Deidra Garyk. Submitted

The Canadian Parliament passed Bill C-59 that includes seemingly innocuous changes to the Competition Act, giving the Competition Bureau Canada increased authority to address greenwashing complaints, vexatious or credible.

Who does not want a mechanism to address deceptive marketing? Scamming innocent buyers, be it with false environmental claims or otherwise, is a scourge and costs consumers their hard-earned money. The intent of the Bill may have been to address this issue, unfortunately, that is not what has resulted in practice. It creates a sort of invisible gag, attempting to create a panic that results in self-censorship.

While focus has been on the muzzling of oil and gas supporters and companies, this Bill is agnostic and, therefore, allows all industries to be targeted. Although, oil and gas is likely to be disproportionately aimed at and penalized since anyone can go onto the Bureau’s website and easily complete a complaint form. You do not have to be a victim to file a complaint, meaning a company can be accused of a victimless crime.

Individuals – disgruntled employees, eco-activists, bored people – can go onto the Competition Bureau’s website and fill in the complaint form for the Bureau to decide whether or not to investigate. The unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy will decide who will and will not be investigated.

Companies will soon be caught between a rock and a hard place once the impending sustainability disclosure standards (CSDS) are adopted by the Canadian Securities Administrator in the next year or so. Publicly listed companies will be mandated to issue sustainability and climate-related disclosures while simultaneously being hamstrung by Bill C-59.

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Some amount of disclosure is reasonable and can even level the playing field, but we need protections in place to stop frivolous, vexatious lawsuits, regulatory complaints, and shareholder activism. Right now, that is missing from the CSDS and is exacerbated by Bill C-59.

On top of the reporting requirements in the CSDS, add in proposed Senate Bill S-243the Climate-Aligned Finance Act, which specifically targets financing and insuring of “fossil fuels”. It “establishes climate commitments and obligations of various entities”, which includes creating a “climate commitments aligned report”, requiring emissions disclosure, target setting, and implementation plans.

One component is that boards of specified companies must give the alignment of “climate commitments” priority over all other priorities, other than duties under the Income Tax Act. “Climate commitments” require the reduction of absolute emissions to meet the Paris Agreement and the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. Use of carbon offsets or carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) are a no-go.  These commitments, as defined, further require the “elimination of dependence on and lock-in of emissions-intensive activities, including by avoiding new fossil fuel supply infrastructure and exploring for new fossil fuel reserves and instead planning for a fossil fuel–free future.”

Banks and insurance companies will be restricted from “financially facilitating” entities that are unwilling or unable to align with the “climate commitments”. If a bank chooses to fund “fossil fuel activity”, it will have to maintain certain capital reserves. If the “federal financial institutions” fall out of line with the rules, the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has the authority to “issue any order they consider appropriate”.

Bill S-243 is a private members bill, and those typically have a low likelihood of passing; however, it has passed second reading and is endorsed by Mark Carney and the United Nations. It is a demonstration of how far some lawmakers are prepared to go to control the business practices and governance of corporations, both Crown and private.

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  • 0077 Caprice Resources Stand Up For Free Speech
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    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
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    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
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    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
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    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
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Greenwashing exists and when it does, it is a problem; however, too many of our institutions have broken our trust, so how can citizens be confident that the amended Competition Act will not be used to unfairly harass and oppress the hydrocarbon industry or other “unsavoury” industries at the whim of nefarious “environmentalists” and a witting bureaucracy?

I am concerned about the overt censorship cloaked in the guise of public safety by the managerial state, and I do not think these things are taken seriously enough by historically compliant Canadians.

With the rise in “ecological grief” and “climate anxiety”, companies must be able to talk about what they are working on to give hope and to spurn action. Not action in the form of protests like we saw at Stonehenge by Just Stop Oil, but entrepreneurial innovating and risk-taking that addresses challenges and finds solutions.

Politicians who support responsible energy development and free, honest speech can best serve their constituents by pushing back against problematic legislation and regulations. Their supporters will appreciate their courage, and their detractors will understand in time.


Deidra Garyk has been working in the Canadian energy industry for 20 years. She is currently the Manager, ESG & Sustainability at an oilfield service company. Prior to that, she worked in roles of varying seniority at exploration and production companies in joint venture contracts where she was responsible for working collaboratively with stakeholders to negotiate access to pipelines, compressors, plants, and batteries.

Outside of her professional commitments, Deidra is an energy advocate and thought leader who researches, writes, and speaks about energy policy and advocacy to promote balanced, honest, fact-based conversations. 

Connect with Deidra on Linkedin
Visit her website:  DEIDRA GARYK: Canadian Energy Advocate

  • 0079 Ministry of Energy Business_incentive PO
    0079 Ministry of Energy Business_incentive PO
  • 0078 LHOS 2024
    0078 LHOS 2024
  • 0077 Caprice Resources Stand Up For Free Speech
    0077 Caprice Resources Stand Up For Free Speech
  • 0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda
    0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda
  • 0076 Latus only
    0076 Latus only
  • 0073 SaskWorks-Pipeline Online
    0073 SaskWorks-Pipeline Online
  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
    0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
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