YPAC at the Senate – Bill C-48

Nancy Manchak, Edmonton Chapter Chair, testifies about the impact of the oil tanker moratorium on young pipeliners. Read her full statement here!

My name is Nancy Manchak, and I am a Professional Engineer working in the Canadian pipeline sector.  I am also the Edmonton Chapter Chair of a non-profit called the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC).  Thank you for the opportunity to speak today about the concerns regarding Bill C-48 identified by young professionals in the pipeline industry. 

Established in 2012, YPAC is a Canadawide network of over 1,500 young professionals who work in the energy pipeline industry. The vision of YPAC is to ensure the sustainable future of the pipeline industry. To achieve this vision, we provide educational, mentoring and networking opportunities for our members. YPAC also works collaboratively with industry associations, such as the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, and our international peers of young pipeline professional groups in the United States, Brazil, and Europe.

As I speak today on behalf of YPAC, I wanted to highlight that YPAC represents members from across Canada who are united in our vision of creating long term industry sustainability. We have active chapters in Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. We are also in the process of forming chapters in Ottawa and Toronto. 

With this, a key concern that YPAC has with the proposed Bill C-48 is the legislation’s potential to adversely impact one region of Canada over another. Canada’s strength is due to its diverse landscape and population. Bill C-48 will limit this strength, and equality of opportunity, by implementing restrictions only to a portion of the British Columbia coastline. In turn, this will restrict the growth potential of the Western Canadian energy sector, while also reducing opportunities for local investment and employment.

Canada’s abundance of natural resources, combined with our low population density and northern climate, make us an apt choice for having a highly developed and world leading energy sector. Canadian energy is produced under a great degree of environmental, human rights, and regulatory oversight, and in a way that benefits all Canadians, both directly and indirectly.  

For future longevity of the Canadian energy industry, it is necessary to obtain additional market access for our products. To do this, Canada must balance environmental protections, while recognizing the economic prosperity potential that lies in our coastlines for all Canadians, including young pipeliners.  Bill C-48 will limit access to new markets for Canadian crude exports and will entrench the Western Canadian oil industry’s dependency on US oil benchmark pricing. It is another signal to the world that Canada is closing itself off for business, creating continued investment uncertainty. Yet, at the same time that Bill C-48 will constrain crude exports along the British Columbia coastline, with the closest access to growing Asian markets, Canadian East Coast refineries will continue to import oil at coastal ports.

Through my professional work experience, I have been fortunate to directly work in five provinces and one territory. I have observed the positive impacts that Canadian energy and pipeline companies have had on the communities they operate in and around, and I am a proud young pipeliner. 

I appreciate the degree of creativity and continuous improvement that is present in our industry. For young pipeliners, YPAC wants this culture of innovation and rewarding work to remain in the future. To ensure the sustainability of the pipeline industry, young pipeliners need confidence that the industry offers long-term career prospects in Canada. However, investment uncertainty from Bill C-48 puts a sustainable future for the Canadian pipeline industry at risk by de-motivating top young professional talent. We must be cautious not to force educated and highly-mobile young Canadian professionals to leave Canada for other, more business-friendly jurisdictions.

The Canadian oil industry’s west coast market access is critical for the preservation of both young pipeliners’ as well as all Canadians’ wellbeing and high standard of living.  Just as the Government of Canada has a duty to ensure that environmental protections are established and maintained, it is also the duty of the Government of Canada to enable safe, responsible and sustainable economic development without undue hindrances. Bill C-48 threatens the future of Canada’s world leading pipeline industry, and thus YPAC is opposed to Bill C-48.

Thank you again for your time.

Nancy’s transcript and the Senate Q&A are available here: https://sencanada.ca/en/Content/SEN/Committee/421/trcm/54725-e

Read more in the national post article featuring Nancy’s answers to questions!