Canadian Common Ground Alliance
The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) strongly supports Bill S-229, An Act respecting underground infrastructure safety, introduced by Senator Grant Mitchell, which entered Second Reading debate on October 4, 2016. This legislation will reduce the costs and increase safety associated with damages to our underground infrastructure by addressing the need for a mandated comprehensive call/click-before-you-dig notification system across Canada.
The members of the CCGA, which include the Canadian Gas Association (CGA), the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), as well as other industry associations representing excavators, locators, road builders, telecommunications, railroad, water, landscapers, construction, engineering and design, encourage all Senators and Parliamentarians to support Bill S-229 and for the federal government to mandate a comprehensive notification system for locate requests before digging.
There is a system of underground infrastructure that delivers and transports the services that support us in our daily lives, including energy, television, telecommunications, water and sewage. As Senator Mitchell stated in the Senate “It’s a web of wires, pipes, fibre optics and oil and gas pipelines that are at the root of our quality of life and our standard of living.”
This legislation is in response to a report published by the Senate Committee on the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources in December 2014 that recommended all jurisdictions mandate the use of this type of notification system. While currently there are Call/Click Before you Dig systems in Canada, there is no legislation, except in Ontario, to require its use. Bill S-229 would ensure the system is comprehensive and effective for underground infrastructure on federal lands.
There is a significant amount of cost and damages from people who hit underground infrastructure when they are digging, whether it is from major construction projects or homeowners digging in their yard. In 2015, there were more than 10,000 voluntary reports of damage to underground infrastructure in Canada, of which 79 per cent caused a disruption to services.
According to a report conducted by CIRANO, an organization based in Quebec, entitled Socio-Economic Cost Assessment for Damages to Underground Infrastructures, there are more than the obvious direct costs, including the cost of the materials, labour costs and administrative costs related to the damages. There are also indirect costs related to the damage, including intervention of emergency services, evacuations, loss of products, environmental impact, economic impact on businesses and risk of injury or death.
While Bill S-229 covers underground infrastructure that is federally regulated or on federal lands, it is a positive step in the right direction. As Senator Mitchell stated, “this federal initiative can contribute to momentum for a national system. It is an opportunity for positive, collaborative national leadership.”
The CCGA’s vision is to be Canada's unified damage prevention voice and attract members from all Canadian national organizations and associations who share common damage prevention and public safety solutions.
For more information, contact:
Canadian Common Ground Alliance (c/o Alberta One-Call)
Senator Grant Mitchell rose in the Senate October 4, 2016 and moved the second reading of Bill S-229, An Act respecting underground infrastructure safety.
Please click HERE to read his speech.
Suite à des mois de rédaction et de révision et après plusieurs périodes de commentaires avec les intervenants, le projet de loi visant à accroître la sûreté des infrastructures souterraines a été déposé au Sénat cet après-midi par le sénateur Grant Mitchell.
Le texte établit un régime fédéral de notification sur les infrastructures souterraines qui exige notamment :
Enfin, le texte comporte un mécanisme permettant l’application de ce régime de notification aux réserves et à certaines autres terres assujetties à la Loi sur les Indiens, après consultation des conseils de bande concernés.
Le processus législatif du Sénat ressemble à celui de la Chambre des communes. Il comporte cinq étapes:
1. Première lecture
Le Sénat reçoit le projet de loi, qui est imprimé et distribué aux sénateurs. C'est une procédure de présentation au Sénat sans débat ni vote.
2. Deuxième lecture
Les sénateurs débattent du principe du projet de loi en chambre. S’agit-il d’un projet de loi judicieux? Pour y voir clair, le Sénat peut renvoyer le projet de loi à un comité sénatorial qui l’examinera de plus près avant de se prononcer à savoir s’il y a lieu d’y donner suite ou non.
3. Étude en comité
Le Sénat renvoie le projet de loi à l’un de ses comités. Le comité peut tenir des audiences publiques au cours desquelles il invite des ministres du Cabinet, des représentants du gouvernement, des spécialistes et de simples citoyens qui s’intéressent au projet de loi à discuter du projet de loi et à exprimer leur point de vue à ce sujet. Les membres du comité font ensuite l’étude détaillée du projet de loi, article par article, processus au cours duquel ils peuvent proposer des modifications du projet de loi, appelés amendements.
Après avoir terminé l’examen détaillé du projet de loi, le comité adopte un rapport sur le projet de loi dans lequel il recommande au Sénat d’adopter le projet de loi tel quel, de l’adopter avec des amendements ou de le rejeter. Les comités joignent souvent à leur rapport des observations à propos des points qui ont été soulevés pendant l’étude du projet de loi.
4. Étape du rapport
Si le comité recommande d’adopter le projet de loi tel quel, c’est-à-dire sans amendement, il n’y a pas d’étape du rapport au Sénat et le projet de loi passe directement à la troisième lecture.
Si le comité propose des amendements, les sénateurs doivent débattre du rapport au Sénat et accepter, modifier ou rejeter les amendements, en tout ou en partie.
5. Troisième lecture
Dernière étape du débat au Sénat. Les sénateurs peuvent proposer d’autres amendements à ce stade avant le vote aboutissant à l’adoption ou au rejet du projet de loi.
Si le projet de loi a été présenté au Sénat, il est envoyé à la Chambre des communes, qui l’étudie selon un processus similaire en trois étapes de lecture. Si le projet de loi a été présenté à la Chambre des communes et qu’il n’a pas été amendé par le Sénat, il est prêt à recevoir la sanction royale.
Par contre, si le projet de loi a été présenté à la Chambre des communes et qu’il a été amendé par le Sénat, un message concernant ces amendements est expédié à la Chambre des communes pour lui demander son assentiment. Si le Sénat et la Chambre des communes ne s’entendent pas sur la teneur d’un projet de loi, ils peuvent proposer des amendements jusqu'à ce qu’il y ait entente à ce sujet. Lorsque les deux Chambres ont convenu d’une version finale, la sanction royale est octroyée au projet de loi par la reine ou l’un de ses représentants au Canada (habituellement le gouverneur général ou son remplaçant) et le projet de loi acquiert alors force de loi.
Following several months of review with stakeholders, including a transparent comment period in early 2016, the Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act was tabled by Senator Grant Mitchell in the Senate this afternoon.
This bill creates a federal underground infrastructure notification system that requires, among other things,
Finally, the enactment also provides a mechanism by which reserves and some other lands subject to the Indian Act can become subject to this notification system, after consultation with the council of any band in question.
There are five steps to passing a bill in the Senate:
1. First reading
The Senate receives the bill, and it is printed and circulated among senators. This is an introductory proceeding in the Senate Chamber and takes place without debate or vote.
2. Second reading
Senators debate the principle of the bill in the Chamber (Is the bill good policy?). To help with this process, the Senate may refer the subject matter of the bill to a Senate committee for closer examination before voting on whether to proceed with it.
3. Committee stage
The Senate refers the bill to one of its committees. The committee may invite Cabinet ministers, Government officials, experts, and members of the public who have an interest in the bill to share information and perspectives in public hearings. Committee members then study the bill clause by clause. Members of the committee may propose changes to the bill (known as amendments) during this process.
After it has completed the clause-by-clause analysis, the committee adopts a report on the bill. The report will recommend to the Senate that the bill be accepted as is; that it be accepted with amendments; or that it be rejected. Committees often also append observations to their report. These comments may highlight issues raised by the committee’s study of the bill.
4. Report stage
If the committee’s report recommends adopting the bill as is (i.e., with no amendments), there is no report stage in the Senate and the bill goes directly to third reading. If, however, the report suggests amendments to the bill, senators must debate the report in the Senate Chamber and either accept, amend, or reject the amendments, in whole or in part.
5. Third reading
This is the final stage of debate in the Chamber. Senators may propose further amendments at this stage before voting to pass or reject the bill.
If the bill was introduced in the Senate, it is sent to the House of Commons, which will examine it in a similar three-reading process. If the bill was introduced in the House of Commons and was not amended in the Senate, it is now ready for Royal Assent.
If a bill is introduced in the House of Commons and was amended in the Senate, a message about the amendments is sent to the Commons, asking for their agreement. If the Senate and the House of Commons do not agree on the contents of a bill, they may propose amendments until they reach agreement. Once the two Houses agree on a final version, the bill is granted Royal Assent by the Queen or one of her Canadian representatives (usually the Governor General or a deputy), making it law.
The CCGA wishes to thank Senator Grant Mitchell for recognizing DigSafe Month in the Senate yesterday, April 21, 2016.
Senator Mitchell has become a champion for safe digging in Canada and has been instrumental in helping the CCGA achieve greater safety for all Canadians and further enhancing the integrity of Canada's critical underground infrastructure.
Please click HERE to read Senator Mitchell's speech or click this link to hear it: Mitchell_21apr16_DigSafeMonth.04.21.2016.mp3
To all Interested Parties:
On behalf of the Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act Team, I am pleased to present you with the second draft of the proposed Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act (previously Bill S-233). This second draft is posted for a 25-day comment period closing midnight Eastern Time March 28, 2016.
Using this form, please submit all comments, questions and feedback via email or fax (below) under the subject heading:
COMMENTS - Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act
By Email: DamagePreventionCanada@gmail.com
By Fax: (403) 531-3703
All feedback will be provided to the Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act Team for consideration into the final version of the Bill.
Mike Sullivan - Executive Director, CCGA
Damage Prevention Partners,
Comments provided by interested parties on the proposed language of Bill S-233, and feedback from the Bill S-233 Team, are posted in this matrix.
In the coming weeks, the CCGA will release Version 2 of Bill S-233, post it to the CCGA website and notify its members and damage prevention stakeholders by email and social media. Once released, a 25 day comment period will begin. When the comment period has closed, the Bill S-233 Team will once again review all comments, generate the final version of the Bill and present it to Senator Grant Mitchell (April 2016).
On behalf of the Canadian Common Ground Alliance, I wish to thank the Bill S-233 Team and Senator Grant Mitchell for their dedication to this initiative.
Mike Sullivan, Executive Director - CCGA
After several weeks of conference calls with Parliamentary Counsel and Kyle Johnston, Senator Mitchell’s Legislative Assistant on Bill S-233, which died on paper this year when the federal government called for the elections, we are very close to releasing responses to comments and feedback received during the consultation process on the Bill. We still have a couple of minor points to clarify but once those are addressed, the Bill will be revised accordingly with new language. Senator Mitchell intends to table a new version of the bill, which will have taken into account comments received by stakeholders, in 2016.
In an effort to be as transparent as possible, a new draft version of the Bill will be circulated after the release of those responses to the CCGA Board of Directors (all info will also be posted to the CCGA website). At that time, Directors will be requested to channel the correspondence to their respective stakeholders for a second round of comments. Once the second comment period has closed (beginning of March), the Bill S-233 Team will resume the same process we are completing with this first round; revising the 2nd version of the Bill accordingly and posting version 3 of the Bill to the CCGA website. This 3rd version will not be circulated for comment. Rather, it will go to Senator Mitchell to commence the process of re-tabling the Bill in Parliament.
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association's (CEPA) 2015 Pipeline Industry Performance Report shares the recent performance of the Canadian transmission pipeline industry and the actions CEPA’s member companies are taking to improve safety, lessen environmental impacts and achieve operational excellence.
Learn more about the Report and download it HERE.