First and foremost, I would like to say that it is an absolute honor and privilege to be PSAC’s 4th President & CEO! PSAC is, and has been, the voice of Canada’s service, supply and manufacturing sectors within the upstream petroleum industry for over three decades. It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I look to build upon the outstanding work done by my predecessors, Roger Soucy, Mark Salkeld and Tom Whalen.
This is the fifth year of this protracted downturn. Many PSAC members were faced with laying off employees yet again, alarmingly in the winter during what is traditionally our busiest time of year. This was a bad omen for a year that has ultimately turned out to be comparable to 2016. We have seen our customers increasingly choose to buy back their own shares, pay dividends, and pay down debt with their cash flow rather than reinvest in new activity given the lack of take-away capacity. This lack of capital investment is exacting a challenging toll on services companies trying to survive.
To ensure governments understood the dire situation for the sector, PSAC held over 150 meetings with ministers, deputy ministers, senior government officials and staff over the year on key issues including market access, competitiveness, labour legislation and the review of WCB.
We went to Ottawa to present to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources to lobby for changes to Bill C-69, the no-more pipelines bill, and for the defeat of Bill C-48 that would ban tankers carrying Alberta crude oil from the northern coast of BC.
Following the Alberta provincial election in April and the formation of a new government, PSAC met with many of the newly-elected ministers to introduce the services sector and to encourage policy recommendations that will benefit members. We also held a roundtable with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Energy Minister Bronwyn Eyre.
We have been to Ontario to meet with Energy Minister Greg Rickford, and MPPs from the NDP and Green parties to counter efforts to ban hydraulic fracturing through a private members bill by an NDP backbencher – even though no fracking is taking place in Ontario, but to stop such moratoriums from being implemented anywhere in Canada.
I have been on numerous radio and talk shows, from BNN Bloomberg to Power Play with Don Martin, all across the country, many months, days and weeks. Our message is simple and honest – Canadians need to be proud of Canada’s leading role in the global energy supply chain – we produce energy responsibly, in accordance with some of the highest environmental and regulatory standards in the world, benefitting communities and Canadians for many decades.
Gary G. Mar
This year, PSAC continued to pursue many federal and provincial issues and initiatives of importance to members through over 150 meetings with ministers, deputies and senior government officials and staff on key topics that included pipelines, tidewater and market access, Bills C-69 and C-48, competitiveness, a proposal for inactive wellsite, pipeline and facility decommissioning to create jobs, hydraulic fracturing, new Alberta labour and WCB legislation, federal tax policy, methane regulations, and energy literacy.
Meetings were held with federal and AB, BC, SK, ON, QC, NS ministers, deputies and senior government officials to ensure that PSAC is the recognized voice for the sector in consultations for changing or new legislation and regulations.
Following the Alberta provincial election and the formation of a new government, PSAC was active in meeting with newly-elected MLAs and ministers to introduce the services sector and to encourage policy development that would benefit members and to kick-start Alberta’s economy.
Submissions on a variety of topics and government consultations were also made including for federal 2019 pre-budget, regulatory harmonization, and Alberta labour and WCB legislation.
PSAC continued to lobby the federal government for a Resource Environmental Tax Credit (RETC). This proposal recommends a super flow-through share program that would raise approximately $700 million of private sector capital directed to closure of inactive upstream oil and natural gas sites and associated infrasructure, while creating over 6,000 jobs. The proposal has, to date, received written endorsement from the Government of Saskatchewan, as well as CAPP, ATB, and several investment firms, and is receiving favourable reaction from other provincial governments.
PSAC held its third successful lobby day event in Ottawa to continue to educate government on the sector, discuss current issues and challenges, and advocate for policy that would benefit PSAC members. Over two days, teams met with 13 different government departments through 27 meetings attended by over 30 individuals. A roundtable with NRCan Minister Amarjeet Sohi was also held.
Other issues to which PSAC has directed attention include LNG, Bill C-69 (Impact Assessment Act), Bill C-48 (tanker moratorium), Clean Fuel Standard, Indigenous Relations, geothermal opportunities, and US Relations.
PSAC has continued to work with the new Alberta government on proposals for some changes to the OHS legislation implemented by the previous government. Members have raised several concerns with the legislation particularly the requirement for joint worksite health and safety committees and the reporting of potentially serious injuries. PSAC has also worked with CAPP on a submission to the Minister of Labour on changes made by the previous government to the legislation governing the operations of the Workers Compensation Board and in particular the removal of the cap on maximum earnings and the duty to accommodate injured workers.
In May 2019, PSAC held a Sexual Harassment and Domestic Violence – What Employers Need to Know workshop in Red Deer, attended by many PSAC members, and featuring in-depth presentations by DLA Piper.
The legalization of edible cannabis in October 2019 has added to employer concerns about the use of cannabis in the workplace and we are working with our members and Alberta Labour in an attempt to get more clarity around worker and employer responsibilities.
We are also having discussions with Alberta Transportation about changes we would like see made to the Hours of Service regulations. These discussions have so far been positive and we expect to be able to make a detailed announcement before the end of 2020.
|Duncan Au, Director, Board Chair
President and Chief Executive Officer
CWC Energy Services Corp.
|Mark O’Byrne, Director,
Board First Vice-Chair
President, Palliser Production Management Ltd.
Schlumberger Canada Limited
|January McKee, Director,
Board Second Vice-Chair
AMGAS Services Inc.
|David McHattie, Director,
Board Third Vice-Chair
Vice-President, Institutional Relations
Tenaris Global Services (Canada) Inc.
|Tom Whalen, Secretary
(to November 2018)
President and CEO
|Gary Mar, Secretary
(December 2018 to present)
President and CEO
Chief Executive Officer
Bravo Target Safety LP
Vice President, Global Supply Chain
Calfrac Well Services Ltd.
Chief Executive Officer
Falck Safety Services Canada Ltd.
|Scott Van Vliet
CEO & PSAC Board Chair
Environmental Refuelling Systems
President and CEO
Grant Production Testing Services Ltd.
|Henry Ewert, CPA, CA
President and CEO
Hallmark Tubulars Ltd.
Industry Relations | Business Development
Pimee Well Servicing LP
VP Operations & COO
STEP Energy Services Ltd.
Snubco Pressure Control Ltd.
VP Energy Services