Governments must play a critical role to ensure infrastructure
investment flows to Canada
VANCOUVER, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) The Hon. Jim
Prentice, Senior Executive Vice President and Vice-Chairman of CIBC has
called for a continued focus in developing an infrastructure plan for
new pipeline access to the west coast.
Speaking to the Business Council of British Columbia, Mr. Prentice said
the development of Canada's hydrocarbon deposits and the construction
of the infrastructure required to bring them to new markets is
fundamental to our national interest.
Mr. Prentice told his audience that there are a number of obstacles,
beyond the volatile commodity prices, that Canada must overcome to
attract the needed investments and move projects forward.
Environmental and legal complexities
Unresolved First Nation land claims
"It's imperative for us to create an investment climate that attracts
and holds international capital," said Mr. Prentice. "A key component
of any such strategy is a solid public policy framework that provides
consistency and transparency."
He said Canada can never take it for granted that investment will just
flow to our country and our infrastructure projects.
"These may well be the most difficult public policy questions in Canada
today and to expect that corporations can resolve them through a public
hearing is completely unrealistic," said Mr. Prentice. "To advance our
national interest, the federal government needs to take the lead. They
need to consult. They need to negotiate."
Mr. Prentice laid out two things that must be done to ensure the success
of any projects.
First, Ottawa must actively consult with First Nations on the unresolved
land claims in British Columbia. Energy corridors will need to be
secured on a non-derogation basis, allowing for development, without
forcing First Nations to relinquish unresolved issues.
Second, the federal government must take the lead in developing
legislative guidelines and contingency plans that will take into
account the rewards as well as the environmental risks of increased
west coast tanker traffic.
"This is a defining moment for Canada and the federal government has an
important role to play. As does the British Columbia government, B.C.'s
First Nations and, of course, the private sector," said Prentice.
Mr. Prentice joined CIBC in January 2011, and has responsibility for
expanding CIBC's relationships with corporate clients across Canada and
abroad, and for providing leadership on strategic initiatives to
enhance CIBC's position in the market. He joined the bank following a
successful career as a lawyer, and as a senior Minister in the Canadian
Government. CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with
nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a
full range of products and services through its comprehensive
electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, in the
United States and around the world. You can find other news releases
and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2012/06/21/20120621_C3200_DOC_EN_15433.pdf
For further information:
Sean Hamilton at (416)-304-8456 or firstname.lastname@example.org