Evidence of meeting #23 for Natural Resources in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was refineries.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • John Quinn  General Manager, Integration and Planning, Refining and Marketing, Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Michael Ervin  Vice-President, Director of Consulting Services, MJ Ervin and Associates, The Kent Group
  • Keith Newman  Director of Research, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
  • Joseph Gargiso  Administrative Vice-President, Quebec, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

9:45 a.m.

General Manager, Integration and Planning, Refining and Marketing, Suncor Energy Inc.

John Quinn

Absolutely.

9:45 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Is that a belief or a view that's held in a widespread fashion throughout the fossil fuel sector?

9:45 a.m.

General Manager, Integration and Planning, Refining and Marketing, Suncor Energy Inc.

John Quinn

I'm not here to speak for the other companies. I'm really not here to speak for Rick either. He is on record for—

9:45 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Ervin, do you think that's being talked about more openly? We've heard Premier Redford from Alberta raise it. The Premier of Ontario and the Premier of Quebec have raised it. Is this something now in the private sector? We just heard it from an important union here representing a lot of workers.

9:45 a.m.

Vice-President, Director of Consulting Services, MJ Ervin and Associates, The Kent Group

Michael Ervin

I don't want to speak for the industry, but the need for an integrated strategy is acknowledged. There is such an interplay among those factors you mentioned—nuclear, biofuels, and other alternative sources—and that will certainly have a big impact on decisions made in the refining sector, for example, which is today's topic. So the need for that is clear.

9:45 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Ervin, why are Texas refineries running out of Mexican supply? Just this week we heard testimony that one of the reasons why we need to ship our crude to Texas refineries on the gulf coast is because they're running out of Mexican supply.

9:45 a.m.

Vice-President, Director of Consulting Services, MJ Ervin and Associates, The Kent Group

Michael Ervin

I wasn't here to actually hear that testimony and the background to it, but certainly all regions are depleting a non-renewable resource. That's the only thing I can add to that, without being provided with any more context.

9:45 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Okay.

Mr. Newman, I think you wanted to respond.

9:45 a.m.

Director of Research, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

Keith Newman

Yes, thank you.

You mentioned an integrated strategy. Our union developed one about 10 years ago, and we updated it a few years ago again because of all the changes going on in the area. We definitely believe there has to be an integrated view of all our energy sources, but underlying that we have two main things.

One is that we need our own energy security and independence, because we don't believe we can rely on good luck. We believe a prudent policy means that we take into account the possibility of bad things happening.

I live in Quebec, and I was actually moved into a shelter when we had the big power failures about 10 years ago. So it's not theoretical to me. That happened to hundreds of thousands of people. This could clearly happen to some if heating oil gets disrupted, to take a worst-case scenario. But in the real world these things happen occasionally—not often, let's hope.

The other thing that underlies our view is that we must try to get, as Mr. Gargiso was saying, the most economic activity, jobs, and well-being for Canadians as possible, given our incredible wealth in all of these things. We don't think exporting the stuff out of the country, without regard to all of our interests first, is a proper and prudent policy.

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Leon Benoit

Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. McGuinty.

Continuing our questions and comments to the five-minute round, Mr. Calkins, you have up to five minutes.

February 2nd, 2012 / 9:50 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As an Alberta member of Parliament, I'll probably be focusing my questions in that vein.

Mr. Gargiso, in his testimony, has suggested that Canada or Alberta exports raw bitumen products.

Mr. Quinn and Mr. Ervin, is that a factually true statement? Is the bitumen that's exported through a pipeline, or via a tanker or train, actually raw bitumen?

9:50 a.m.

Vice-President, Director of Consulting Services, MJ Ervin and Associates, The Kent Group

Michael Ervin

There are two kinds of products emanating from oil sands production. Alberta produces a great deal of conventional crude oil as well, some of which goes to the United States. But a great deal of it is used in Canadian refineries as well. Yes, bitumen is exported to the United States. It can be in the form of what's referred to as synbit, which is bitumen that has been—

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Is that actually the raw bitumen that comes right out of the oil sands?

9:50 a.m.

Vice-President, Director of Consulting Services, MJ Ervin and Associates, The Kent Group

Michael Ervin

No, it's not.

9:50 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

So the answer to the question is no.

Mr. Quinn, would you agree with that?