YPAC at the Senate: Bill C-69

On Tuesday, April 9th, YPAC spoke to the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources about Bill C-69.

YPAC encourages members to learn more about Bill C-69.  Want to learn more about how energy policy impacts you?  YPAC is hosting an Energy Policy 101 event on April 29. 

Read Sarah’s full statement below.

Good afternoon – thank you for the opportunity to speak about the impact of Bill C-69 on young professionals in the industry. My name is Sarah Vandaiyar, and I am the President & CEO of a non-profit called the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada. I represent over 1,400 young professionals across the country that work in the pipeline industry, including professionals in engineering, communications, business development, and academia. YPAC’s vision is to ensure the sustainable future of the pipeline industry, and we provide access to educational events, networking, and opportunities to engage with senior professionals. YPAC is proud to be the next generation of leaders in the Canadian pipeline industry, working alongside organizations, including the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, the Canadian Standards Association, and the Canadian Gas Association, in addition to our international young pipeliner counterparts in the US, Brazil, Australia and Europe.

Sarah Vandaiyar – YPAC President and CEO testifying to the Senate

YPAC is aware of the concerns raised about the Bill and I am here to speak about implications that it could have on young people hoping to get involved in the pipeline industry.

YPAC echoes concerns expressed by CEPA and its member companies regarding the lack of clarity and uncertainty in Bill C-69. Canada’s resources are landlocked due to lack of pipelines, and the economy misses out on revenue which contributes to our declining competitiveness. This, in turn, hinders growth in the industry, and the attraction and development of talent that drives progress. Simply put, improvements to C-69 are required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Canadian energy sector, with this being especially critical to the young professional members of YPAC who are looking for long-term careers.

What may not be apparent is that todays’ pipeline industry possesses incredible creativity and talent that drives innovation. Every two years, Calgary hosts an international technical conference on pipelines, and world-renowned experts discuss pipeline integrity, welding and construction best practices, among other things. Young pipeliners are heavily involved in events such as these, and are part of conversations that drive environmental stewardship and safety. I can tell you that when I graduated from the University of Waterloo 10 years ago, the oil and gas industry was the place to be to be part of exciting projects and to solve interesting problems – many of my classmates moved to Alberta, and have made this province their home. Legislation such as Bill C-69 reduces the competitiveness of the industry, which in turn, diminishes the entrepreneurship, passion and drive that exists in young Canadians to continue to make the industry better.

Young Women in Energy’s Executive Director, Katie Smith, also testified on Tuesday

In addition, the uncertainty in the regulatory process creates roadblocks to realizing opportunities to develop Canadian resources, the revenue from which will support a transition to a low-carbon future.

The uncertainty created by Bill C-69 impedes Canada’s ability to move our oil and gas resources – YPAC is concerned that less regulated countries are not only increasing their production to meet world demand, but are also increasing their deliveries to Canada’s coasts – and, as a result, the Canadian economy misses out on billions in long-term revenue. YPAC recognizes that the energy landscape will shift to a low-carbon future, and this shift requires significant capital and investment, and research to get there. Building out our pipeline infrastructure to obtain the maximum value for our resources provides value that supports this transition.

What does the pipeline industry represent for many young professionals? I would like to close my statement with a personal account of my experience – I am proud of the industry that I work in – over the last 5 years as an engineer at TransCanada, I have been on pipeline right-of-ways during construction, worked with engineering contractors among other things. Very recently, I was seconded to CEPA where I could learn more about industry initiatives that drive continuous improvement. So what does it say about an individual like me that is an engineer, seconded to CEPA, that runs the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada? Hopefully it conveys to this committee that young pipeliners bring a great deal of passion, creativity and are personally invested in ensuring that there is a sustainable future for the industry. Is industry listening to its young professionals? Absolutely! YPAC has a position on an industry board, which shows a real commitment to new ideas. Let’s continue to work together to ensure that the Canadian energy sector remains competitive to ensure a bright future for young pipeliners across the country. Thank you very much – I look forward to your questions.

Learn more about Bill C-69 – ENERGYminute is hosting an event on June 6