Canada-Quebec Offshore Accord moves step forward

The Government of Canada estimates that the Gulf of St. Lawrence and surrounding areas have the potential for more than 39 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1.5 billion barrels of oil, based on preliminary geological studies of the area.

Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today tabled the Notice of Ways and Means Motion to introduce a bill to implement the Canada–Quebec Offshore Accord for the joint management of petroleum resources in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. According to the government’s statement, the move represents “an important milestone for responsible resource development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.”

“Our government is proud to partner with the Government of Quebec on this historic legislation to establish joint management of offshore petroleum resources. The Accord will create jobs and economic growth and prosperity for Quebecers while ensuring the safe and environmentally responsible development of petroleum resources in the Gulf of St. Lawrence,” Greg Rickford
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources said.

According to the government, the proposed legislation would ensure that Quebec will benefit from revenues, including royalties and many taxes and fees, derived from the development of oil and gas resources. Pierre Arcand, Quebec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for Plan Nord, introduced mirror provincial legislation in the National Assembly.

“The Government is committed to protecting the safety of both Canadians and the environment while preserving, protecting and creating Canadian jobs. The bill is a central part of the Government’s Responsible Resource Development Plan, through which it is taking action to create jobs, grow the economy and create long-term prosperity in Quebec and across Canada,” reads a statement by the government.

The 2011 Canada–Quebec Accord established two distinct phases of joint management. The bill covers the first or transitional phase in which the governments will establish a joint regulatory function. The second or permanent phase would be triggered by a commercial discovery of oil or natural gas resources and would see the creation of a joint independent offshore board.

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