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 (Senate), as of June 5, 2018

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.

Votes

May 8, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of 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
May 1, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of 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
May 1, 2018 Failed 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 (report stage amendment)
Oct. 4, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of 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
Oct. 4, 2017 Passed Time allocation for 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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:25 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am going to use my time to put a question to the parliamentary secretary, and in the context of that, answer the question from the member for Foothills.

This ban on the north coast of British Columbia against large oil tankers has been in place since 1972. It was only under the previous prime minister, Mr. Harper, that it was removed. It was honoured by every government, including Progressive Conservative governments, from 1972 up to 2012.

I am originally from Cape Breton, and I asked those questions early on, and the reason it is different from the east coast has a lot to do with the intense ocean current action of the Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance. The ocean current in these areas is far more intense than in any of our coastal areas off Atlantic Canada. As well, geographically, Haida Gwaii, what we used to call the Queen Charlotte Islands, is right up against those channels. It is far too dangerous to have oil tankers on that coast, and the tankers on the B.C. coast are the only ones shipping dilbit. None in Atlantic Canada ship dilbit, which cannot be cleaned up.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her education. I appreciate knowing that.

Knowing what the product being transported is, knowing how it is going to act when it hits the water, and knowing how currents are going to affect that product are absolutely key. We are undertaking that research to make sure we understand what that product would do, but we are not done yet.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was listening attentively to the commentary and the back-and-forth of the different questions and answers. As far as I know, this is a tanker ban, really a pipeline ban in northern British Columbia. It is just moving the traffic 100 kilometres further to the west.

The member opposite talked about doing this for the purpose of conservation. However, section 6 of the act gives cabinet the ability to give a blanket exception for any reason to allow the tanker traffic to continue. Therefore, it cannot be about conservation when the government gives itself a mechanism to do the exact opposite of that plan. I think that does matter.

Why would the government approve a pipeline like Trans Mountain when it means, in the name of conservation, to eliminate any traffic closer to the coast? Why would it not do it on the southern coast as well? Is there a difference in value between the two?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my belief that the possibility for an exception is under extraordinary circumstances. If something changes, if there is an emergency, if technology changes so drastically that something needs to be adjusted, then it can be adjusted. However, a lot of homework needs to be done before something like that can be considered. The cabinet would have that ability. If there is some kind of emergency that it needs to address, it can do so. It is a very worthwhile piece of that legislation.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-48 is one part of the Liberals' plan to phase out Canada's oil and the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Canadians whose livelihoods depend both directly and indirectly on Canadian energy. The Canadian Energy Research Institute has said that every job created in Canadian upstream oil and gas results in the creation of two indirect and three induced jobs in other sectors. From engineers in Edmonton to steel manufacturers in Hamilton and refinery workers in Sarnia and Saint John, Canada's economy depends on Canadian energy.

Canada can and should play a major role in the global future of oil and gas, for which demand will continue to grow. Of the world's top 10 oil and gas producers, Canada and the United States are the only two Liberal democracies, yet these Liberals' policies are suffocating Canada's energy sector while the others thrive.

Canada has long been the world's most environmentally and socially responsible oil and gas producer. The Liberals should champion Canada's expertise, innovation, and regulatory know-how. The Liberals should be proud of Canada's track record and of Canada's future in oil and gas, instead of imposing policies and laws to phase it out, like this tanker ban.

As developing countries modernize and the world's middle class grows, oil and natural gas will continue to be the most significant sources for meeting global energy needs. Therefore, the world needs more Canadian energy, and the world wants Canadian oil and gas.

The Liberals constantly undermine Canada's energy sector. They killed energy east with red tape and rural changes and outright vetoed the approved northern gateway pipeline. While the Trans Mountain expansion is at risk and a full-blown crisis is escalating, the Liberals are imposing Bill C-48 to ban on and off loading of crude and persistent oils on ports on B.C.'s north coast, which will cut Canada off from the most efficient route to the Asia Pacific and prevent any new energy infrastructure opportunities to the region. The International Energy Agency estimates that in the past five years, 69% of global oil demand growth has been in the Asia Pacific and that is expected to grow for decades. Canada needs to supply that demand because the United States is both Canada's biggest energy customer and competitor.

However, Bill C-48 is an intentional government-created roadblock that deprives Canadians of potential benefits. The bill will permanently prevent any opportunities for pipelines to transport environmentally and socially-responsible Canadian oil to the Prince Rupert-Kitimat area, where it could reach the rapidly growing Asia Pacific.

Deliberately limiting Canada's export potential by blocking access to tidewater risks the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere. It will put very real limits on future prosperity. Reaching tidewater in all directions for Canada's oil and gas should be a pressing priority. It makes no sense to delay or to equivocate on this from an economic, environmental or moral perspective. Stopping Canadian oil cedes market share to countries where standards, enforcement, and outcomes do not measure up to Canada's performance, to many corrupt regimes with abysmal environmental and human rights records where energy development only benefits a select and wealthy few.

A 2014 WorleyParsons study comparing major oil and gas producing jurisdictions confirmed that Canada maintained the highest level of environmental stringency and compliance, the highest level of regulatory transparency, life-cycle analysis, community consultation, and collaboration with indigenous people in the world. That conclusion echoed several major benchmarking assessments before it. I note that was before the last 2015 election.

Every time the Liberals attack Canada's track record of energy and environmental assessment and evaluation, they empower and embolden anti-Canadian energy activists who are fighting to shut down Canadian oil and gas and exports. That is how the Liberals have created the mess they are in, picking and choosing which energy projects to defend and to attack. For the Liberals, this is about politics, not about facts. Here are the facts.

The safety track record of Canada's energy infrastructure and transportation systems, including pipelines and tankers, has also long been world-leading. The evidence shows tankers have safely and regularly transported crude oil from Canada's west coast since the 1930s.

The previous Conservative government implemented a suite of strong measures to create a world-class tanker safety system, modernized Canada's navigation system, enhanced response planning and marine safety capacity for first nations communities, and ensured that polluters paid for spills and damages on all coasts. Canada already has industry-leading regulations with standards well beyond other jurisdictions on all aspects of tanker safety, pipeline safety, prevention, and response. The Liberals are building on that work.

The average response time of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation has been 60 minutes for the last 10 years. The Canadian Shipping Act requires this corporation to have the capacity to clean up 10,000 tonnes of oil in 10 days. The largest marine spill to ever occur was on the east coast.

Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom of the Woodland Cree First Nation said, “What I don't understand about this tanker moratorium is that there's no other tanker moratorium on other coastlines in Canada. You have oil coming in from Saudi Arabia, up and down the St. Lawrence River right now.”

Therefore, when it comes to tankers bringing in foreign oil along the St. Lawrence River, the answer is yes. When it comes to oil tankers delivering oil from Saudi Arabia to the Irving oil refinery refinery in New Brunswick, the answer is yes. When it comes to continuing operations on offshore oil rigs off the coast of Newfoundland, the answer is yes, but of course not in northern offshore areas near the Northwest Territories, which the Liberals banned against the will of the premier. However, when it comes to opportunities to expand market access, create well-paying jobs for all Canadians, and millions of dollars in economic opportunity for indigenous communities, the answer from the Liberals is no, phase it out.

During a transport committee testimony, first nations were given only 30 minutes to share their opposition to the tanker ban, and spoke of their investment in the Eagle Spirit pipeline project, a $17 billion indigenous-owned corridor and what had been called “the largest first nations endeavour in the world”, which could secure economic opportunities, social benefits, and reduce poverty for at least 35 first nations for generations to come. Bill C-48 would undermine the hard work and aspirations of those first nations. It might drive their project into the U.S. too, chasing even more energy investment across the border.

During the committee meeting, which was the only consultation the Liberals offered with directly impacted first nations, Calvin Helin, the chairman and president of Eagle Spirit Energy and a member of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation, said that the 35 first nations supporting the project, “do not like outsiders, particularly those they view as trust-fund babies coming into the traditional territories they've governed and looked after for over 10,000 years and dictating government policy in their territory.”

Calvin said:

...we set up a chiefs council that represented all of the chiefs from Alberta all the way out to the B.C. coast. They have had a position with a lot of power and control over the environmental aspects and over the project in general, so it was a fairly high hurdle that we sought to meet. They were so satisfied with the environmental model we put forward that they voluntarily voted at their first meeting to support an energy corridor.

The Prime Minister says that the relationship with Canada's indigenous people is the most important to him and that he wants “an opportunity to deliver true, meaningful and lasting reconciliation.” However, his words do not match his actions. This legislation, dictated by the Prime Minister, would block wealth and opportunity for first nations communities.

Gary Alexcee, vice-chair of the Eagle Spirit chiefs council, said:

With no consultation, the B.C. first nations groups have been cut off economically with no opportunity to even sit down with the government to further negotiate Bill C-48. If that's going to be passed, then I would say we might as well throw up our hands and let the government come and put blankets on us that are infected with smallpox so we can go away. That's what this bill means to us....Today, the way it sits, we have nothing but handouts that are not even enough to have the future growth of first nations in our communities of British Columbia.

Less than a month after the last election, the Prime Minister directed ministers to work toward this tanker ban. However, the Prime Minister also said that his Liberals would “ensure that decisions are based on science, facts, and evidence, and serve the public’s interest...”. How does the Prime Minister expect Canadians to believe that he consulted indigenous communities, industry, and experts with comprehensive assessments of existing environmental and safety records, standards, outcomes, gaps, and comparative analysis of marine traffic rules, enforcement and track records on all Canadian coasts and internationally, and thorough local, regional, and national economic impact in less than a single month? It is a sham anyway, targeting docking and loading at ports of Canadian oil, not banning any other vessels of any other kind or from any other countries. Unfortunately, it is a pattern. Because despite all the talk, voter coalitions, politics, and ideology drive the Liberals' predetermined conclusions, not evidence, facts or consultations.

Alarmingly, foreign funds and interests have also influenced this bill. Before the 2015 election, the Oak Foundation, based in Switzerland, gave a $97,000 grant to the West Coast Environmental Law group to campaign for a change in government, with the express purpose of constraining Canadian oil and gas development “through a legislative ban on crude oil tankers on British Columbia’s north coast.”

The West Coast Environmental Law website says:

WCEL aims to establish the conditions under which...opposition parties holding a parliamentary majority work together to enact a legislative tanker ban under a minority government and/or incorporate a ban promise into their manifestos, committing them to act following an election that produces a majority government...

Calvin Helin said:

What the chiefs are starting to see a lot now is that there is a lot of underhanded tactics and where certain people are paid in communities and they are used as spokespersons...Essentially (they are) puppets and props...to kill resource development...

He went on to say that it was outrageous and people should be upset about it, that the chiefs were upset.

Eagle Spirit's indigenous leaders say the tanker ban is the result of a lobby campaign by foreign-financed environmental groups. Notably, some of these groups were also involved in a coordinated opposition to the Pacific Northwest LNG project, which the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation members also supported and welcomed after meeting environmental assurances and getting more information, another project that was killed under the government's watch.

The port of the project was to go straight into their traditional territory. Their community has a municipal-like government whose leaders are elected, while their original tribes are represented by the Lax Kw'alaams Hereditary Chiefs' Council.

Calvin Helin wrote:

It turns out the Seattle-based Wilberforce Foundation financially supported a local environmental extremist who posed as a hereditary Chief of the Gitwilgyoots tribe.

The Nine Tribes publicly clarified the misrepresentation in May 2016. It was later settled in court.

Calvin Helin went on:

The rightful hereditary leadership who had been governing their territory for over ten thousand years were shocked that an outside environmental organization would seek to essentially overthrow their ancient leadership structure....

Another quote:

Wilberforce, the California-based Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Hawaii-based Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and others have poured money into anti-LNG campaigns in B.C., as they funded opposition to oilsands development before them. Indeed, the record suggests the long project to establish...the Great Bear Rainforest was a strategy to stop hydrocarbon exports from western Canada, even as U.S. sources ramped up production.

One of the same groups involved in the anti-LNG campaign pushed the Liberals' tanker ban and opposition to the proposed Eagle Spirit project while claiming to be representatives of the Lax Kw'alaams.

In September 2016 the chiefs' council said:

[it] does not sanction inviting professional protestors from non-governmental organizations, and non-Lax Kw'alaams First Nations members into their traditional lands in breach of ancient tribal protocols. Conversely, the Nine Tribes of Lax Kw'alaams would never go into another First Nation's territory without first obtaining their permission. The unauthorized action by this renegade group has created needless confusion, damages tribal unity, and is insulting to tribal members.

However, here is the point: when the Liberals, along with the NDP and green activists, propose legislation like Bill C-48 to appease those groups, they undermine the will of first nations and their elected leadership. They talk of consultation and reconciliation, but their attack on economic opportunities and their failure to consult and listen to directly impacted indigenous people are the height of hypocrisy. Mayor John Helin, Calvin's brother, is forced to spend time and resources fighting this coalition and Bill C-48 in court.

It is stunning to hear Canadian politicians speak of the poverty and socio-economic challenges experienced disproportionately by indigenous Canadians while deliberately using every possible means to block financial opportunities for them and to undermine all their efforts to secure agreements to benefit communities, their youth, and their future.

Five hundred of the 630 first nations in Canada are open to pipelines and to oil and gas development. For example, Fort McKay, near the Athabasca oil sands, has an unemployment rate of zero and financial holdings in excess of $2 billion.

There are 327 indigenous-owned enterprises in Alberta alone that do business with oil and gas operations. Oil sands businesses have conducted more than $10 billion of business with first nations-owned companies.

Chief Jim Boucher of the Fort McKay First Nation says:

We have a different view of the oil sands industry than other people who are not close to our neighbourhood. A lot of people are making judgment calls in regards to what they see and hear from environmental groups, which is really contrary to what we believe and what we see in our region.

Responsible oil sands development is a key driver of Alberta's and Canada's economies and creates employment. Even as recently as 2014, nine out of every 10 new full-time jobs created in Canada were created in Alberta, bringing tax revenue for all levels of government to support the social programs and capital infrastructure projects on which everyone depends.

However, Alberta continues to face obstacles to move oil to markets, hostage to the myth that a broad-based carbon tax on everything will buy support for pipelines. Instead, it will disproportionately harm the economy and make it harder for vulnerable, low-income, working poor Canadians everywhere,

This narrative is especially toxic because Alberta was actually the first jurisdiction in all of North America to regulate and report emissions, to set targets for reduction across all sectors, and to implement a targeted carbon levy on major industrial emitters. That was more than a decade ago.

Oil sands developers and workers have led the world in improving sustainable production, enhancing energy efficiency, and minimizing the footprint of development, ensuring air, water, land, and habitat stewardship while working towards complete reclamation. The oil sands are a long-term strategic asset that any country in the world would want to have and that any other national leader would value and promote.

The oil sands are all about innovation. Without new technologies, Alberta would still be sitting on a hydrocarbon resource with no economic value. That is true of the energy sector overall: it is always innovating, adapting, advancing.

In the 1970s an Imperial Oil engineer, Roger Butler, invented a thermal recovery process called steam-assisted gravity drainage. Around roughly the same time, the Alberta government established the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority to focus on developing Alberta oil sands that were too deep to mine, which is the vast majority of the resource.

In 1996, the first commercial SAGD project was built at Foster Creek. It went into production six years later. The federal Liberal and provincial Progressive Conservative governments worked together to put in place fiscal and regulatory conditions to unlock this incredible resource.

Securities regulators took notice that deep-lying bitumen could now be recoverable. In 2002, when the Houston-based Oil & Gas Journal released its authoritative estimates of global petroleum reserves, it raised Canada's total proven oil reserves nearly fortyfold, from 4.9 billion barrels to 180 billion barrels. Major authorities followed suit over the next few years.

Alberta is blessed with abundant, accessible, affordable resources, and responsible development is an opportunity for all Canadians, benefiting every community, reducing poverty, and sustaining middle-class jobs. Producing from the oil sands is a technological, innovative, and relatively recent and unique achievement from a private, public, academic, and indigenous partnership of which all Canadians should be very proud.

The Liberals should champion Alberta's oil sands and not phase them out. However, Bill C-48 is a clear attack on the oil sands, on pipelines, on Canadian crude oil, on the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who depend on its success, and it limits Canada's role in the world. I urge all members to vote against the tanker ban.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's passion, her intervention, and the knowledge that she brings to this debate.

The member talked about what has been done to improve efficiency in technology in the oil sands, but right now the world faces the fact that we are burning carbon at an alarming rate, and it is a huge problem. Global scientists have told us that one of the largest problems, if not the largest problem, that humanity faces on the planet is to reverse this trend.

We are at over 400 parts per million and are quickly approaching a two-degree rise in global average temperature. What is the Conservative plan to deal with and reverse this trend while they are still promoting the use of fossil fuels?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian energy remains the most affordable, abundant, and available source of energy for our domestic use and for the world. Stopping Canada from being able to export its crude oil does not protect the environment globally. In fact, all it does is cede the market to other oil and gas-producing jurisdictions that are ramping up aggressively and have nowhere near the same standards as Canada.

This debate about the oil tanker ban should concern members of the NDP, the Greens, and the left-wing voters that the Liberals are trying to pander to in order to secure their vote. The hypocrisy and emptiness of this proposed legislation is shocking, since it would not enforce the voluntary exclusion zone already in the area.

With this proposed bill, the Liberals create a scenario in which they would stop pipelines and stop the oil sands and stop Canadian oil tankers from being in the area while American and foreign tankers of all kinds, all sizes, and with all products would still be the area. Therefore, the NDP should be opposing this proposed legislation, since it would not do anything that the Liberals are claiming it would do but exists just in order to keep NDP voters so that they will win in British Columbia again.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom of the Woodland Cree First Nation opposes the tanker ban and is one of the representatives of the 35 communities all along the route, every single one of which supports the Eagle Spirit pipeline as a new energy corridor. He says:

I'm 100% an environmentalist as well, but I'm also 100% into the economy so that I can provide purpose and get people to work. This tanker ban is not just going to hurt us at the moment, which it is doing, but it's going to hurt future generations. I have four daughters at home, and I want to provide a better education for them. I can't do that on social assistance.

Bill C-48 would hurt these first nations and would stop Canadian oil, which is extracted, transported, and produced under the safest and most environmentally rigorous standards of any oil and gas-producing jurisdiction on earth. That is what the Liberals would be stopping with this tanker ban. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Lakeland, my fellow Albertan, for doing a fantastic job in her role as a shadow cabinet minister on the energy file.

For 10 years, when I was a member of the former governing party, I would watch as the Liberals, the NDP, and the Greens continued to pander to, and try to get the votes from, anybody who was opposed to energy projects. Now that the Liberals are in government, they have found out that it is a lot harder to get these things done if they have to be dishonest with the people they made promises to. They like to couch everything in saying that in the 10 years Stephen Harper was prime minister, he did not get any pipelines built.

How many kilometres of pipeline did Stephen Harper actually cancel, and how many kilometres of pipeline has the current Liberal Prime Minister cancelled?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, in fact, pipeline capacity in Canada was tripled under the previous Conservative government, while under the Liberals almost 7,000 kilometres of pipeline has been killed by their policies and their attack on Canadian energy. They have already killed more pipelines than were actually constructed and operating under the previous government.

To the point about the government's crass alliance with anti-energy activists and all-for-votes political pandering, I am going to read a declaration from the nine tribes of Lax Kw'alaams, who collectively declare the following:

We have unextinguished Aboriginal rights and title from time immemorial and continuing into the present within the land and ocean of our traditional territories…;

We have protected the environment as first-stewards of our traditional territories for over 13,000 years;

We have and will always, put the protection of the environment first, but this must be holistically balanced with community, social, employment, business and other priorities;

We absolutely do not support big American environmental NGO’s (who make their money from opposing natural resource projects) dictating government policy and resource developments within our traditional territories.... [S]uch foreign interference serves only to perpetuate the rampant poverty and dysfunction encouraged by previous colonial policies—

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Mr. Speaker, as part of our election platform, the Liberal Party had proposed just such a type of measure. It was the will of the people, and that is why we are here as a government.

Does my colleague across the way not believe that this is what Canadians want? We are here as a majority government. This was part of our platform promises. Can she answer that, please?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, a growing number of Canadians, certainly the vast majority of the constituents I am blessed to represent, no longer really believe a word the Liberals say, especially about energy and environmental protection. That is the reason why nobody on the left supports them on the Trans Mountain expansion, for example. None of the Conservatives, who wholeheartedly agree that the approval of the pipeline is in the national interest, believes their words either.

The Liberals also got elected talking about basing their decisions on evidence, consultation, science, facts, and particularly consultation with indigenous people. They constantly claim that this is the most important relationship to them.

What do they not understand about the fact that their tanker ban would actively undermine the opportunities, the will, the decisions, the aspirations, and the hard work of 35 indigenous communities from Alberta to British Columbia, and that it would do damage to Canadian future prosperity that benefits all of Canada, every single resident in every province, right across all sectors? That is what the Liberals are actually doing here. They can go on and on about the things they believe, they promised, and they said they were going to do, but nobody believes them anymore at all. They deserve it. They created that mess.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I had an opportunity to speak to this bill at report stage on Monday, and I made the comment that the Conservatives will not participate in the fantasy that this bill has anything to do with transportation. We know that this is a moratorium on a pipeline and on resource development, which is precisely why my colleague from Lakeland, who is our shadow minister for natural resources, has been given the lead on this particular file. I think she has done a tremendous job in terms of bringing forward all the issues that surround this tanker ban.

I also want to thank her for the opportunity to attend a press conference that she held today with Mayor Helin from Lax Kw'alaams. I would like to give her an opportunity to tell us what the purpose of that press conference was.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Mayor Helin feels that his community, his leadership, and the elected leaders there are being drowned out by the anti-energy activists alliance. He and his community were not consulted on the tanker ban, but that is the community that will be most directly impacted by it. He is moving forward, having to fight on behalf of the best interests and aspirations of his community, to challenge the government, because he says that it has violated the community's rights and title to make decisions on its traditional territory. That is the same community that supported and welcomed the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, which was later cancelled. It is also being blocked by the Liberal government from being able to diversify its fisheries.

The community members oppose the tanker ban. They are doing everything they can to be heard. They had one meeting with the Liberals and were told that there is no flexibility on it. This tanker ban was dictated by the Prime Minister within one month after the 2015 election. The mayor was here to speak on behalf of the people he represents, and Canadians cannot be grateful enough for his leadership.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:55 p.m.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak to Bill C-48 on an oil tanker ban on British Columbia's north coast. Canada's New Democrats are pleased that the Liberal government is finally taking action to protect the north coast of British Columbia from crude oil tanker traffic. However, we are concerned that Bill C-48 would give the minister too much arbitrary power to exempt vessels from the ban or to define what fuels would be covered under the act. We hope the government will implement constructive amendments to limit ministerial power and increase spill response resources. We are certainly concerned about the lack of consultation with first nation and other coastal communities.

I want to talk about my colleague, the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, and the work he did in his riding on the northwest coast with regard to this oil tanker ban. He consulted with many people in communities and first nations. He worked with them and listened to their concerns. What they told him, over many years, was that one oil spill could ruin their way of life. That way of life depends on the ocean: on salmon, on halibut, on shellfish, on a healthy, clean ocean. What he heard was that the risks were too great. They were just not worth it.

Patrick Kelly, chair of the board of Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative, wrote an opinion piece called “Opinion: Coastal First Nations affirm support for oil tanker ban on north coast”, which was published February 11, 2018. It reads:

The ocean is an integral part of our coastal First Nations cultures, societies and economy. An oil spill in our territorial waters, which includes all of the North and Central coast and Haida Gwaii, would be catastrophic.

We understand that large-vessel shipping is essential for our modern economy. Fossil fuel use is a reality we must deal with as we transition to a clean energy future. But we already know that the question is no longer “if” there’s going to be an oil spill, it has already happened. There is no “world class” oil spill clean-up system that will work on the coast. It simply does not exist.

The Heiltsuk Nation still has not recovered from the Nathan E. Stewart diesel spill. It may be years before their waters, clam beds and other marine resources are healthy again. The Haida also experienced a near disaster in October 2014 when a 135-metre bulk carrier, the Simushir, lost power in storm-force winds in their territories. The Gitga’at have been impacted by two spills, the MV Zalinski which was carrying Bunker C [fuel] when it sank and the B.C. Ferry, Queen of the North, which sank in 2006. Despite government promises of clean-up, both wreckages still leak fuel.

Our identities and culture will cease to exist if the fish, animals, plants, medicines, creatures and birds are compromised. Our way of living and livelihoods has already been severely impacted because of past industrial and commercial unsustainable practices. One example is the decline of fish and fisheries on the coast.

Historically, our leaders managed our territories and resources to meet our community needs. Wealth and surpluses were generated when times were good, and this enabled trade and inter-tribal commerce. Governing also meant enforcement of Indigenous laws and protection of lands, seas and resources. We are guided by our potlatched hereditary leaders and elders who have taught us how to balance the economic needs of our people and the need to respect our lands, cultures and environment. They have told us that oil tankers are too risky to our existence and therefore must be kept out of our territories. Consultation has been provided through the clear leadership of the CFN communities.

As chiefs and leaders we have a responsibility to leave future generations with a healthy environment and a sustainable economy. This is why we are working with the federal government to develop a fisheries industry that will benefit our communities. It is why we are working with the B.C. government to develop new clean energy strategies which includes First Nations from the outset.

CFN, through its Carbon Credit Corp., is now the largest carbon credit seller in Canada and revenues generated from sales are re-invested by each nation to further protect their lands and resources. Collectively, our nations have trained and now employ over 100 stewardship staff and guardians.

Our people and communities need jobs and revenue, and we know that the traditional resource sectors alone will not meet growth demands of our nations so we are open to new developments. But new resource or industrial developments must never compromise our natural environment. There is no place for oil tankers on our coast. As Indigenous people who have lived in our territories for more than 14,000 years, as British Columbians, and as Canadians, we have a collective responsibility to protect our lands, waters and resources.

The tanker moratorium is good and necessary public policy.

That is a powerful letter, and a powerful statement, and I am glad to have read that into the record.

I got into politics to defend our west coast way of life; the incredible biodiversity we enjoy in the province of British Columbia; the rivers, the lakes, the forests, the mountains, the oceans, the wildlife; and the communities and economies that have developed as a result of that abundance. However, the way we are living now is impacting that abundance and biodiversity. We have species at risk, threatened and endangered, whether it is salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, caribou, or many other species that are SARA listed.

These are real issues, and they are not easy problems to fix, but there needs to be political will to address these problems and to do things differently. We must find ways to live within our means and move to a low-carbon economy, and we need to do that in a just way. We need a just transition to a sustainable way of living.

This is what motivated me to swim the 1,400 kilometre length of the Fraser River, one of the greatest salmon rivers on the planet. The northern gateway Enbridge pipeline project would have crossed hundreds of rivers and streams, going through salmon and fish-bearing rivers and creeks and crossing very steep slopes and mountainous valleys right through the northern part of the Fraser River basin. I was so passionate about bringing my message of sustainability, I swam for three weeks in icy cold water from Mount Robson, in the Fraser's headwaters, to Prince George, down through the Fraser canyon, past Hope, and west past my home community of Coquitlam to the river's mouth, Musqueam territory, in Vancouver, near the Salish Sea.

This was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, swimming for three weeks in that cold water, but it taught me one thing. It taught me to be resolute, and I committed that I would do everything in my power to encourage people to transition to a sustainable way of living, which includes transitioning in a just and fair way to a low-carbon economy, shifting away from oil and gas and toward renewable forms of energy.

The reasons are clear. The science is overwhelming. The world is burning so much carbon from oil, coal, and gas that we are changing the climate. We have now passed 400 parts per million, a historic high. We are well on our way to an average warming of 2o C, which global scientists warn us will have a dramatic impact on human civilization, our economies, our communities, and all others we share this planet with. That is not just in the future. That is happening now, and we are seeing it in the form of floods, fires, and impacts on our planet.

This means that sometimes we have to say no. We need to say no to things that we know will harm us. This is one of those times. Banning oil tanker traffic off B.C.'s north coast is the right thing to do.

Another one of those times is the Kinder Morgan pipeline project which, if built, is planned to bring a 700% increase in oil tanker traffic to the Vancouver port in Burrard Inlet. For the past two years, my colleague, the member for Burnaby South, has been working hard to raise awareness about the detrimental impacts of that Kinder Morgan project, how the risks far outweigh the benefits of this proposal. He knows, like I do, it is times like these that we must take a strong and principled stand on projects that will not bring prosperity to the country that we love and that we know is full of promise. Worse, it will have a detrimental impact on the existing way of life and on future generations.

I am very disappointed the government is sticking to its decision to move ahead with the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. This pipeline would triple the amount of tar sands oil being moved to the coast of British Columbia where it will be loaded onto oil tankers and headed out to sea and directly through critical habitat of the endangered southern resident orca, and other marine life. Not only does this significantly increase human caused noise and ship strikes, but it also increases the risk of catastrophic oil spills in southern resident orca habitat, which would be devastating for this endangered iconic species and the entire ecosystem of the Salish Sea.

The government tells us not to worry, that it has everything covered with its so-called oceans protection plan. The problem is the government has no marine mammal response plan for an oil spill. As I and others have said many times in the House, the tankers would be carrying diluted bitumen and there is no technology in place today to clean it up. It simply does not exist. On top of that, the rugged B.C. coastline and often challenging weather conditions can make response efforts extremely difficult.

The government's record and its ability to respond to emergency incidents have been causing many on the B.C. coast concern. Response to the 2015 Marathassa spill in Vancouver's English Bay and the 2016 Nathan B. Stewart spill near Bella Bella proved that Canada's response plan is completely lacking. The government keeps making funding announcements for the oceans protection plan, but all the money in the world will not change the fact that the impact of an oil spill on B.C.'s rugged coast would be devastating.

I want to conclude my remarks by referring to DeSmog's summary of what it wants Canadians to know about Bill C-48.

One, DeSmog indicates that a tanker ban will not ban supertankers of refined oil from the coast. While the proposed legislation does prevent supertankers of crude oil and similar hydrocarbon products from moving in and out of northern ports in large quantities, it does not prevent refined oil products from doing the same. This leaves the door open for future major oil refinery projects on B.C.'s north coast. There are two proposed refineries, one in Kitimat called Kitimat Clean, which would refine 400,000 barrels of oil per day, and the Pacific Future Energy refinery project, which would refine 200,000 barrels per day. Those are the projected refinery amounts.

Two, DeSmog is very concerned that tankers carrying 12,500 tonnes or less of oil are excluded from this ban. This is a huge amount of oil. Once passed, the bill would only prevent vessels carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil from stopping at coastal ports. This is a big concern to its readers.

Three, DeSmog indicates that the tanker ban would not prevent another Nathan E. Stewart incident from happening. The tanker ban was first announced by the federal government after the Minister of Transport travelled to the Heiltsuk territory to witness a diesel spill from the Nathan E. Stewart, a sunken fuel barge. This spill had a devastating impact on the local fishery and shellfish fishery.

Jess Housty, a tribal councillor from the Heiltsuk First Nation said that the tanker ban “changes nothing”. She is adamantly concerned about tanker traffic and the types of products that will be transported off the north coast of where she calls home.

Fourth, DeSmog indicates that the south coast of B.C. near Vancouver and Victoria is still not protected. DeSmog is concerned that this tanker ban would not impact tanker traffic off B.C.'s south coast near the terminus of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline in the Burnaby-Vancouver port.

The fifth concern that DeSmog would like to bring to the attention of all Canadians is that the details of the banned fuels are subject to change. I talked about ministerial discretion. There is a concern that the tanker ban will prevent the movement of large amounts of crude oil from traversing coastal waters in B.C. and the ban will also cover heavy hydrocarbons known as persistent oils in the schedule. DeSmog is concerned that there are many other types of deleterious substances that will be transported which could have an impact on the coastal way of life.

This is a huge concern to many coastal communities, first nations, and others on Canada's west coast. It is a growing concern to many throughout this great country.

This is a good first step to ban oil tanker traffic off the north coast, but we still have a way to go to deal with the impacts of a changing climate, the impact of losing species at an alarming rate, and transitioning in a just and fair way toward a sustainable way of life.