Two major bills were tabled on June 7, 2016, at the Québec National Assembly by the Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Mr. David Heurtel, and by the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Pierre Arcand.
Specifically, the bills that were introduced are the following:
- Bill n°102, An Act to amend the Environment Quality Act to modernize the environmental authorization scheme and to amend other legislative provisions, in particular to reform the governance of the Green Fund ("Bill 102");
- Bill n°106, An Act to implement the 2030 Energy Policy and to amend various legislative provisions ("Bill 106").
The introduction of Bill 102 is a result of the tabling of the Green Paper on June 11, 2015, which gave rise to a series of specific consultations among the various stakeholders in August and September of 2015. This Bill's purpose is mainly to modernize the Québec environmental authorization process.
At the press conference held on June 7, 2016, the Minister Heurtel stressed that the modernization of the environmental authorization process would be carried out on three fronts, namely by way of legislative, regulatory and administrative amendments. This major Bill will have a significant impact on all industrial activities in Québec and will change the manner in which authorization requests filed with the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change are processed.
As for Bill 106, it aims to implement the measures announced in the 2030 Energy Policy which was introduced on April 7, 2016. Specifically, it provides for the establishment of Transition énergétique Québec, a corporate body which mission is to support, stimulate and promote energy transition, innovation and efficiency in Québec. Bill 106 also provides for significant amendments to the Act respecting the Régie de l'énergie. Finally, it proposes to enact the Petroleum Resources Act, which will establish a licence and authorization system applicable to exploration, production and storage of petroleum.
We are currently undertaking an exhaustive study of the bills introduced by Ministers Heurtel and Arcand in order to assess the potential impacts for our clients. We will inform you shortly of our impressions as to the impact of these legislative changes on your activities.