Officials said the double approval isn’t needed, because cabinet doesn’t interfere within the regulator’s decisions. Hunter said it also needlessly delayed the approvals, sometimes by as much as 10 months.

The bill also eliminates Canadian residency requirements for boards of directors and devolves other powers from cabinet to individual ministers.

NDP red tape reduction critic Chris Nielsen said the bill is 175 pages with tons of of proposed legal changes, and it’s being pushed through the legislature in the midst of a pandemic.

“This bill gives enormous amounts of power to individual ministers, removes transparency and accountability measures [and] weakens legal protections across the board,” said Nielsen.

NDP environment critic Marlin Schmidt said cabinet will need to have a job in oilsands approvals, because it is liable for broader public concerns beyond what is taken into account by the Alberta Energy Regulator.

“Nobody elected the AER,” said Schmidt.

“The AER is just not a part of a system of presidency representing multiple perspectives held accountable to the general public.”

Watch below: Some Global News videos about Energy Efficiency Alberta.


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