Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast

Sponsor

Marc Garneau  Liberal

Status

Second reading (House), as of May 12, 2017

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-48.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment enacts the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, which prohibits oil tankers that are carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of crude oil or persistent oil as cargo from stopping, or unloading crude oil or persistent oil, at ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border. The Act prohibits loading if it would result in the oil tanker carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of those oils as cargo.

The Act also prohibits vessels and persons from transporting crude oil or persistent oil between oil tankers and those ports or marine installations for the purpose of aiding the oil tanker to circumvent the prohibitions on oil tankers.

Finally, the Act establishes an administration and enforcement regime that includes requirements to provide information and to follow directions and that provides for penalties of up to a maximum of five million dollars.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

June 15th, 2017 / 3:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the House will debate Bill C-49, on transportation modernization, at second reading.

On Monday we will debate our changes to the Standing Orders. Following that debate, we will resume second reading debate on Bill C-51.

Tuesday the House will debate Bill S-3, on Indian registration, at report stage and third reading.

Following that debate, we hope to make progress on the following bills: Bill S-2, the bill respecting motor vehicle recalls, at second reading; Bill C-17, respecting the environmental assessment process in Yukon, at second reading; Bill C-25, on encouraging gender parity on the boards of federally regulated organizations; Bill C-36, the bill to give Statistics Canada greater independence; Bill C-48, the bill to impose a moratorium on oil tankers off the B.C. coast; and Bill C-34, the bill to reinstate sensible conditions for public service employment.

Opposition Motion—Canadian EconomyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2017 / 6:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise this evening to contribute to this debate on the complete failure of the Liberals on this economic file.

For a government that would have us believe it is all about the middle class, as it is wont to add that at the end of every statement it makes, for example, more ethical government for the middle class, a Liberal commissioner of official languages for the middle class, new standing orders for the middle class, better innovation for the middle class, and a carbon tax for the middle class, it is remarkable just how out of touch Liberals are on the most important issues facing the middle class: jobs, the economy, and affordability.

On housing, for example, as the price of homes rose significantly faster than inflation in Toronto and Vancouver, the Liberals decided to implement a one-size-fits-all mortgage policy designed to cool down the housing markets of Toronto and Vancouver. Unfortunately, this policy is having a similar impact across the country, regardless of whether Canadians live in Warman, Saskatchewan or Queen West, Toronto.

Before the Liberals made these changes to the mortgage rules, a person with $50,000 pre-tax income could qualify for a $277,000 mortgage. Now, that same person qualifies for a mortgage of $222,000. This change makes buying a first house more difficult for many. Several people looking to buy their first home, and realtors, have raised concerns about this policy with me. However, these changes have not had the attention they deserve, considering the disproportionate impact they are having on first-time homeowners in smaller communities where housing prices are typically more affordable.

The Liberals are also tone deaf when it comes to western Canada. On May 12, the Minister of Transport introduced the oil tanker moratorium act, a bill that his own political staff conceded would only impact the future development of Canada's oil sands, and no other activity in northern British Columbia. Let us think about that.

It was not enough for the Liberals to reverse the independent National Energy Board's 2014 decision to approve the northern gateway pipeline subject to Enbridge fulfilling 209 conditions. They decided to go one step further by opting to handcuff future governments should they want to diversify Canada's energy exports. Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, will do nothing to enhance marine safety in British Columbia. U .S tankers will continue travelling up and down the coast between Alaska and Washington state.

This is the epitome of political irony. Venezuelan oil in Quebec is okay. Saudi Arabian oil on the east coast is okay. Canadian oil in Vancouver is okay. Alaskan oil in northern B.C. is okay. However, Canadian oil in northern British Columbia is not okay. Blocking tidewater access for western Canadian energy producers was not enough. To add insult to injury, this year's federal budget removed incentives for small companies to engage in energy exploration in Canada.

Furthermore, the new carbon tax will disproportionately impact energy-producing provinces. What the Liberals fail to realize is that Canada does not have a monopoly on the production of energy. In North America alone, western Canadian producers are competing against companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, the Permian Basin, and the Bakken formation. As the U.S. is making important efforts to reduce obstacles to energy development, Canada is going the other way.

Capital and expertise in this sector is very mobile, and Canada is in very real danger of being left behind. Canadian firms and foreign investors will not invest in the Canadian economy if the overall cost of doing business vis-à-vis our American counterparts is higher, as has been mentioned. However, the energy sector is not the only sector being targeted. Western Canadian shippers, and especially captive western Canadian grain shippers, are feeling particularly ignored by the Liberal government.

Unlike Ontario and Quebec, where many products can be trucked to their final destination or to a port for overseas export, western Canada is particularly reliant on rail to get product to market. That is why the Minister of Transport's inaction on critical and time-sensitive rail transport issues is leading to uncertainty for both shippers and railroads. Both need it as they negotiate shipping rates for the season and invest in the required infrastructure to keep products moving to market in a timely manner.

That is why, over the past several months, I have asked many times whether the government intended to renew or build on the sunsetting measures of Bill C-30 before they expired on August 1, 2017. The response, time and time again, was that the government recognized the urgency to get this done and that legislation was forthcoming. Unfortunately the Liberals now acknowledge that the key measures in Bill C-30 will sunset before any replacement legislation can receive royal assent and become law.

Since the transportation modernization act was introduced on May 16, the government has set aside less than two and a half hours to debate it, with the Minister of Transport taking the floor to lead off debate at 9:45 p.m. on a Monday night. This means there will be at least a two and a half month gap from when Bill C-30 measures sunset and Bill C-49 receives royal assent.

By the time this legislation has passed, the majority of contracts for the year will have been negotiated with the law in flux. Because of the government's mismanagement of its legislative agenda, these popular measures will sunset without any replacement, and shippers will be the worse off. What is worse is that while this two and a half month gap will negatively impact both railways and shippers this year, the replacement legislation will weaken shipper protections from what they are today. While something is better than nothing, the transportation modernization act is not a replacement for the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act.

What the government is proposing in its omnibus transportation legislation is to take a little used existing remedy called a competitive line rate and rename it long haul inter-switching.

Under a competitive line rate, a shipper could apply to the agency to set the competitive line rate, the designation of the continuous route, the designation of the nearest interchange, and the manner in which the local carrier shall fulfill its service obligations. We know from history that this remedy was infrequently used because of the prerequisite that the shipper must first reach an agreement with the connecting carrier and the two main carriers effectively declined to compete with one another through CLRs. While the requirement that the shipper must have an agreement with a connecting carrier prior to requesting a CLR has been removed, the greater issue is whether the terms imposed by the connecting carrier will be acceptable to the shipper.

While railways do have a common carrier obligations, we know there are ways to avoid doing a haul. For example, both railways have set the price of hauling uranium so high that it is no longer economical for it to be shipped by rail. Furthermore, while long haul inter-switching will be extended to 1,200 kilometres or 50% of the total haul distance, the first inter-switch location from any captive shippers in north Alberta and northern B.C. will be located within the Kamloops-Vancouver corridor, where inter-switching is not allowed beyond 30 kilometres. Therefore, these captive shippers will not be able to utilize this remedy to increase railway competition.

By borrowing and spending in good times, the Liberals have made it harder to deal with real crisis. According to the PBO, even a minor recession would cause deficits to be as large as during the great recession, and that is before considering the fiscal costs of any response.

The Liberals have mismanaged Canada's finances and have closed many doors for economic development. Unfortunately, the full effects of their policies have not reverberated across the entire economy yet.

The choices the Liberals have made to date are not random. They are the result of an overarching vision of picking winners and losers. Right now, my province is coming out on the wrong side of nearly every Liberal policy decision.

For a government that professes to be focused on the middle class, first-time homebuyers, farmers, shippers, and energy workers are all feeling left out in the cold.

Transportation Modernization Act

June 5th, 2017 / 10:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise this evening to debate Bill C-49, the transportation modernization act, at second reading.

The bill could simply be renamed the transportation omnibus act for the number of different bills being amended, with many of changes being more than just technical in nature. The Air Canada Public Participation Act, the Canada Transportation Act, the CN Commercialization Act, the Railway Safety Act, the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act, the Coasting Trade Act, the Canada Marine Act, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Competition Act, the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, the 2009 Budget Implementation Act, and the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act are all being amended.

How this squares with the Liberal election promise not to use omnibus legislation is beyond me. Do not get me wrong, I am not complaining about an omnibus bill, just the fact that the Liberals did and then made a promise they knew they would not keep. Furthermore, when I introduced a motion in transport committee last week calling on the committee to write to the Minister of Transport and his government House leader to ask them to split the bill into the following sections, rail shipping, rail safety, air, and marine, to provide an enhanced and possibly expedited scrutiny, every single Liberal member voted against it without even a single comment as to why.

I found this vote particularly ironic, as it was the Liberal member for Niagara Centre who raised the idea of expediting the passage of the bill in the first place, in order to provide grain farmers with a greater amount of certainty as they negotiate contracts for future shipping seasons.

The more measures that a bill contains, the more time it takes to provide adequate scrutiny. Separating the bill would be the easiest way to facilitate expedited passage, and thus my motion calling on the bill to be split into several parts.

Unfortunately, Liberal members were unwilling to split the bill into these natural divisions. This does not inspire confidence that when the bill eventually does reach committee, the Liberal Party members will be open to any amendments. While Bill C-49 is supposed to be the Minister of Transport's legislative response to the 2015 Canada Transportation Act review led by the Hon. David Emerson, it would appear that what we have before us is a bill that is designed to change the channel from some of the bad news that keeps piling up for the Liberals.

The government's communications strategy for this legislation has overwhelmingly concentrated on the air passenger compensation regime that is being introduced, and not the other very consequential measures. Here is what the Minister of Transport posted on his Twitter feed as he introduced this legislation, “These air passenger rights will ensure that travellers are treated like people, not just a number.”

Like many members here, I travel a lot and only have positive things to say about all the employees working for the airlines and at our airports. Of course, on occasion, flights do not go as we hope, but the Minister of Transport appears to be willing to pit passengers against airlines rather than fixing the structural problems in Canada's aviation regime.

This legislation does not spell out what the compensation regime will be, just that there will be one. The bill states that after consulting with only the Minister of Transport, the Canadian Transportation Agency will make regulations concerning carriers' obligations toward passengers. However, for even greater clarity, subsection (2) of proposed section 86.11 states that the Canadian Transportation Agency must comply with any instruction from the minister with regard to setting regulations concerning carriers' obligations to passengers.

What this means is that the Canadian Transportation Agency is tentatively responsible for setting what financial penalties a carrier would have to pay to the passenger in the case of a service breach, unless the minister is dissatisfied with the level of prescribed compensation that the CTA decides is appropriate, in which case he or she can dictate what that level of compensation will be.

It is noteworthy that the agency will, by law, only be allowed to consult with the Minister of Transport concerning the setting of these regulations, and not with consumer advocate groups, airlines, airports, Nav Canada and other stakeholders in the sector.

I do not understand what the purpose of consulting only the minister is. If the Canadian Transportation Agency is to be an arm's-length organization, this legislation clearly diminishes its independence. If the minister will not allow the agency to independently set the parameters of the passenger compensation regime, he should just spell out in legislation what it will be and let members of Parliament and stakeholder groups decide whether this is a good proposal or not.

If this legislation were truly aimed at reducing the cost of travel for the passenger, while increasing service and convenience, the minister would immediately lobby to have the government's carbon tax, which will make every single flight more expensive, withdrawn. He would reform the air passenger security system, which was universally identified as a major irritant for all passengers during the Canada Transportation Act review by all the organizations that participated in the process.

While it would be preferable to have the sections of the bill dealing with air and rail examined as stand-alone pieces of legislation, I can only surmise that the government's complete mismanagement of the House's agenda has led us to the point where an omnibus transportation bill is what we have in front of us today. At least we have finally begun debating something in the transport sector, now that we are two years into the government's mandate. So far, the only achievement the minister has to show in terms of legislation is the act to amend the Air Canada Public Participation Act.

Let us talk about Bill S-2, an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and to make a consequential amendment to another act. This was first introduced by the government's representative in the Senate 13 months ago and passed third reading in the Senate on February 2. The minister claimed that Bill S-2 was a priority in his speech to the Montreal Chamber of Commerce in November 2016, yet it has not been touched since.

On May 12, just days before the introduction of the legislation we are debating today, the Minister of Transport introduced the oil tanker moratorium act, a bill that his own officials conceded would only impact the future development of Canada's oil sands and no other activity in northern British Columbia. Equally concerning about this oil tanker moratorium, which could be renamed the oil pipeline moratorium, is that there is considerable support among first nations on B.C.'s coast for energy development opportunities, but the wishes of these first nations are being ignored. For the Liberals to move forward with this tanker moratorium without properly consulting coastal first nations is extremely hypocritical.

The Liberals go to painstaking lengths to emphasize the amount of consultation they undertake, but it is becoming more and more apparent that their interest in consulting is about being told what they want to hear and not about listening to differing views. If anyone needs further proof that Bill C-48 was introduced only for political purposes, it is that this moratorium has been introduced as a stand-alone bill and not as part of this omnibus package we are debating today.

The Minister of Transport's silence and inaction on critical and time-sensitive transport issues, especially rail transport, is leading to uncertainty for both shippers and the railroads, which both want certainty as they negotiate shipping rates for the season.

That is why over the past several months I have asked many times whether the government intends to renew the sunsetting measures in Bill C-30 before they expire on August 1, 2017. The response I have been given time and time again is that the government recognizes the urgency to get this done and that legislation is forthcoming. Unfortunately, the Liberals have made a muck of this, and the key measures in Bill C-30 will sunset before any replacement legislation can receive royal assent and become law.

Last week in the transport committee, a Liberal member moved a motion calling on the committee to begin its consideration of this bill, Bill C-49, in September, before the House begins sitting, to expedite the study of the sections of the bill that deal with the shipping of grain. While Conservatives have no objection to considering this legislation in September before the House returns from the summer break, government members fail to realize that our producers needed them to turn their attention to this months ago, as the measures will sunset on August 1 of this year. At best, there will be a two-and-a-half-month gap between when the measures in Bill C-30 sunset and replacement legislation is in place.

By the time this legislation has passed, the majority of contracts for this year will have been negotiated with the law in flux. Because of the government's mismanagement of the legislative agenda, these popular measures will sunset without replacement, and shippers will be the worse off.

This is important to note, because for a combination of reasons, including a lack of rail capacity, preparedness by railways and shippers, weather, and the size of the crop, western Canada's 2013-14 grain crop did not get to market in a timely manner. Consequently, the previous Conservative government introduced Bill C-30, which gave the Canada Transportation Agency the power to allow shippers access to regulated interswitching up to 160 kilometres, mandated that CN and CP both haul at least 500 tonnes of grain per week, and introduced a new definition of adequate and suitable service levels. With this extension, the number of primary grain elevators with access to more than one railroad with the extended interswitching limits increased from 48 to 261.

These measures were met with universal support from the members of the shipping community, because even if they did not use interswitching, they could use it as a tool to increase their negotiating position with the railways, as the shippers knew exactly how much the interswitch portion of the haul would cost them.

At the same time, the government announced that the Canada Transportation Act statutory review would be expedited, and it began a year early to provide long-term solutions to the grain backlog of the 2013-14 shipping season and other problems in the transport sector within Canada. The hon. David Emerson, a former Liberal and Conservative cabinet minister, was tasked with leading the review. This review was completed in the fall of 2015 and was on the Minister of Transport's desk shortly before Christmas. The minister then tabled this report in mid-February 2016 and promised wide consultations on the report. As the key measures of Bill C-30 were going to sunset on August 1, 2016, and parliamentarians were hearing from the shipping community that it would like to see these extended, Parliament voted in June 2016 to extend those provisions for one year.

In the fall of 2016, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities undertook a study of Bill C-30 and held a number of meetings on the merits of these measures and whether they should be allowed to sunset. We were assured that if we lived with this extension, these issues would be dealt with by August 1, 2017.

The vast majority of the testimony heard was supportive of maintaining the 160-kilometre regulated interswitching limit at committee, which is why the committee's first recommendation was the following:

That the Canadian Transportation Agency retain the flexibility provided under the Canada Transportation Act by the Fair Rail For Grain Farmers Act to set interswitching distances up to 160 km, in order to maintain a more competitive operating environment for rail shippers with direct access to only one railway company.

Anyone who has read this bill will know that the government ignored the committee's main recommendation. At some point during this debate, I hope to hear from Liberal members on the transport committee about whether they believe that the government was right to ignore the committee's recommendations, and if so, whether the entire committee study was just a waste of time.

Basically, what the government is proposing with this legislation is to replace the 160-kilometre interswitching limit with the creation of a new long-haul interswitching tool that would be in effect between Windsor and Kamloops on hauls of up to 1,200 kilometres, or up to 50% of the length of the entire haul. Shippers would be charged the regulated interswitching rate for the first 30 kilometres of the haul and then a Canada Transportation Agency-determined rate, which would be determined on a case-by-case basis based on the price of a similar haul, for the remainder of the distance to the interswitch point. Shippers would only be able to interswitch at the first available interswitch point within the zone.

What the government has done is take a little-used existing remedy, called a competitive line rate, and rename it long-haul interswitching.

Under a competitive line rate, a shipper could apply to the agency to set the amount of the competitive line rate, the designation of the continuous route, the designation of the nearest interchange, and the manner in which the local carrier would fulfill its service obligations. We know from history that this remedy was infrequently used because of the prerequisite that the shipper first reach an agreement with the connecting carrier, and the two main carriers effectively declined to compete with one another through CLRs. What we do not know is what the difference will be at a practical level between this new long-haul interswitching and the existing competitive line rates.

Like competitive line rates, long-haul interswitching is a much more complicated system for shippers to use, and the jury is still out on whether this will achieve the minister's stated objective of improving rail access for captive shippers. When Bill C-30 was first introduced, there was universal support among shippers for the extended interswitching. So far, very few organizations I have spoken to can say that this tool is better.

In conclusion, this much is certain: the key measures in Bill C-30 will be allowed to sunset on August 1, before this legislation receives royal assent. The Liberals have had nearly a full year to get new legislation in place but failed to do so, and shippers will suffer the consequences.

Canada remains one of the most expensive jurisdictions in which to operate an airline, and it is about to become even more so with the imposition of a national carbon tax. This bill does nothing to address the systemic cost issues, which are passed on to passengers, that were identified by the Transportation Act review. As has been the case with almost everything with the current government, optics trump everything, and this bill exemplifies that.

Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion ProjectBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

June 1st, 2017 / 10:50 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Jim Carr Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, more important than my agreement with the content of this motion is my complete agreement with the views on this project of our Prime Minister.

As hon. members will know, in the immediate aftermath of the election in British Columbia, the Prime Minister publicly and clearly reiterated our government's support for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project. He reinforced the case that our support for this project was made using a rigorous and thorough process, and it was based on science and facts, not political rhetoric.

At the moment, the future of the British Columbia government remains in question. Premier Clark has indicated her intention to face the legislature and test its confidence in her government. I cannot predict the outcome of a vote of confidence in the British Columbia legislature, but what I can say is that whatever the result of that vote, our government stands behind the decision we made to approve the Trans Mountain expansion project. Why? It is because it was the right decision when we made it last November. It was the right decision the day before the British Columbia election, and it is the right decision now. While the government in B.C. may change, the facts, the science, the evidence, the environmental considerations, the economic benefits, and the jobs all remain unchanged.

The project was, and this project is, in the best interests of Canadians, so I welcome the support of the members opposite. I welcome their recognition of the wisdom of our decision. I welcome their pointing out through this motion that the project has social licence to proceed, that it is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs, that it is safe and environmentally sound, as recognized by the National Energy Board, and that it is under federal jurisdiction with respect to approval and regulation.

It is rare when the official opposition is a leading advocate for a government policy, but I can tell the House that it is something I could get used to.

The motion before us deserves a fuller articulation, so let me address its various elements one by one. It asks the House to agree that the project has social licence, although I think we can all agree that this is an outdated term. One does not simply get a “lose” or a “yes” of social support. It is a daily responsibility to serve Canadians and constantly rebuild trust in the government.

How did this project achieve something the previous government was unable to do, which was diversify markets for our resources, during its entire time in office? The answer is straightforward. Our government listened to Canadians. The previous government believed it knew best without needing to ask for any other opinion. There must be a certain comfort in knowing all without asking Canadians what their opinions are on such projects as this. We listened closely. We heard that not all Canadians agreed, and that is okay. What we heard most strongly was that Canadians are tired of the polarization of the environment versus the economy. We are all in this together.

Under the previous government, Canadians had simply lost trust in the environmental assessment and review processes, because the outcomes were predetermined. They had come to believe that when weighing economic benefits and environmental stewardship, the scales had become tipped too far in one direction. Our government set about regaining the trust of Canadians. We did so by taking a different approach. We reached out to indigenous communities. We consulted meaningfully, something the Federal Court of Appeal said the previous government had not done sufficiently with the northern gateway project, which is the reason its permit was revoked.

In the case of the Trans Mountain expansion project, government officials consulted with 117 indigenous groups, and the results are publicly available. We have set aside more than $64 million to fund an indigenous advisory and monitoring committee to meaningfully engage indigenous groups in monitoring the project over its lifespan, the first time in Canadian history. It is a step never before taken by any previous government.

Our government listened to environmental groups and those living in the affected communities. We listened to academics and industry. We extended the consultation period to ensure that as many voices as possible could be heard. However, we did not stop there. To regain the confidence of Canadians, we also initiated a modernization of the National Energy Board to ensure that its composition reflected regional views and had sufficient expertise in environmental science, community development, and indigenous traditional knowledge. We are now in the process of determining how these changes can best be made.

Canadians know that the path to a lower-carbon future may be long, but it is well under way. It is accelerating, and its trajectory is clear. They know that the economy of tomorrow will require investments today in clean technologies, energy efficiency, and renewable sources of energy. Our government has taken action on all these fronts, including doing what virtually every economist and energy company says is the best, most effective way to lower greenhouse gas emissions and spur innovation: putting a price on carbon. In fact, in our government's first budget, we made generational investments in clean energy and new technologies, including technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector. We will build that clean-growth economy, and we are, but we are not there yet, due to nearly a decade of inaction by the previous government.

With all these initiatives—consulting indigenous communities, engaging Canadians, focusing on sustainability, modernizing the National Energy Board, and investing in green technologies—we sent a very clear signal to Canadians and the world that under this government, environmental sustainability will go hand in hand with economic development. We cannot have one without the other. The actions we took, the investments we made, and the approach we embraced demonstrated that commitment and earned the confidence of Canadians.

The motion before us also speaks to the importance of the Trans Mountain expansion project to the Canadian economy and in creating thousands of jobs. Indeed, this $7.4 billion project will have significant economic benefits. The project is expected to create 15,000 new jobs during construction. This is good news for workers in Alberta, it is good news for workers in British Columbia, and it is good news for all of Canada. It is also good news for indigenous peoples, who will benefit from jobs and business opportunities as a result of the impact and benefit agreements they have signed with Kinder Morgan.

The Trans Mountain expansion is also expected to generate more than $3 billion in revenue for governments, revenues that can be used to invest in health care, schools, water treatment plants, and safer roads, improving the lives of millions of Canadians. This is a vital project in a vital industry, an industry that has been hit hard over the past few years.

I know that every member in the House understands what the effect of lower oil prices has been for Albertans. The economic impacts may be measured in rigs being closed, barrels cut, or investments deferred, but they are felt in the lives of families and experienced in hard conversations around kitchen tables. We took action to support families in the energy sector by extending EI benefits in affected regions, including parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, northern Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We also provided additional support to families in the prairie provinces under the Canada child benefit.

To give more Canadians greater access to good, well-paying jobs, our government invested in training for unemployed and underemployed workers and will develop a new framework to support union-based apprenticeship training.

For families in Alberta and British Columbia, the Trans Mountain expansion project offers much-needed help and good jobs. It is no wonder, then, that Premier Notley praised the Prime Minister for extraordinary leadership and said, “It has been a long, dark night for the people of Alberta.... [But] we are finally seeing some morning light.”

The Premier also pointed to a key benefit of this project when she said, “We're getting a chance to reduce our dependence on one market, and therefore to be more economically independent. And we're getting a chance to pick ourselves up and move forward again.”

Nor is it just Canadians in Alberta and British Columbia who will benefit from the Trans Mountain expansion project. A 2014 study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute found that for every job created in Alberta's oil patch, at least two more jobs were created across the country. It could be a manufacturing company in Ontario, an engineering firm in Quebec, or an oil worker commuting from one of our coasts. Quite simply, a strong energy industy strengthens us all, and projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion benefit all Canadians.

The motion also points out the environmental soundness of this project, as determined by the National Energy Board. In approving this project, our government considered the evidence and weighed the facts. We agree with the National Energy Board that the project should proceed, subject to the 157 binding conditions that will be enforced by the board.

Our government considered the fact that without new pipelines, more diluted bitumen would be forced into more rail tanker cars for transport. That would be less economic, more dangerous for communities, and would produce higher greenhouse gas emissions.

At the same time that we approved the Trans Mountain expansion project, we also announced a ban on oil tankers on the northern B.C. coastline, specifically around Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound. This coastline is vital to the livelihoods and cultures of indigenous and coastal communities and is part of a unique and ecologically sensitive region.

Hon. members will know that Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, has now been introduced in this House. I look forward to their support for this vital legislation in the days ahead. As the Minister of Transport has said, the Great Bear region is no place for an oil pipeline, and it is no place for oil tankers either.

Our government has also made the most significant investment ever to protect our oceans and coastlines, with a $1.5-billion oceans protection plan that includes improving marine traffic monitoring; setting tougher requirements on industry, including for spill response times; making navigation safer; and co-managing our coast with indigenous and coastal communities.

Our government is also committed to consistently increasing our action on climate change. A 1.5-degree world helps no one, and that includes every one of us here and every Canadian we represent. Inaction comes at too high a cost, whereas a clean growth economy will build more good, middle-class jobs across the country.

These measures reinforce the importance of carefully balancing environmental protection with economic development as Canada makes the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The motion put forward by my hon. colleague points out that the Trans Mountain expansion project falls under federal jurisdiction for approval and regulation. Certainly the Constitution assigns the federal government jurisdiction over interprovincial and international trade. With that jurisdiction comes responsibility to consult widely, to act prudently, and to stand firmly.

We know that there are some who disagree with our decision to approve this project and that they may use the legal system to seek redress. We respect their right to do so, but we will strongly defend our decision in court.

Our position is clear: the jurisdiction is federal, the decision has been made, and our government will continue to support the Trans Mountain expansion project. On every aspect of this motion, our government finds itself in full agreement. Indeed, as I said in this House to a question from the hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn, I appreciate their making the case for us.

As I have said many times, one of our government's key responsibilities is to help get Canadian resources to market. With our major customer, the United States, producing more of its own energy, it is essential that Canada build the infrastructure to get our oil and gas to new global markets. That is exactly why we have approved projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion, doing more in one year than the previous government did in a decade: protecting our oceans, pricing carbon pollution, resetting our nation-to-nation relations, building a climate change plan, and putting middle-class Canadians back to work today by approving the pipelines we need to reach those new markets.

There is one final element of this motion that I have not yet addressed: that the Trans Mountain expansion project “should be constructed with the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project.”

I would have thought that the answer to that request would have been clear from the Prime Minister's statements of the past week, so I was somewhat surprised to hear the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle ask in this House whether the Prime Minister will “stand up to the forces that are seeking to kill these jobs, or will he fold like a cardboard cut-out?” If I may paraphrase one of the more famous phrases uttered by one our heroes, Sir Winston Churchill, in this very place, some cardboard, some cut-out.

Our government will not falter. We will not fail. We will certainly not fold in our support of the Trans Mountain expansion project, nor will we shy away from being a leading force in the global clean growth economy. Neither can be ignored. It is the right thing to do for Canada.

May 30th, 2017 / 12:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

They will be here for the first hour on Thursday. Thank you very much. I'm really glad when we can work together.

Now we have 15 minutes left to talk about committee business: what we have outstanding that's coming to us or that we still have to deal with.

We have Mr. Bratina's motion on water quality, which we have to deal with before December 1. We have a draft report on infrastructure that our analysts have done, which we have not gone back to review. We can take action on it, or we can simply leave it there until the fall, depending on the will of the committee on those two issues.

Legislation-wise, at some point we're going to have Bill S-2, Bill C-48, and Bill C-49. That's the legislative agenda ahead of us, over and above all the other issues that we'd like to dealt with.

As we look forward to the committee business ahead of us, we should sort out how we're going to deal with some of it. Bill C-49 is a very important piece of legislation, given the fact that it affects the issue of the sunset clause in Bill C-30.

That's what's ahead of us. We need to sort out how we are going to get these issues dealt with in the couple of meetings we have left.

I'm going to open the floor.

Mr. Badawey, go ahead.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActRoutine Proceedings

May 12th, 2017 / 12:05 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos Liberal Québec, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-48, an act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)