of cutting red tape and fixing the government’s glacial approval process.” She has argued that the government’s Strategy doesn’t match the timelines being set or the goals being pursued. In a National Post OpEd, Ms. Stubbs criticized the government’s approach, citing lengthy delays in getting mines built and a lack of a domestic supply chain for minerals – including lithium.

Ms. Stubbs strongly opposed Bill C-69 when it was before Parliament, calling it the “No-More-Pipelines” bill. She argued that the bill allows a single Minister to force any project to undergo a costly federal review, and that it violates provincial control over resources and overrides Indigenous agreements. She has called on the government to drop the bill and use its power to get pipelines built – including TMX. She continues to criticize the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, which came in to effect following the C-69’s Royal Assent, for the same reasons. Since the October release of the Supreme Court of Canada’s reference case on the Impact Assessment Act, which found that the “designated projects” portion of the Act are unconstitutional, Ms. Stubbs has been outspoken on the issue and has argued that the decision necessitates repealing of the Act in its entirety. In a press release on the issue, Ms. Stubbs argued that C-69 is “one tool the Prime Minister’s NDP-Liberals use to create uncertainty for future projects and paycheques through “death by delay,” and arbitrary rule changes.” She tabled a motion with RNNR for the committee to issue an opinion to the House calling for a vote to be held on repealing Bill C-69. Ms. Stubbs also seconded a motion to decline Second Reading of bill C-49, Atlantic Accords Act, due to the SCC’s ruling that certain sections of the IAA (which are also embedded in C-49) are unconstitutional. The amendment was not agreed to in the House.

Top Issues: regulatory efficiency, energy project approval, support for the oil and gas sector, support for Canadian LNG, energy sector jobs, energy affordability, energy security.

Ted Falk

Photo - Ted Falk

Riding: Provencher
Political Party: Conservative
Profession: Businessman
Elected to Parliament: November 2013

General Information:

Prior to politics, Ted Falk was the owner of a heavy construction company that employs more than 75 people. He also served as President and Board Chair of the Steinbach Credit Union, the largest credit union in Manitoba with more than $4 billion in assets.

Mr. Falk was first elected in 2013 and has served on several parliamentary committees including Natural Resources, Public Safety and National Security, Justice and Human Rights, and Finance. He has also served as the Conservative Party’s Deputy Shadow Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and as a member of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. Currently, Ted sits on the Shadow committee for Agriculture.


Mr. Falk’s questions in the House are quite varied but have touched on relevant subjects such as pipeline infrastructure, Manitoba hydroelectricity, and agriculture. In line with CPC party position, he has regularly called on the government to cancel the carbon tax and has regularly petitioned to have farmer’s fuel exempt from the tax as well.

In committee, he has previously focused on the export of products (forest products, electricity, etc.), value-added processing in Canada and the negative impacts of regulations and building codes. Mr. Falk has raised concern over the impact new regulations and policies such as the carbon tax will have on oil and gas producers and argued that they have resulted in investors and companies leaving Canada for US markets.

During previous NRCan appearances at RNNR, he asked officials about the Clean Fuel Standard, Spruce budworm, and consultations and engagement with Indigenous communities on energy infrastructure projects. Specifically, he has asked whether the government’s “duty to consult” equates to a veto on natural resource projects. In more recent appearances, Mr. Falk has repeatedly asked about TMX cost increases and project completion rates, criticizing the government for the cost overruns and project mismanagement.

Mr. Falk is supportive of pipeline infrastructure and strongly opposed Bill C-69 prior to it receiving Royal Assent. He argued that the Bill lacks clarity, predictability, and transparency and will impact Canada’s global competitiveness. Additionally, he argued that it would allow for political interference in the consultation process when approving new projects and would allow foreign entities to participate in public hearings. More recently, he has questioned the impact bill C-69 has on developing the infrastructure and energy required to meet the government’s net-zero objectives.

In the House and in committee, Mr. Falk has criticized the government’s investments in Volkswagen and Stellantis, and asked whether the government will remove the regulatory barriers to mining critical minerals that will be important for the success of these businesses.

Mr. Falk was a vocal opponent to the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline and stated that “Canada has some of the most stringent environmental regulations for energy production in the world. To cancel such a project in the name of environmental stewardship is, frankly, absurd.” He has regularly called on the government to “stand up for Canada’s energy sector and defend Canadian jobs.” During the 2018 Budget debate, Mr. Falk criticized the government for failing to get pipelines built and “dismantling the oil and gas sector.” He argued that the government has failed to encourage foreign investment in Canada’s natural resources, especially since it has made “arbitrary” regulatory changes.

Mr. Falk has been critical of the government’s partnerships with China, stating that “as long as “green” outcomes are tied to red…there will be no measurable results for the environment.” He has argued that Canada should rather be focused on exporting its clean LNG to help coal-dependent countries, including China, to drastically reduce their emissions.

In line with his party’s position, Mr. Falk opposes bill C-50, Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act, arguing it is merely a plan to shut down the energy sector and will kill thousands of jobs and cost the government $20 billion in tax revenues.

During debate on C-49, Atlantic Accords Act, Mr. Falk questioned the economic viability of developing renewable offshore wind resources without considerable subsidies from the government.

Top Issues: regulatory efficiency, project approvals, energy infrastructure, Canadian competitiveness

Earl Dreeshen

Photo - Earl Dreeshen

Riding: Red Deer—Mountain View
Political Party: Conservative
Profession: Farmer, Teacher
Elected to Parliament: 2008

General Information:

Prior to politics, Mr. Dreeshen was fourth-generation farmer and a retired high school math teacher. He and his wife still manage their family farm. He was elected to the Elnora Hospital Board, serving for many years as chair. He also served as chair of the Eltrohills Health Advisory Committee, working toward improved health care standards in the Three Hills, Trochu, and Elnora communities.

Mr. Dreeshen was first elected in 2008 and has been a member of several committees including Health, Public Accounts, Ethics, Aboriginal Affairs, International Trade, and Agriculture. He has also served as a Canadian delegate for the ParlAmericas and as the Deputy Shadow Critic for Industry and Economic Development. He has held the vice-chairmanship of the Industry, Science and Technology Committee, and the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee.


In committee, Mr. Dreeshen often asks about the “life cycle” impacts/emissions of various energy resources, especially for wind and solar energy, and argues we need to measure the impact “from the first shovel” as compared to the energy sources we currently use. He has compared the environmental impact of producing batteries to that of extracting oil and gas and questioned if Canada, and Canadian companies have plans for decommissioning and reclamation to deal with material at its end of life. Mr. Dreeshen has called on responsible departments to conduct a full life cycle analysis of all types of energy technology.

“We need to talk about electrical power transmission lines and hydrocarbon pipelines, and from flooded valleys for hydro dams to abandoned oil wells and to procurement, through to mineral exploration in our own backyard and the importation of products from countries with little regard for the environment or human rights.”

During ENVI’s study on Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Mr. Dreeshen brought up the issue of provincial jurisdiction for natural resources and questioned whether the federal government is properly engaging them. He has called the government’s commitment to ending fossil fuel subsidies “aggressive” in comparison to other G20 countries, and questioned the definition of a subsidy.

Mr. Dreeshen calls himself a “vehement opponent” of the government’s environmental approach, calling the government “anti-resource development”. He has spoken in the House on the need to get Canadian natural gas to tidewater, and has been vocal about hastening the pace of pipeline infrastructure development, especially in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine.

“I think the war in Ukraine has brought into focus a real energy dilemma, and there’s a real dramatic shift in energy security as the world is no longer looking at the future through green-coloured glasses.”

In line with his party’s position, Mr. Dreeshen is a vocal opponent to the carbon tax. He has criticized the government for “taxing consumers and phasing out jobs”. He has been critical of regulations which he argues has forced Canadian oil companies to comply with standards that are not required for foreign companies that export oil to Canadian markets. Regarding TMX, he has been critical of the government’s decision to use tax-payer money to fund the project and has questioned whether it will actually ensure it will be built.

Mr. Dreeshen is a vocal supporter of positioning Canada as a global energy superpower– especially to displace Europe’s dependence on energy products from “authoritarian” regimes– due to our strong environmental and social standards. He has argued that “limiting the access of oil and gas to world markets through federal legislation, denigrating the industry at international fora, and advocating against investment in Canada’s oil and gas sector have had consequences.”

During debate on C-49, Atlantic Accords Act, Mr. Dreeshen stated that the bill would add more red tape to an already overburdened system. He raised concerns with the bill’s proposal of having the regulators being responsible for Indigenous consultations, opining that the responsibility rests with the Crown. He also spoke about his concerns over the life-cycle costs of various types of energy. He questioned the bill’s impact to offshore drilling and the livelihood of Atlantic Canadians dependent on the oil and gas sector. Citing the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent reference case on the Impact Assessment Act, Mr. Dreeshen noted that several provisions in C-49 mirror those that have been “struck down” by the SCC, and warned against government overreach. Overall, he argued that sections of C-49 will need to be scrutinized, and amendments will need to be made.

Top issues: agriculture sector, carbon tax, global energy security, lifecycle impacts of energy projects

Jeremy Patzer

Photo - Jeremy Patzer

Riding: Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Political Party: Conservative
Profession: Telecommunications
Elected to Parliament: October 2019

General Information:

Jeremy Patzer was born and raised on a grain farm in Frontier, Saskatchewan. He worked in the telecommunications industry for 10 years, in business and residential settings for both rural and urban areas. During this time, he remained active in politics, serving on the Board of Directors for the Conservative Party Constituency Association since 2015.

Mr. Patzer was first elected in 2019 and has served as a member of several committees including Natural Resources, Industry, Science and Technology, International Trade, and Public Accounts.


During his time on RNNR, Mr. Patzer has focused many of his questions on the impact of environmental policies on rural communities and argued that policies such as the carbon tax or Clean Fuel Standard have a disproportionate impact on rural Canadians and the elderly. He regularly discusses the issue of grid capacity and Canada’s ability to “double capacity” to meet the increased electricity demand as the country moves to net-zero by 2030.

In a recent press release, Mr. Patzer criticized the Clean Electricity Regulations – saying they are “next in line of a series of anti-energy and anti-Western policies, following the carbon tax, fuel regulations, and a mandate to have all light-duty vehicles in Canada be electric by 2035.” Arguing that there is no business case for wind or solar, he suggested that Canada increase its production and export of LNG to help meet Canada’s energy needs.

While Mr. Patzer has not commented directly on C-49, Atlantic Accords Act, it is likely he opposes the legislation – in line with his party’s general position on the bill.

Top Issues: just transition, rural communities, grid capacity, carbon tax, streamlining regulations, energy affordability

Mario Simard

Photo - Mario Simard

Riding: Jonquière, QC
Political Party: Bloc Québécois
Profession: University Lecturer
Elected to Parliament: October 2019
Natural Resources Critic

General Information:

Mario Simard has been a lecturer in political science and social work at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi since 2005. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science. Mr. Simard was a political attaché from 2011 to 2015 for the former member for Jonquière – Alma, Claude Patry, who was elected as NDP before transferring to the Bloc Québécois during his mandate. Mr. Simard was elected to the House of Commons in 2019.

Mr. Simard has been the Bloc’s critic of natural resources and a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources since the start of the 43rd Parliament. He has served as the vice-chair of RNNR since 2020.


In line with party commitments, Mr. Simard has been vocal in urging the government to divest itself from fossil fuels and support green energy and the ecological transition through green finance. He supports the idea that Quebec can and should be a North American leader in the green transition due to it being rich in energy and renewable resources and having the cutting-edge expertise in the transformation of bioresources. He has stated “The federal government must…[support] Quebec’s green expertise and innovation, in particular the electrification of transport, carbon-neutral aluminum, and forestry transformation. Quebec is ready and has all the assets to be the North American center of the green shift: Ottawa must recognize this and take it into account.”

One of his most discussed issues in both the House and at committee is the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, and phasing out the oil and gas sector. He has frequently questioned the government’s progress on its commitment to eliminating fossil fuel subsidies by 2023 and has pressed the government to formally define “subsidy.” He believes that continued federal funding and subsidization of the fossil fuel industry represents overt alignment with Western Canadian interests and results in “greenwashing” of federal climate commitments.

Recent interventions by Mr. Simard in the House include criticisms of federal investments in the oil and gas sector – especially the TMX pipeline and investments in carbon, capture, utilization, and storage, with stronger calls for the government to cease all fossil fuel subsidies and instead “fund the victims of fuel prices and the energy transition”. He has been openly critical of CPC support for the oil and gas sector going so far as to characterize the CPC as “registered oil lobbyists.” Similarly, he has taken issue with the CPC’s calls to eliminate carbon pricing; defending carbon pricing—particularly Quebec’s cap and trade system—he has suggested that Canada could rather eliminate subsidies for the oil and gas sector to address affordability issues.

During debate on C-49, Atlantic Accords Act, Mr. Simard stated that C-49 does not tread on provincial jurisdiction. He opined that the legislation talks about clean energy, but that it is the development of offshore oil and gas that underpins it. In line with his party, he believes that for the energy transition, the offshore oil and gas industry needs to decrease quickly, which should be reflected in the legislation, and that no new offshore fossil fuel extraction projects should be authorized. Mr. Simard also criticized the continued government subsidies to the oil and gas industry.

Top Issues: fossil fuel subsidies, forest sector support, phasing out oil and gas, supportive of carbon pricing, support for aluminum industry, Western interests, green hydrogen, Quebec’s clean energy, SWL

Charlie Angus

Photo - Charlie Angus

Riding: Timmins—James Bay, Ontario
Political Party: New Democratic Party
Profession: Writer, Activist, Musician
Elected to Parliament: June 2004
Natural Resources, Jobs and Just Transition, Critic

General Information:

Born in Timmins Ontario, Mr. Angus began political activism through music in the punk rock band L’Étranger. Mr. Angus was a community activist in Toronto with various Catholic organizations working on poverty issues during the 1980s and later returned to Northern Ontario in the 1990s. He has authored several books and served as a trustee on the Northeastern Catholic District School Board starting in 2000 before being elected to the House in 2004. In 2017, Mr. Angus ran for leadership of the federal NDP and placed second.

Mr. Angus has held many critic roles during his extensive career in federal politics with portfolios in agriculture, heritage, Indigenous and northern affairs, and ethics. He has extensive committee experience, having held membership in several committees throughout his career. In the previous Parliament, he was a member of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI) and the Standing Committee on Official Languages. Mr. Angus has also held the Vice-Chairmanship of several committees.

Mr. Angus is currently the NDP’s Critic on Natural Resources Jobs and Just Transition. This is a new portfolio created by the NDP, and functions alongside the Deputy Critic of Natural Resources that continues to be held by NDP MP Richard Cannings. This new role will focus on issues related to jobs and skills transition from oil and gas to other economic sectors, emphasizing that any closures in the traditional energy industry must cushion or improve prospects for affected workers.


Mr. Angus has focused on Indigenous issues throughout his career, and in particular Indigenous issues related to natural resources development. Notably, he has pressed the government for more support for the Ring of Fire project, which could support jobs and economic development in his constituency. He has criticized the adjacent De Beers Victor Mine, which has been a point of contention with the local community, but also called for the end of an Indigenous-led blockade of the mine in 2013. Other interventions in the House include criticisms of economic supports for the oil and gas sector, as well as the government’s approach to jobs regarding Keystone XL, the opposition to the Coastal GasLink project, and subsequent rail blockades in February 2020. His interventions have also included support for Indigenous Treaty recognition for natural resource projects.

More recent interventions in the House include criticisms on government’s progress on its climate targets and its actions to reach net zero emissions, the government’s approach to just transition, and the lobbying efforts and environmental track record of oil and gas companies.

Mr. Angus has frequently intervened in Committee and in the House on the issue of oil and gas lobbying. He has been openly critical of the number of meetings that oil and gas companies have had with both the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of the Environment. Mr. Angus regularly criticizes these companies and the profits they have made throughout the pandemic and amid geopolitical tensions in Europe, and on their environmental track record and commitments to net-zero. In October 2023, Mr. Angus tabled a motion with RNNR inviting the CEO of Suncor to appear and discuss his comments on his company’s “disproportionate” focus on the longer-term energy transition and to revise its direction toward profits in the oilsands. During the appearance, Mr. Angus questioned Suncor on the liability of oil and gas companies for the impacts of climate change, arguing that they knew that increasing production would destabilize the planet.

Mr. Angus has also been critical of the plan to increase Canada’s oil and gas production, especially the approval of the Bay du Nord project and further investments in the TMX pipeline. He has cited the Canada Energy Regulator’s Energy Future reports and questioned how increasing production would impact Canada’s ability to meet its climate objectives and reduce emissions. He has questioned the viability of an emissions cap when oil and gas companies are planning to increase production. Mr. Angus has actively criticized the government’s emissions reduction targets arguing that they are ineffective if projects continue to be approved and Scope 3 emissions are omitted. He has criticized the government for “missing every single climate target they’ve made”. He regularly refers to energy forecasts indicating the decrease in demand of oil and gas and has expressed his concern over potential stranded assets in Canada should it continue to invest in the sector.

Mr. Angus has been outspoken against major investments in carbon capture, storage and utilization, stating that the government should rather be investing in energy workers and a just transition. Mr. Angus often refers to a letter by 400 scientists warning that CCUS is “financially risky” and “not proven at scale”, and has questioned the dependency of the government’s emissions reduction plan on this technology. He has questioned why similar federal investments haven’t been made in clean technologies.

During debate on C-49, Mr. Angus argued that the bill must be acted on quickly to capture new private investments in renewable energy projects. He stated that the opportunities will be in clean energy, and Canada’s tax credit regime will need to come into force quickly, or the investments will go to the United States. Hydrogen is a major opportunity for Canada, as there is international demand for Canadian hydrogen. It is expected Mr. Angus will support the bill.

Top Issues: just transition, support for workers, energy transition, U.S. IRA, Indigenous participation in natural resources, oil and gas lobbying, clean energy investments, oil and gas production, critical minerals

George Chahal

Photo - George Chahal

Riding: Calgary Skyview, AB
Political Party: Liberal
Profession: Real estate developer
Elected to Parliament: September 2021
RNNR Chair


Harnirjodh "George" Chahal was born and raised in Calgary. Before entering politics, he worked in construction and development and earned a BA in Economics and Masters in Environmental Design from the University of Calgary. Mr. Chahal is active among Calgary’s Sikh political community, with his father previously serving as president of the Canadian branch of the World Sikh Organization and secretary of the Alberta Liberal Party. Mr. Chahal was elected to Calgary City Council representing Ward 5 in October 2017, and has been outspoken against racism, chaired Calgary’s Community Based Public Safety task Force, and was appointed to Calgary’s Police Commission. Mr. Chahal was elected to the House of Commons during the 2021 federal election as one of two Alberta Liberal MPs and the lone Liberal MP among Calgary ridings.

Mr. Chahal sat as a member of RNNR and the Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (TRAN) committee since December 2021. In October 2023, Mr. Chahal was voted in as Chair of RNNR.


He is one of two Alberta MPs elected with the governing Liberal Party. Prior to being elected Chair of RNNR, Mr. Chahal tabled the following motion:

That, the committee undertake a study of Canada’s electricity grid and network, to understand inter provincial tie-ins and gaps, opportunities, and challenges to improve electrical production and distribution across Canada; invite experts and government officials to provide testimony, and the committee hold no fewer than seven meetings for that purpose; and that the committee report its findings and recommendations to the House and that, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the government table a comprehensive response to the report.

John Aldag

Photo - John Aldag

Riding: Cloverdale—Langley City, BC
Political Party: Liberal
Profession: Public servant
Elected to Parliament: October 2015, September 2021

General Information:

Mr. Aldag was born and raised in rural Saskatchewan. He earned an MBA from Royal Roads University and had a 32-year career with Parks Canada across the country. Most recently, he was the administrator of Fort Langley National Historic Site before his entry into politics. A politically motivating moment for Mr. Aldag was a 2012 layoff of Parks Canada researchers from the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. He was first elected as the MP for Cloverdale—Langley City, BC in 2015. He was not re-elected in 2019, losing his seat by less than 3% of the vote. He was again elected in the 2021 federal election.

During the 42nd Parliament, Mr. Aldag served as a member of the Environment and Sustainable Development (ENVI) Committee from 2016 to 2019 and served as ENVI Chair from September 2018 until September 2019. As well, Mr. Aldag previously held membership in committees on electoral reform and physician-assisted dying.

Mr. Aldag served as chair of RNNR from December 2021 until October 2023. He continues to sit as a member of RNNR, while also being elected to the role of Chair of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAN).

Yvonne Jones

Photo - Yvonne Jones

Riding: Labrador, NL
Political Party: Liberal
Profession: Journalist and Entrepreneur
Elected to Parliament: 2013

General Information:

Ms. Jones is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Northern Affairs. She has previously served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. While serving in opposition, Yvonne was the Liberal Critic responsible for Northern Development and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, ACOA, as well as Search and Rescue. Prior to her election to the House of Commons in May 2013, Yvonne was the Liberal MHA for Cartwright-L’anse au Clair since 1996. During her time has an MHA she served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Works, Services and Transportation and to the Department of Health. In 2003, Yvonne Jones was the first female in the province to be appointed Minister of Fisheries & Aquaculture. She was also the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. Yvonne Jones was appointed Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador and Leader of the Official Opposition on November 15th, 2007. On July 30, 2010, Yvonne became the official Leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

A graduate of West Viking College, Yvonne began her career as a journalist and has worked throughout the province as a news reporter. She also carried out contract work as a researcher with Memorial University and as a Resource Employment Counselor with Human Resources Development Canada. Yvonne is also an entrepreneur and has owned and operated small businesses in Labrador in both the transportation and tourism sectors. Her first foray into politics was as Mayor of her hometown, Mary’s Harbour, Labrador, in 1991. Through her volunteer work with the Battle Harbour Development Corporation, the Combined Councils of Labrador, the NunatuKavut and various literacy groups and councils, Yvonne played a significant role in improving the quality of life not only for the people of her district, but for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.


Yvonne Jones served as the Vice-Chair of the Public Accounts Committee from 2014-2015, which analyses the Federal Government’s spending along with the work of the Auditor General. As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, she sat on the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Committee as a non-voting member. Ms. Jones is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence (Northern Defence). Ms. Jones has been a member of the Natural Resource Committee since February 2020.

Julie Dabrusin

Photo - Julie Dabrusin

Riding: Toronto—Danforth, ON
Political Party: Liberal
Profession: Attorney
Elected to Parliament: October 2015


Julie Dabrusin was born in Montreal and has lived in the Danforth neighbourhood of Toronto since 1998. Dabrusin earned university degrees in law and Middle Eastern studies. She then spent 13 years as an attorney with Rogers Partners LLP, as well as a year as commission counsel to an inquiry into government procurement. In 2011, she left her legal career to focus on raising her two daughters and participating in various community organizing and charitable activities aimed at promoting and preserving Toronto’s public parks. In 2013, she was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Ms. Dabrusin was nominated as the Liberal Party candidate in Toronto—Danforth for the 2015 federal election. Dabrusin won the election, unseating NDP incumbent Craig Scott. Toronto—Danforth was previously held by NDP leader Jack Layton.

Ms. Dabrusin has held a number of roles since first being elected to the 42nd Parliament. She has previously chaired the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC) as well as its subcommittee on agenda and procedure. She has also previously been a member on committees for Physician-Assisted Dying, Public Safety and National Security, as well as Foreign Affairs and International Development.


In the current Parliament, she only holds membership in RNNR, while also serving as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, though she does not hold nor has held membership with the ENVI committee. Previous Parliamentary initiatives involving Ms. Dabrusin related to internet regulation and broadcasting. Climate change was the second most discussed topic by Ms. Dabrusin during interventions in the 42nd Parliament.

Viviane Lapointe

Photo - Viviane Lapointe

Riding: Sudbury, ON
Political Party: Liberal
Profession: Provincial government, Executive Director
Elected to Parliament: September 2021


Viviane Lapointe was born and raised in Sudbury. Prior to entering politics, Mrs. Lapointe worked for the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines before later becoming executive director of Community Living Greater Sudbury, a group centre for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Ms. Lapointe ran in the 2021 federal election in the riding of Sudbury. After successfully winning the nomination, she went on to win her riding in the 2021 election with 34% of the vote.

In addition to sitting as a member of RNNR, Ms. Lapointe is also a member of the committee on Industry and Technology (INDU).

Francesco Sorbara

Photo - Francesco Sorbara

Riding: Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON
Political Party: Liberal
Profession: Finance and Economics
Elected to Parliament: October 2015


Francesco Sorbara is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue. He has served on the House of Commons Standing Committee of Public Accounts and the House of Commons Standing Committee of Finance. Mr. Sorbara is Vice-Chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group and the Canada-Italy Interparliamentary Group. He is also the president of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association.

An economist by training and a CFA Charterholder, Mr. Sorbara worked in the global financial markets in both Canada and the United States for JPMorgan Chase, DBRS, and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Originally from Prince Rupert, B.C., Mr. Sorbara earned an honours degree in economics & finance from Simon Fraser University and a Masters of Arts (Economics) from the University of Toronto. Before entering public life, Mr. Sorbara worked in the private sector for approximately twenty years.

Mr. Sorbara has been involved in community activities such as contributions to the United Way, Eva’s Initiatives and the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, as well as volunteering with organizations such as the Canadian Italian Business Association, the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario and the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts.

In addition to sitting as a member of RNNR, Mr. Sorbara is also a member of the committee on Industry and Technology (INDU).

Bill C-49

Overview: Bill C-49 and the Supreme Court of Canada Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Impact Assessment Act


The government will be questioned on why Bill C-49 includes a subset of amendments designed to improve alignment between the Impact Assessment Act and the Accord Acts given the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision that the Impact Assessment Act’s designated projects scheme is unconstitutional.


Key Messages

Proposed Changes

Offshore Renewable Energy

These amendments will expand the mandate of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (the Offshore Boards) to include regulation of offshore renewable energy projects. The name of the Boards will change to reflect their new mandates. The proposed new names are the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Energy Regulator and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Energy Regulator.

The land tenure process will reflect differences for offshore renewables, including a single Submerged Land Licence for seabed use, rather than the several licences required for the exploration, discovery and production phases of petroleum project development. The Federal and Provincial Ministers will be the final decision makers on initiating any call for bid process and granting any resulting Submerged Land Licence, upon recommendation by the Boards. The current process for petroleum projects will remain, wherein the Boards issue Fundamental Decisions that are ratified by Ministers.

As is the case for petroleum, the Boards will remain responsible for the regulatory oversight of projects, including authorizing any work or activity to ensure safety and environmental protection.

The proposed approach leverages the Boards’ experience, expertise and knowledge of the offshore environment and is similar to approaches adopted by peer jurisdictions.

Offshore Petroleum Regime

Many of the Accord Acts’ technical and administrative provisions have remained unchanged for over 30 years. NS and NL have expressed a strong desire to make targeted updates to better align the offshore petroleum regime with peer jurisdictions while ensuring the appropriate use of evolving technologies. As a result, the amendments seek to update provisions relating to the rights issuance process, reflecting the time challenges of conducting activities offshore, while continuing to ensure a high level of safety.

The amendments also include provisions to establish a transboundary hydrocarbon management regime to regulate fields that straddle domestic and international administrative boundaries to provide clarity in any instances where hydrocarbons may be discovered in an area that extends over multiple administrative boundaries. This will serve to enable the implementation of the Transboundary Canada-France Agreement.

Marine Conservation

The Government of Canada has committed to protecting 25% of Canada’s oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030. The proposed amendments uphold the principle of joint management by ensuring that prohibitions on offshore renewable energy and oil and gas activities, in current or proposed marine conservation areas established in the Canada-NS or Canada-NL offshore areas, are made jointly by federal and provincial governments.

The amendments also propose authorities for the federal Minister to negotiate the surrender (with compensation) of any interests that may overlap with a federal conservation area, and the provincial Minister is provided the same authority in the context of a provincial conservation area. These provisions ensure that if a conservation area is proposed in an area with existing interests, tools are available to seek relinquishment of those interests, and to provide compensation. This supports the Government of Canada’s marine conservation agenda, aligns with similar amendments made in 2019 to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act (CPRA), and ensures consistency with how oil and gas is managed in offshore areas throughout Canada.

None of the proposed amendments would enable the federal or provincial government to unilaterally prohibit oil and gas activity in a conservation area, or to unilaterally cancel an interest.

Alignment with the Impact Assessment Act

The proposed amendments that align the Accord Acts with the IAA follow through on a commitment made in 2019 to our joint management partners, the Governments of NS and NL, to work together to implement the IAA in the Atlantic offshore. The amendments remove outdated references to the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, and add new provisions that clarify how the Offshore Boards will participate in the impact assessment process. None of these proposed amendments alter the functioning of the IAA or the authorities of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada or the Minister of the Environment.

Additionally, a number of the proposed amendments strengthen joint management by providing opportunities for consultation between the Chairperson of the Offshore Boards, the Minister of NRCan, and the provincial Ministers at specific points in the Impact Assessment process. Other proposed amendments improve alignment in areas such as Regional and Strategic Assessments and with respect to Indigenous Consultation.

While Bill C-49 is not about the decision-making framework that was the subject of the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent opinion, it does include cross references to parts of the Impact Assessment Act that were deemed unconstitutional. As indicated in the interim guidance released in October, the Government of Canada is committed to working quickly on targeted and meaningful amendments to the Impact Assessment Act required to respect the Court’s direction.

Should any future changes to the Impact Assessment Act require that consequential amendments be made to the Accord Acts, the Government of Canada will work collaboratively with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure alignment across the statues in a manner that both respects the Court’s direction and upholds our commitment to joint management of the Atlantic offshore.

Active Assessments in the Atlantic Region

The Impact Assessment Agency has several active and ongoing assessments under way in the Atlantic region (see below for details). Included further below are decisions taken in the current fiscal year.

Ongoing Assessments:

Assessment Name

Assessment Type



IA commencement

IA commencement (Planned)

Current Assessment Phase

Anticipated Final Decision Date

Joyce Lake Mine

EA by Agency

Joyce Direct Iron Inc.




EIS and Draft EA Report


Cape Ray Gold Mine

EA by Agency

Matador Mining Ltd.




EIS and Draft EA Report


Boat Harbour Remediation

EA by Agency

Build Nova Scotia




EIS and Draft EA Report


Tilt Cove Exploration Drilling

EA by Agency

Suncor Energy




EIS and Draft EA Report


Cooper Cove Marine Terminal Expansion


Port of Argentia




Initial PD Engagement


Strange Lake Mine


Torngat Metals Ltd.




Summary of Issues


Nain Airport


Nunatsiavut Government




Initial PD Engagement


Offshore Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling East of Newfoundland and Labrador

Regional Assessment







Regional Assessment of Offshore Wind Development in Newfoundland and Labrador

Regional Assessment







Regional Assessment of Offshore Wind Development in Nova Scotia

Regional Assessment







* Start of Regional Assessment process

EIS – Environmental Impact Statement
EA – Environmental Assessment
PD – Project Description
RA – Regional Assessment

Final Decisions:


Assessment Type

Assessment Phase



Actual End Date

Hartlen Point LBTF Project

Request for Designation

Designation Decision


Minister’s Decision on Designation


Port au Port-Stephenville Wind Power and Hydrogen Generation Project

Request for Designation

Designation Decision

World Energy GH2 Inc.

Minister’s Decision on Designation


Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Demonstration Project

Request for Designation

Designation Decision

New Brunswick Power Corporation

Minister’s Decision on Designation


* Repeat request

Overview: Marine Conservation Amendments

National Marine Conservation Areas

Marine Conservation Amendments in Bill C-49

Decision Making

NMCA Establishment Process


Questions and Answers

Aligning the Accord Acts with the Impact Assessment Act

Q1. The Supreme Court of Canada has determined that the Impact Assessment Act is unconstitutional. Why are you proceeding with Bill C-49 given that it references that Act?

Q2. When will the Government introduce amendments to the Impact Assessment Act and will you ensure that these changes are reflected in Bill C-49 before the Bill receives royal assent?

Q3. How many clauses in Bill C-49 cross-reference the Impact Assessment Act and can you provide an example?

Q4. Why are the Accord Acts being amended to align with the Impact Assessment Act?

Q5. Do any of the amendments change the Impact Assessment Act, or the role of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada or Minister of the Environment and Climate Change?

Amendments to Restore Constitutionality of the Impact Assessment Act and Respond to Supreme Court of Canada

Q1. What is the current status of the impact assessment process? What about proponents that are already in the system?

Q2. Can you provide details on the plan for the amendments, when will they happen?

Q3. Will there be consultation on the proposed amendments with Indigenous peoples and will the Government of Canada continue to work with provincial governments?

Q4. Does this opinion limit the Government of Canada’s ability to fight climate change? Does the opinion affect carbon pricing?

Q5. What is the status of the Regulations Respecting Excluded Physical Activities (Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Exploratory Wells) in light of the SCC decision?

Responsive if litigation is raised:

Q6. What is the status of the Regional Assessments on offshore wind in light of the SCC decision?

Clean Growth and Regulatory Efficiency

Q1. What role does the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada have in clean growth projects?

Q2. What progress has been made in improving the regulatory process for clean growth projects?

Q3. How do federal-provincial relations impact progress on clean growth?

Q4. How does Canada’s regulatory process for clean growth projects compare to that in other jurisdictions?

Q5. How does the Agency engage with Indigenous peoples in the context of clean growth?

Marine Conservation Amendments

National Marine Conservation Areas and Bill C-49

Q1. Why does Parks Canada require the marine conservation amendments in Bill C-49?
Q2. What are the benefits of the marine conservation amendments to industry?
Q3. How would you respond to the suggestion that the marine conservation area provisions make this legislation anti-development legislation?

Decision Making

Q4. Do the amendments in C-49 permit Parks Canada to act unilaterally to establish national marine conservation areas in the offshore of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Labrador?
Q5. Does Bill C-49 change Parks Canada’s NMCA establishment process?


Q6. Has Parks Canada ever been required to compensate industry in creating any marine conservation areas within the Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador Accord Areas?
Q7. Has Parks Canada ever established new NMCAs in places where the petroleum industry has held development rights?

Renewable Energy Development in NMCAs

Q8. How will amendments within Bill C-49 affect renewable energy resource activities within NMCAs?

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