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

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.

Sponsor

Marc Garneau  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

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

June 18, 2019 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to 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
June 18, 2019 Passed Motion for closure
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

Relations with Indigenous PeoplesEmergency Debate

February 18th, 2020 / 10:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly grateful for this emergency debate tonight, because Canada is facing a crisis of leadership that is threatening the whole economy.

This crisis is not really about whether indigenous communities support Coastal GasLink, because every local first nation does support it. A majority of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs support it too. One of them, Theresa Tait-Day, said their whole community voted on it and “85% of our people said yes” to this project.

Chief Larry Nooski of the Nadleh Whuten said “Coastal GasLink represents a once in a generation economic development opportunity” for his nation, and that they “negotiated hard...to guarantee that Nadleh people, including youth, have the opportunity to benefit directly and indirectly...while at the same time, ensuring that the land and the water is protected....”

Chris Sankey, a former elected band councillor for the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation, said, “We need jobs. We need to build homes and roads and schools for our kids and care centres for our elders. These projects will help us do that.”

This crisis really hangs on the question of whether Canada is a country where the rule of law is respected and upheld, or whether Canada has succumbed to the rule of the mob. It is about whether Canadians will let our entire economy be held hostage by a small group trampling the legal system that has governed our country for more than 150 years.

This morning, the Prime Minister's statement was a complete and sad abdication of responsibility and leadership. The Prime Minister himself has emboldened and encouraged this kind of behaviour by cancelling other big projects based on political and activist considerations, like vetoing northern gateway, imposing Bill C-48 and funding TMX pipeline opponents, instead of on science and facts, and on the best interests of the whole country.

As an MP for an oil and gas riding and for nine indigenous communities, and as a person who happens to be part Ojibwa, I suggest his actions look a lot like those of a centralist, colonialist government imposing its views against the wishes and the priorities of local indigenous governments and the majority of directly impacted indigenous people, such as those in my riding, which are all involved in the oil and gas sector.

Every single person in this country has the right to freedom of speech and the freedom to protest, but they do not have the right to break the law or to hold the Canadian economy hostage. Because the Prime Minister has yet to clearly denounce the actions of these radical activists as illegal, or to provide an action plan that will end the illegal blockades, rail lines continue to be shut down. Bridges, roads and highways are blocked. The commutes, jobs and livelihoods of farmers, small business owners, workers and families across the country, thousands of kilometres away from beautiful British Columbia, are at risk.

Bonnie George, a Wet'suwet'en member who formerly worked for Coastal GasLink, said, “It’s disheartening now to see what’s happening. Protesters across Canada should ask our people who are out of work what they think. As a Wet’suwet’en matriarch I’m embarrassed....”

Who is really behind it?

Ellis Ross, the B.C. Liberal MLA for Skeena and elected official for the Haisla First Nation for 14 years said:

Professional protesters and well-funded NGOs have merely seized the opportunity to divide our communities for their own gains, and ultimately will leave us penniless when they suddenly leave.... It is therefore truly ignorant for non-Aboriginals to declare that elected Aboriginal leaders are only responsible for “on reserve issues” or are a “construct of the Indian Act meant to annihilate the Indian”.

He continued:

I was an elected Aboriginal leader for 14 years and I never intended to annihilate anyone.

My goal was to do everything I could to make sure my kids and grandkids didn't grow up knowing the myriad social issues that accompany poverty. I'm pretty sure all chiefs — elected and non-elected — feel the same way.

However, if the Liberals and the protestors claiming solidarity and shutting down rail lines in eastern Canada do want to talk about the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the LNG Canada plant it will supply, let them take note that all 20 of the local first nations want this pipeline built. When indigenous communities have access to revenues independent of the government they can invest in their own priorities without having to get approval from a civil servant in Ottawa or a big lobby group, or fit their plan into a federally prescribed program application.

Empowering first nations economically provides the tools for indigenous communities to manage their core needs, to invest in their cultures, and to preserve and nurture their heritage and their languages for future generations.

Chief councillor Crystal Smith from Haisla Nation, who supports Coastal GasLink and opposed Bill C-48, said, “Our nation's goal is to be an independent, powerful and prosperous nation. We can't get there without powerful, prosperous, independent people.”

There is no stronger example of the patriarchal, patronizing and quite frankly colonial approach of these lawless activists, and of the current Liberals, than their treatment of these first nations who want to develop, provide services, and supply and transport oil and gas.

Another person said that all too often, indigenous people are “only valued as responsible stewards of their land if they choose not to touch it. This is eco-colonialism.”

Crystal Smith further said:

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m tired of managing poverty. I’m tired of First Nations’ communities dealing with issues such as suicide, low unemployment or educational opportunities. If this opportunity is lost, it doesn’t come back.

The Liberals' and the activists' anti-resource, anti-business, anti-energy agenda from outside these indigenous communities are sabotaging the best hopes and all the work of all the first nations along the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Hereditary chief Helen Michelle of the Skin Tyee First Nation said, “Our own people said go ahead.” She also said, “A lot of the protesters are not even Wet’suwet’en....”

Troy Young, a member of one Wet'suwet'en community, and general manager of Kyah Resources Inc. , a company working to clear trees and build roads along Coastal GasLink's proposed pipeline route, said the history of the Wet'suwet'en is one of outsiders telling them how to do things, and if they are successful in stopping Coastal GasLink, “it will be one of the biggest cultural appropriations in British Columbia's history.”

MLA Ellis Ross said:

We’ve always had to cope with outsiders and so-called experts telling us who best represents First Nations, or what we should do within our own territory. Yet none of these people have ever lived on reserve or spent any significant time with the people who actually live there....

Allowing outsiders to undermine and dismiss years of careful consideration and consultation with elected chiefs who want nothing more than to secure a brighter future for their membership, is quite unacceptable.

He said he will continue to speak out against it.

Of course, Coastal GasLink does not just offer opportunity for indigenous communities. It is good for all of Canada, and it will benefit the world. Clean Canadian natural gas will reduce global emissions and deliver the affordable energy the world requires to reduce poverty and to increase the quality of life of the 2.6 billion people without access to electricity or clean cooking fuels.

The International Energy Agency projects the average global energy demand will increase approximately 30% by 2040 as world populations and economies expand, adding the equivalent of another China or India to the current level of global energy consumption. Natural gas is projected to meet one-third of that new demand.

As the fourth-largest natural gas producer with the fifth-largest reserves in the world, Canada can and should help meet that need.

Canadian natural gas is abundant, and it is the most viable fuel for reducing domestic and global emissions. Life-cycle emissions associated with LNG can be 20% lower than diesel, 60% lower than coal, 20% less than gasoline, and, crucially, emit less particulate matter, meaning less smog.

Canada LNG and the associated Coastal GasLink pipeline is the largest private sector commitment to the energy sector in Canadian history. It will give Canada the long-sought opportunity to export clean Canadian gas to foreign markets.

However, over $100 billion in LNG projects alone have been cancelled since the Liberals came to power, and that is not including other major oil infrastructure they killed. When LNG projects like Pacific Northwest, Grassy Point and Aurora are cancelled, it is devastating to the indigenous communities, local municipalities, service and supply businesses, and all the workers who were counting on them.

The lack of new pipeline access and LNG facilities in Canada is forcing natural gas producers to sell their product at a massive discount, and natural gas prices have even gone negative, meaning that producers have had to pay someone to take their product.

Liberal policies already left Canada out of the loop the first time, and could cause Canada to miss out on the second wave of the huge opportunity of LNG. In fact, the B.C. government had to agree to exempt LNG Canada from the Liberals' job-killing carbon tax hike in order to ensure that it went ahead. This is just another example of how Liberal policies are impeding resource development and driving private sector investments and businesses out of Canada. This is costing Canadian workers and indigenous people their jobs, and undermining their aspirations, work and hopes for self-sufficiency. It is driving increasing poverty rates in rural and remote regions and diminishing Canada's role in the world.

Canadians are looking for action from their government. It has taken almost two weeks for the Prime Minister to get back to Canada and to really say anything about it at all. Today it was just more words and an impotent call for dialogue. It is exactly this “do nothing” approach that has created the crisis we face today.

It is time for the Liberals to tell Canadians how they will lead for all of Canada, restore the rule of law and end these illegal blockades.

February 6th, 2020 / 5:45 p.m.
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President and Chief Executive Officer, Morgan Construction and Environmental Ltd.

Peter Kiss

Good afternoon. I wish to thank the finance committee for inviting me to these pre-budget consultations. My name is Peter Kiss and I'm the owner of Morgan Construction, a heavy civil earth-moving and environmental company operating throughout western Canada with a focus on the Alberta oil sands.

We currently employ 850 men and women from across Canada and have eight indigenous partnerships to provide real value and capacity-building to the groups we partner with. We are the definition of middle class. In 2014 and 2015 when the price of oil crashed, we laid off over 600 people. We have changed our business and innovated, but we have not really recovered. This is not a novel, one-off story; it repeats itself across the Prairies. The perception is that no one cares about Alberta and the west, and as it goes, perception becomes reality.

It was of special interest, especially to me, when I had my finance team pull these numbers together, to find out that over the last 10 years what I thought was a small business is a medium-sized business. The business and our staff have paid, including payroll remittances, taxes and fees to federal and provincial entities, $147 million. This is all while we've had our business evaporate. Again, this is paid by the middle class.

It should be noted that while we have paid our way, the company has not made significant money itself. It could be argued that we are hanging on by a thread. I am not alone. Western Canada is desperate. When I drive around rural Alberta to our work sites, the hotels and restaurants are vacant and there are “for lease” signs everywhere. Parking lots of oil service businesses are empty. The sentiment in western Canada is one of desperation and hopelessness. There is a feeling that we have been economically blockaded. We have no friends in the Dominion. It is economic Armageddon in the west.

Before questions, I'd like to provide the following suggestions for the upcoming budget and legislative session. We need investment in western Canada and we need offtake capacity and infrastructure for our resources.

First, we need to create a corporate and personal tax regime that is better than that in the United States, so investment will flow back into Canada. We have missed an economic boom and we need to catch up. As I sit down here in the United States, with unemployment at all-time record lows, there are help wanted signs everywhere and we have missed out.

Second, we cannot have different rules for our resources that have to compete on the world stage. One example of this is that oil produced in Canada has a charge for CO2 emissions, but oil produced in the Middle East does not. This makes us uncompetitive.

Third, we need to amend Bill C-69 to give investors confidence and we need to get money flowing back into western Canada. The economic engine of Canada is our resources and we cannot get them to market. This legislation, left unchecked, will only hinder activity and growth across Canada.

Fourth, I would like to pose the following question, which baffles much of the west with regard to Bill C-48 and energy east. Why is it okay to run tankers on the east coast but not on the west? Why can we not export our resources and get a global price? Do you feel that other countries have better environmental laws and human rights than we do? Believe me, as I was standing in Fort McMurray yesterday, on our job site, no one cares more about the environment than my front-line workers, my clients and me. Why are we importing oil from outside North America and not using our own resources? Does it make the middle class better off if we transfer their hard-earned money to various regimes with less stringent environmental standards and weaker human rights?

Finally, my last point is about Teck Frontier. It must be approved without conditions. If it is not, or the conditions imposed are so onerous that the proponent declines to proceed, there will be a rebellion in the west, plain and simple. For my business alone, I estimate that this project would mean 200 jobs.

In conclusion, I wish to thank the finance committee for inviting me to present during these pre-budget consultations. Please remember that we are desperate, but we don't want or need handouts. The west is resilient and hard-working and we need the economic blockade to end. We need to go to work. Thank you.

Natural ResourcesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 5th, 2020 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Madam Speaker, the second petition comes from more of my constituents.

The petitioners are asking for the repeal of Bill C-48 and Bill C-69. They draw the attention of the House of Commons to the fact that Canada has lost 7,000 kilometres of proposed pipeline. Well over 125,000 jobs and $100 billion in investments have been lost.

The petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to immediately repeal Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, the anti-tanker ban bill and the anti-pipeline bill.

February 3rd, 2020 / 6:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

I read that, from a competitive standpoint, Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 have not helped.

Natural ResourcesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 3rd, 2020 / 3:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I wish to present is signed by 26 of my constituents.

The petitioners call upon the federal government to repeal Bill C-48 and Bill C-69. They draw the attention of the House of Commons and the Government of Canada to the amount of pipeline built in the previous government being substantially lower than previous ones. They state that we have lost over 7,000 kilometres of proposed pipeline and well over 125,000 jobs. The petitioners also point out that $100 billion in energy investment has fled the country.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

January 30th, 2020 / 4:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to speak on a subject that I have been involved in, especially in my previous role as the shadow minister for international trade, and also as a passionate supporter of free trade.

I am well acquainted with the benefits of trade with the United States. I represent a southern Ontario riding that is very close to the border. We have many successful companies in Niagara West that do a significant amount of business not only with the United States but also throughout the world. I met personally with those business owners and operators, and their companies are world-class and full of potential. They provide communities with excellent jobs and economic development.

These business owners are asking for the certainty that free trade agreements provide. Free trade is essential to our country. One in five Canadian jobs is created as a result of free trade agreements. I also believe that members of the Conservative Party are the strongest supporters of free trade. We really are the party of free trade.

The Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement were largely negotiated by Conservative governments.

Conservatives negotiated these deals to remove tariffs and quotas, and to eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade. Free trade agreements improve transparency, predictability, certainty and fairness to exporters. I believe all members in this chamber would agree that free trade agreements open markets for Canadian businesses, including small to medium-sized enterprises.

This is why it was so concerning when the United States announced that NAFTA would be renegotiated. The uncertainty had a ripple effect through virtually all Canadian industries that do business with American clients and purchasers. Why did the uncertainty cause so much anxiety in our business community? The short answer is that we are very dependent on one another.

Total merchandise trade between Canada and the United States has more than doubled since 1993, and it has grown over ninefold between Canada and Mexico. In fact, 75% of total Canadian exports go to the United States and roughly 3% go to Mexico. All told, the total trilateral merchandise trade, the total of each country's imports from one another, has reached nearly $1.1 trillion U.S.

This is a tremendous amount of business that more than 1.9 million Canadian jobs depend on. The lack of certainty over the status of the renegotiation of NAFTA caused a reduction of business investment, which I think has been well documented, particularly in Canada. Some companies moved to the United States to offset potential losses while also directing their investments to the United States.

I saw the impact of this uncertainty when I did the “defend local jobs” tour from July to September 2018. During that time, I met with over 150 businesses, trade organizations and chambers. In Ontario, I attended round tables and meetings in London, Brantford, Kitchener, Welland, Niagara Falls, Beamsville, Orillia, Windsor and Toronto.

I went to Vancouver, where the BC Chamber of Commerce organized a round table with their members, as well as Kitimat, where I met with LNG Canada. In Alberta I met with business owners in Edmonton, Calgary and Leduc, where I saw first-hand the effects of the government's misguided policies and the anger that these policies were producing.

I did that tour to see first-hand the effects of U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs and to bring those concerns back to Parliament. I also brought back the personal accounts of business owners of how the uncertainty created by the renegotiation of NAFTA was impacting business operations. What I heard at the time was very worrisome. Stakeholders were asking for immediate support in order to prevent job losses or bankruptcy in the medium or even short term. They wanted to see improvements to Canada's business environment to reduce red tape and enhance our competitiveness. I will get back to Canada's competitiveness shortly, because I believe the government has failed terribly on competitiveness.

On the “defend local jobs” tour I learned that businesses at the time had begun to cut orders, reduce shifts and, in some cases, had even laid off workers. The key word was “uncertainty”. Businesses that had been investing in Canada saw the U.S. as a safer bet because they did not know what was going to happen here.

At the time, businesses impacted by the steel and aluminum tariffs had not yet seen any of the $2 billion in support promised by the government, which was extremely slow to roll out. The Liberals were quick to announce relief, but very slow to roll out any support for our businesses and workers.

Since then, this Liberal government has fumbled the NAFTA file several times. It agreed to many concessions in the renegotiations. Most importantly, I have to mention the concessions the Liberals made with respect to our dairy sector that are particularly damaging.

By the way, there is nothing on softwood lumber, as has been mentioned by other speakers, while the forestry workers are really hurting.

I want to be clear. The Conservatives support and want free trade with the United States. It is no secret that NAFTA is the legacy of the Conservative government, but we must carefully look at the legislation first. Rushing it through would not be wise. After all, when it comes to a trade deal with Canada's largest and most important trade partner, we need to do our due diligence.

I say this because the Liberal government failed to work with us during the negotiation and ratification processes and is now rushing to get this legislation through Parliament, which is not giving us much time to do our homework on it. The government has also failed to provide documents outlining the impacts of the new trade deal despite numerous requests from opposition members. The government does not seem to recognize the realities of the new minority government and is mistaken if it believes we will simply rubber-stamp this deal.

I want to reiterate that doing our due diligence is crucial. We want to ensure there are no surprises that could hurt our businesses and our workers. Hurting businesses and workers has been something the current government knows something about, especially when it comes to competitiveness. According to the World Economic Forum, Canada is now number 14 when it comes to competitiveness. We are behind Singapore, the United States, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Sweden, the U.K., Denmark, Finland, China and South Korea. This is worrisome news.

The government has put legislation forward for the updated NAFTA, but is keeping Canadian businesses handcuffed with red tape, excessive regulations and high taxes. Just look at what it has done in the west. It has been an absolute travesty. Workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan cannot find jobs for months and some for years because the Liberals have drowned the resource sector in over-regulation, overtaxation and ridiculous amounts of red tape.

Bill C-69 and Bill C-48 are the most famous examples of anti-energy legislation passed by the Liberal government. These two bills have done tremendous damage to the economies of our western neighbours. We need the government to finally do something about this. Yes, we need a free trade agreement with the U.S. We absolutely need it. However, if the government continues to stifle the growth of our business sector, including our world-class energy sector, how effective will this trade agreement be when Canadian businesses stall, fail or move south of the border, either to the U.S. or Mexico, because of the government's flawed domestic economic policies? The ill-conceived policies it is putting forward are just recipes for more wasteful spending, more sky-high taxes and more reckless borrowing, all while we are seeing worrying economic signs on the horizon.

The possibility of a made-in-Canada recession is becoming more real. If the government does not believe me, then perhaps it would like to listen to the Wall Street Journal, which stated:

Canadian exports and imports fell steeply in November of 2019, offering fresh evidence the country's economy has hit a rough patch.... The broad-based decline in trade from October [2019] is the latest in a string of disappointing economic indicators, among them a sizable loss of jobs in November and a decline in gross domestic product in October.... Some analysts...indicated the data were symptomatic of a stumbling economy.

What does the government do instead of lowering taxes to stimulate growth and job creation? It is thinking about hiking taxes again. It is looking at the carbon tax hike. It is almost as if it has spent the last four years making life harder and more unaffordable for Canadians.

Canadians should not be punished every time they drive their kids to school or turn up their thermostat on a cold winter day. In my riding of Niagara West, public transportation is almost non-existent. My constituents need to drive to work, drop off and pick up their kids from school, and drive them to hockey practice and all kinds of other activities.

We were very honest with Canadians in the last election. We warned them that the Liberals would raise the carbon tax. The Liberals denied it, but here we are today. They are thinking of raising it and probably will very shortly. This is not good for Canadian families, businesses or our global competitiveness. If they intend to raise the carbon tax, they will finally come clean with Canadians and tell them exactly by how much.

In order to hit our Paris targets they would need to raise it by an additional $50 per tonne. This would increase the price of gasoline by 23¢ a litre. Let us think of what the extra costs would do to job creators, never mind the families with children who have no other option but to drive around. Virtually everything is delivered to our favourite store by truck. The cost on gas will either be absorbed by businesses in order to keep their clients, which may bankrupt some businesses, or it will be passed on to the consumer and increase the price of everything.

In closing, I would like to say that we will carefully look at this legislation. We all owe it to our constituents to do our due diligence and ensure that Canadian workers and job creators will stand to benefit from this new NAFTA.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

January 27th, 2020 / 6:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Gerald Soroka Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, this is my maiden speech, which is going to be cut incredibly short.

The Speech from the Throne is informative not because it outlines what exactly the government is going to do, but because it shows us where its priorities lie.

Equally notable are the topics the government avoids mentioning. The Speech from the Throne was notably silent on some of the most pressing concerns our country is facing today. As the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan are facing an economic crisis, all the government offered them was one throw-away line in the throne speech about getting resources to market. While the Liberal government has long said that the economy and the environment go hand in hand, the policies it implemented in the last session and those it pledged to implement going forward tell a different story. It sacrificed the economic prosperity of Alberta and the other provinces for merely the appearance of environmental protection.

As Canadians have pointed out time and again, Canada produces some of the cleanest and most ethical oil in the world. The Liberal government imposed Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, which prevented our oil and natural gas from getting to market. That demand not met by Canada is satisfied by other countries with lower environmental standards, many of which have a proven record of ignoring human rights. In the case of the no-more-pipelines bill, Bill C-69, it resulted in oil transportation by alternative methods, namely rail, which can cause significantly more pollution. The push behind these job-killing and environment-killing bills come from a surface-level understanding of an issue at hand and the misguided intolerance of domestic oil production. When it comes to policy, the choice comes down to doing good or feeling good. As Conservatives, we will always support legislation that does the former, even when there are no sound bites and selfie opportunities that go along with it.

Concerning the tanker ban bill, Bill C-48, the government has claimed the ban is necessary to protect the environment. If the government legitimately wanted to protect the environment against the remote possibility of oil spills, do members not think it would have implemented a tanker ban on the St. Lawrence River or the east coast? After all, the beluga whales that inhabit the area are on the endangered species list. The government did not implement any other tanker bans. Why not?

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 13th, 2019 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, I want to inform you that I am splitting my time with the member for Calgary Centre.

It is my honour to rise in the House today for my maiden speech. I first want to thank the voters of Saskatoon West for putting their faith and trust in me as their representative in this House of Commons for this, the 43rd Parliament. I am humbled and honoured and grateful that they would trust me with this privilege. My pledge to them is that I will do my very best to represent them here in Ottawa and bring their views to Ottawa.

I want to thank my election team of Sunny, Braden, Alex, Kaitlyn, Donna-Lyn, Josh and Jared. I offer a special shout-out to the University of Saskatchewan Campus Conservatives club, which helped with a lot of door knocking. I offer big thank you to my friend the hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek and her husband, Milton Block, for all of their encouragement, and to so many volunteers and donors who made this all possible.

As everybody in here knows, family support is critical to our success, and so I want to thank my parents, Alvin and Irene Redekopp; my sister, Gaylene Molnar, and her family; my two wonderful sons, Kyle and Eric Redekopp; and of course my beautiful wife, Cheryl Redekopp. I could not have done this without them.

It is for these people and for the 75,000 other people who live in Saskatoon West that I am replying to the Speech from the Throne today.

Unfortunately, I cannot and I will not support it.

This throne speech calls for “unity in the pursuit of common goals and aspirations.” The Prime Minister talks about listening and about parliamentarians working together, but the throne speech says almost nothing about the aspirations of people from Saskatoon. Not only that, the Prime Minister brings in policy after policy that targets the people of Saskatoon and our economy.

Let me explain the economy in Saskatchewan. If we think of a three-legged stool, the first leg is agriculture: wheat, canola, barley, oats and things like that. The second leg is mining: potash, uranium, gold and diamonds. The third leg is oil and gas. Last year, in 2018, these three sectors accounted for 36% of our GDP in Saskatchewan. The seat of the stool is manufacturing and construction. We manufacture machinery, industrial equipment and food products, while construction is the infrastructure that supports all of that work and all of the people. In 2018, those two sectors were 14% of our Saskatchewan GDP. Taken together, the legs and the seat of the stool account for 50% of Saskatchewan's GDP.

The other half of our GDP is the services that support our residents: things like stores, restaurants, education, health care and everything else. These things all sit on the stool, but the legs of our stool, the foundation of our GDP, are mining, oil and gas, and agriculture.

We all know that these three sectors are suffering in Saskatchewan.

In terms of the oil and gas leg, the no-more-pipelines bill, Bill C-69, has restricted capacity to ship our oil to markets. The selling price of oil is down, investment is down, and therefore there are fewer jobs.

The mining leg is also affected by Bill C-69. It politicizes the impact assessment process and adds significant time and uncertainty to the approval process. Companies no longer see Saskatchewan as the safe, stable place it once was to invest. Therefore, investments are going elsewhere and jobs are disappearing.

On the agricultural leg, the Liberals' continuing relationship failures with China have hurt our canola producers.

What does all this mean to the people of Saskatoon? When the legs of the stool are crippled, everyone suffers. Unemployment is up and people are struggling to pay their bills. During the election, I talked to many households and many families who were struggling to make their monthly payments, and on the campaign I spoke to many of the people we talk about who are short $200 every month.

I want to provide some vignettes of some real people and how this affects them.

I think of a young man who used to work on an oil drilling rig. He drove seven hours from Saskatoon to work in Drayton Valley, Alberta. He worked a two-week shift of 12-hour days, made really good money and spent that money in Saskatoon on vehicles, restaurants, stereo equipment, etc. I know this because this young man is my son. In 2015, the Liberals came to power. They introduced the no-more-pipelines bill and the no-more-tankers bill, and this drove down the price of our Canadian oil and reduced our investment. As a result, my son lost his job and, there was no more spending in Saskatoon.

Another example is a manufacturer who supplied components to the mining and the oil and gas industries. The manufacturer employed 140 people in Saskatoon. Those were well-paying jobs supporting 140 families in Saskatoon. I know this because my brother-in-law works at that company. Because of Bill C-69, investment in resource projects decreased, and the result was that people were laid off as the company adjusted to decreased business.

Fortunately, Saskatonians are resilient and creative problem-solvers, so they looked elsewhere and found business to keep the company going, but the business is smaller than it would have been had the oil and gas market kept going strong.

Let us think of an entrepreneur who build new homes for families, directly employed four people, indirectly hired 40 different contractors to complete all the work required and created several million dollars of economic spinoffs in Saskatoon. I know this because this was my business. Because of the Liberals' mortgage stress test, new homebuyers are forced out of the market. Because of changes in building codes, the cost to build a home significantly increased, and as a result, construction activity in Saskatoon has significantly slowed down. In fact, housing starts are at the lowest level in 14 years. Many good people in the construction industry are suffering or have lost their jobs.

What did I expect from the Liberal government throne speech in the spirit of working together? I certainly expected support for western Canadian jobs. After all, two days after the Liberals were reduced to a minority in October, the Prime Minister said he clearly has more to do to earn the trust of people in Saskatchewan. I expected support for oil and gas, mining and farmers.

What did I actually hear?

I heard a vague reference to natural resources and farmers, no mention of the Trans Mountain pipeline, no mention of a national energy corridor, nothing about repealing or even making changes to Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, and certainly no concern for our rapidly growing and dangerous debt. I think Rex Murphy said it best when he said the Speech from the Throne “is a semantic graveyard, where dullness and pretentiousness conspire, successfully, against the life and lift of our two wonderful official languages.”

Housing was mentioned in the throne speech, and I hope the government will follow through on that issue. There are many people in my riding for whom good, stable housing is out of reach. As a former home builder, I call upon the government to relax the mortgage stress test, as this has had a significant negative impact on construction in Saskatoon.

One thing barely mentioned in the throne speech was the word “job”. The Liberals are quick to offer money to Canadians for this or that and to offer handouts to make up for their lack of action on the economy, but let me tell members something about people from Saskatoon: We are proud, hard-working folks, and we do not want handouts; we want good-paying jobs.

Saskatoon is also filled with entrepreneurs, people willing to take great risks in order to employ others and build our economy. Entrepreneurs do not want handouts; they want a stable playing field with reasonable regulations and the freedom to work hard, succeed and then enjoy the benefits when success does happen.

There were two other words conspicuously absent from the throne speech: “balanced budget”. I am gravely concerned that the Liberal government has chosen to spend seemingly unlimited amounts of money on every kind of program, with no concern for the underlying economy that pays for all of this. We are burdening our future generations with debt that will have to be paid back at some point. I call upon the government to at least plan to return to balanced budgets.

Finally, Saskatchewan people care deeply about our environment. All three of the stool legs I spoke of earlier are rooted in our land. No one is a better steward of our land than people from Saskatchewan. We all understand that healthy land, water and air are critical to our long-term success, but we cannot adopt a zealot-like approach, assuming that the only way to have a healthy planet is to stop human development and to stifle innovation and economic growth. We cannot sacrifice the agriculture, mining, and oil and gas industries of Saskatchewan and Alberta in exchange for a photo op with Greta. We cannot stifle economic growth and continue to increase taxes on our people.

This throne speech made it clear that the government intends to continue to raise the carbon tax. Taxes will rise, with no meaningful impact on carbon. This will hurt ordinary Canadians and business owners.

In conclusion, Canada's Conservatives are focused on the aspirations of everyday Canadians, like the good people of Saskatoon West. We are the party of the middle class, and we will continue to present real and tangible ideas that will allow people to get ahead and get the government off their backs.

As I close, I want to congratulate and thank the leader of my party for his tireless dedication and work over the past 15 years. I also want to wish everyone in this chamber a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 13th, 2019 / 10:45 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise in the House.

This is my maiden speech, so I have some thanks to go through, then I will get to the crux of what was, or what was not, in the Speech from the Throne that was presented last week.

All of us in this House have a huge responsibility to represent their constituents in each and every riding. For myself, I could not do this job without the people and volunteers who helped me win this seat. We all have great volunteers on campaigns, and Regina—Lewvan had the best volunteers in the country in my opinion. We were 300 strong on election day, and there were a lot of people who helped ensure that the Conservatives won the seat in Regina—Lewvan.

I had an amazing team of core supporters and I would like to take this time to thank Shelly and Mike Janostin. Shelley was my campaign manager and worked tirelessly to keep me on task. I want to thank her for all the support that she has given me and my family over the last 18 months. We had a great time, and without her help we would not have been able to win this seat.

Laura Ross is a great friend and our EDA president. She was a colleague of mine when I was the member for the Saskatchewan legislature for Regina Walsh Acres and Laura was the member for Regina Rochdale and she was a tireless advocate. Both she and her husband Terry worked so hard. He was a great sign guy. We had a sign crew that put over 1,200 signs up in Regina—Lewvan. I appreciate the support of Terry, Mike and all the other guys who came out and put up signs. Everyone who took a sign as well, we appreciate their having the courage of their convictions and putting a sign on their front lawn. I appreciate that very much.

As a member of the Legislative Assembly I had the honour of having the best constituency assistant in the province, Heather Kuntz. She is now my assistant in Regina—Lewvan. She is a tireless advocate for the people of Regina. She works very hard on case files, and she is honestly one of my strongest supporters.

I always make the comment that she has been one of the women who has been in my life the longest. She has been with me for eight years and my wife has been with me for 10 years, so she is like an auntie to our three young kids. She is not only a great supporter and worker, but a confidante and a very good friend. I thank Heather for all the work she has done for us over the last eight years. I am very lucky to have her heading up our office in Regina and helping the people of Regina—Lewvan.

It comes down to having so many good people on our team. Mike Emiry, his wife Taryn and my good friends Dustin and Ali are auntie and uncle to my kids, and they helped support us throughout the campaign. When Larissa and I were out doing events or functions, they were there to look after the kids. My kids are very lucky to have two people in their life who love them so much. I thank Dustin and Ali for all they have done for our family.

It is an honour to rise and thank people who helped us get here. Obviously, the people who help us the most are our families. Without the support of a spouse, there is no one in this chamber who can do this job. I am very fortunate to have an amazing woman by my side.

Larissa is by far my strongest advocate. She also gives me advice from time to time and makes sure, for example, that I wear the right suit with the right tie. It is always good to have a wardrobe consultant. I appreciate everything she does for us.

Over the last eight years, we have had three children together. We have won three campaigns, two nominations and gone through a couple of leadership races. She has been by my side through it all. She has also finished her degree, finished an MBA and worked full time as well. She is an amazing woman and I am lucky enough that I convinced her to share a life together.

People always say, “Congratulations on marrying up,” and I say, yes, I definitely did. If one does not, that is silly. I appreciate her and she obviously means the world to me. We have three young children under six: Nickson is six years old, Claire is four and Jameson turns three on January 2.

I believe the reason most of us get into this job and commit to public service is to make things better for the next generation, and that is an example I set in our household. We do this job so that our children have better opportunities going forward and into the future. I think that everyone in the House is in it for those reasons, to make sure that we have a better environment for our children and great job opportunities, so that they can be more successful than we are.

I would say to Nickson, Claire and Jameson that dad is coming home in exactly four hours. I cannot wait to be home and spend some time with the family. I think Nickson has hockey practice tonight, so I hope he makes sure to skate hard and keeps his stick on the ice. I love him very much.

Obviously, there has been a lot going on over the last 24 hours for our party. I have known the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle for a long time. I want to thank him and his wife Jill for all they have done for the Conservative Party of Canada. He was a strong leader. When Premier Wall gave his farewell speech in the legislature, he said that one thing all politicians should aspire to do is leave things better than they found them. The member for Regina—Qu'Appelle did that for the Conservative Party, so I thank him very much for everything he has done over the last 14 years for us.

I took some time to go over the throne speech. I want to talk about what is and is not in it. One thing I saw was the lowering of taxes for Canadians. I hope that the members opposite fulfill that commitment. What I heard on the doorsteps during the last campaign was that it is getting harder to get by in Regina—Lewvan. The constituents there are feeling overtaxed and that, each month, there is less money left at the end of the month.

As a government, I hope the Liberals across the aisle will commit to lowering taxes. I know they said they were going to lower it by $300-some by 2023, but on the flip side, they are also going to increase CPP commitments to $600. Therefore, if they are going to lower taxes by around $300 and raise them by $600, that leaves less money in the pockets of Canadians, which is like giving with one hand and taking with the other. Across Regina—Lewvan, people want to see a commitment to making life more affordable for Canadians across the country. The throne speech does mention lowering taxes. I hope that is something the government will commit to and fulfill.

There were a few things that were not in the throne speech, such as Saskatchewan, Alberta, the oil and gas sector and agriculture. These are all important to our constituents in Regina—Lewvan. The fact those words were not in the throne speech speaks volumes.

On election night, I remember watching the Prime Minister say, I am listening. I hear your frustrations in western Canada. I looked through the throne speech to see if he was going to follow through on that commitment and I saw nothing. It totally bypasses western Canada. We sent 14 strong MPs from Saskatchewan and 33 from Alberta. There is not a Liberal who won a seat in those two provinces.

That speaks to the frustration that western Canadians are feeling. They are feeling left out and that their voices are not being heard. I want to make sure I put on the record that their voices will be heard, not by that side but by this side of the House. We will take the concerns of western Canadians seriously and hold the Liberal government to account on following through with some of the commitments it has made.

One of the most important things I hear is that Bill C-69 needs to be amended or repealed, and preferably repealed. The no-more-pipelines bill is devastating our energy sector in western Canada. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are not working in our provinces. That is not because of the weather or anything they can control. It is because of a direct hit from government policies.

That is probably what hurts us in western Canada the most. We are hard, entrepreneurial people. We know that there are some things out of our control. With respect to agriculture, we cannot control the weather. We know that sometimes we cannot control the markets outside of our country. However, when the government can control policy and implements policy that directly affects our livelihoods, it is frustrating for us. There is something to be said for listening to western Canadians. We will ensure that we work hard to hold the government to account.

We are going to ask the government to change policies such as Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, policies that directly affect families.

There is something that reflects what the government is doing in western Canada. On social media I saw three pictures: The first was of a young couple getting married in 2014 and buying a new house. The second was taking their baby girl to their new home in 2016, and the third is a farewell picture. They have their baby in a stroller standing outside their house and there is a foreclosure sign on the front lawn. That is what many families in western Canada are facing right now.

The fact is that westerners cannot get by. They cannot make the money to provide a stable home for their young families, and it is something that needs to change in Canada. Canada should be a country of aspirations and big dreams, where big projects can get done. That is why we are here. I want to make sure our children realize that Canada can be that country, and it will be. They just need a government that listens. Hopefully in the not too distant future, Conservatives will be on that side to make sure people have the opportunities to succeed.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 12th, 2019 / 6:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC

Mr. Speaker, once again, congratulations on your role in our Parliament.

In my new role as the shadow minister for northern affairs and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the one thing I am really concerned about is the lack of focus on the north by the government in the throne speech.

In the throne speech, the best that we got was “in the Far North or along the Canada-U.S. border—all Canadians want to make Canada a better place for themselves, their children and their communities.” That is all we got for the entire northern part of our country. I guess defining the north is difficult, because we are generally north wherever we step foot in any Canadian territory.

Especially in those northern areas, we develop our resources. This is a government that said it is supposedly pro-north, but it is difficult to defend that. I will mention one thing that was very clear. Having a northern development strategy would have been good to hear. A national energy corridor to help get our resources to market would have been a great thing to hear in the throne speech.

A plan to restore ethics and accountability in the government is a general theme that we did not hear about. As the former chair of the ethics committee, I certainly know how lacking the Prime Minister is on that file.

There was also the lack of support for our energy workers, such as building the TMX, repealing Bill C-69 and Bill C-48. We did not hear about those either.

Why does that relate to the north? A lot of the natural resource projects are in the north. All that we have seen, even when we talk about Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, is the Liberals really limit any new development in the northern part of our country.

It is not just the Conservatives who are saying this. We have leaders in the north who have already criticized the Liberal government. I will mention some of those individuals.

Former Nunavut premier Peter Taptuna said, “We do want to be getting to a state where we can make our own determination of our priorities, and the way to do that is gain meaningful revenue from resource development. At the same time, when one potential source of revenue is taken off the table, it puts us back at practically square one where Ottawa will make the decisions for us.”

I am referring to the moratorium on development in the north by the Liberal government. At the time, the leaders in the north were not made aware of that and it was very much a surprise. We have indigenous peoples across the north who want to develop their resources and a good economy for their people and for their benefit. What we saw from the government was a complete stifling of that opportunity.

Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq said, “No one in Nunavut asked for a carbon tax and no one in Nunavut agreed to it.” That is another aspect of what this particular leadership has addressed, which is the effects of the carbon tax on the north.

I live in northern B.C. and the member for Yukon across the way lives where it is a little colder than where I live. One thing I would think the Liberal member across the way can agree on is that heating our homes in the north really is not an option. It is not a luxury and it is not something we can choose not to do. We need to heat our homes just to stay alive in the winter months. That is why the carbon tax especially targets the north unfairly. I would have at least expected some kind of way to mitigate that effect on northern communities. They really have no choice, whether it is transportation or heating their homes.

I am going to mention another leader, Merven Gruben, mayor of the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk. It is a long quote, but I will read it for the benefit of members today. He said, “I agree the Liberals should be helping us. They shut down our offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across”, and I will use his language, “the whole freaking Arctic without even consulting us.” It might show his anger too with this decision. Obviously, they were expecting to develop those resources to help their people and it was stymied and shut down right there. He further stated, “They never said a word to us.”

Mayor Gruben's colleague said, “It's so easy to sit down here and make judgments on people and lives that are 3,500 klicks away, and make decisions on our behalf, especially with that moratorium on the Beaufort. That should be taken away, lifted, please and thank you. That is going to open up and give jobs to our people—training and all the stuff we're wishing for.”

Merven Gruben also made another key statement, saying, “We're proud people who like to work for a living.”

This is the opportunity they are looking for. They want to develop their resources, yet the government, which is supposed to be supporting the north, seems to be doing everything to get in the way of that development.

Mr. Merven Gruben also said:

I thank God we worked very closely with the Harper government and had the all-weather highway built into Tuk. It opened in November 2017, if some of you haven’t heard, and now we are learning to work with tourism. We all know that’s not the money and work that we were used to in the oil and gas days that we liked.

All that said, we are talking about the throne speech tonight. One thing I have not mentioned yet that alarms us in the north is the lack of a softwood lumber agreement. It is affecting many of the communities across the north.

We talked about gasification and oil and gas and referred a bit to mining, but there are great jobs in the forestry industry as well. There is lots of timber in the north. A lot of areas have not been logged for many years and the timber is sitting there, affecting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. It would greatly benefit the north if we signed a softwood lumber agreement. Even a signal from the Liberals that they wanted to get this done would have been appreciated by the folks in my riding and in the north, but we did not even get a signal.

As the House probably remembers, the last time this happened the government at least signalled. Maybe it is better for the Liberals not to say it; maybe that is where they are now. They did not even talk about a softwood lumber agreement.

The last time we heard about it was in 2015. In the first 100 days, the Prime Minister was supposed to sit down with the then President Obama and get a signed, sealed and delivered softwood lumber agreement. That did not happen.

Some have asked what the big deal is. The big deal is that the 20% tariff applied to our Canadian lumber has greatly affected the margins. A couple of years ago when we were making $600 per thousand, it was still profitable, but with the market going down and stumpage rates affecting us in northern British Columbia, the 20% tariff is now really affecting the sale of lumber and timber to our neighbours. Despite this, it was once again ignored by the government.

As a bottom line, the throne speech signals the direction the government is supposed to be going. We do not see a whole lot for the north or the softwood lumber industry. The Liberals are working on language to talk back Bill C-69 and Bill C-48. They seem to be ramping it up. We heard what the Minister of Environment was talking about. There is gas project in B.C., another northern project, and one of the project partners is pulling out. Is that because of the carbon tax in Canada? Is that because of other signals the environment minister has given that the Liberals will not co-operating with that particular project? I do not know.

The bottom line is that Canadians need to work. Canadians in the north, in the file that I now represent, need to work. They need to be able to heat their homes, feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. It is unfortunate that the government does not seem to take that group of Canadians seriously.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 12th, 2019 / 5:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for New Brunswick Southwest.

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on putting your name forward, going through the process and on your recent appointment. I also want to thank the voters of Battlefords—Lloydminster. They have given me a strong mandate. They sent me back to Ottawa to represent them to be their voice, the voice of rural communities, the voice of the taxpayers and families.

I know every single one of us in this place would not be here without our supporters, without our volunteers. I want to thank them because they are a very important part of helping us get here.

I am not too sure how many of my colleagues know, but over the summer, my husband and I welcomed a brand new baby girl. It is very important for me to express my thanks to my husband Adam and my children Annabelle and William on the birth of Victoria. Their love and their patience go a long way, especially in the middle of a campaign. We all know how sometimes we are not even home for dinner or sometimes to sleep, especially in a rural riding like mine. It is so big and I have to travel from community to community in order to reach constituents. I also want to honour my family members for their support in my desire and ability to serve in this place and be a voice in the nation. I am so appreciative of that.

On the note of door knocking, I spent a lot of time in the riding over the summer, sometimes with the baby in tow. Two weeks after I had her, I was out at events with baby in tow. The things that I heard at the door were sometimes quite sad. In conversations with people, I would ask how they were doing and they would say, “Well, I haven't been laid off yet. I still have a job. I was laid off six months ago and I found another job but I haven't been laid off from it yet.” That is the anxiety and anguish that is being felt in my riding in Saskatchewan. It is the same thing in Alberta. People genuinely are scared about whether they are going to wake up and go to work and still have a job.

I live in a very unique city. I have mentioned before in this place that my city actually borders Alberta and Saskatchewan. Half of the residents live in Saskatchewan and half of them live in Alberta. It makes it quite a mess because we are one municipality. It gets very difficult when we have different provincial regulations covering one place.

There is a company that employs hundreds if not thousands of people within my riding. The day after the election, October 22, the company laid off 60-some people in my community. That is not including the hundreds of layoffs that happened in Calgary with the same company.

I want to put that into perspective. I do not know if I fully understand going into work one day, thinking it is going to be a normal day and then being told to go home. What kind of conversation would I have with my husband? “Look honey, I was laid off today. I am not sure what we are going to do. I think Christmas is going to look different. I am not sure if we can afford to have the kids in hockey or in dance anymore. Things need to be different.” That is the reality where I live. People, with the struggles that they are dealing with day to day, feel ignored and just wonder if they are going to be able to get by.

The Prime Minister made a point of meeting with the premiers of the provinces. He also met with some of the mayors. The mayor of my community was very proactive. He reached out to my office and asked if we had a number for the Prime Minister because he wanted to talk to him. I found the number for the PMO, gave it to the mayor and he made a call. To his surprise, the Prime Minister called him back.

I am glad that the Prime Minister took the time to call him back. The mayor stressed that it is important for smaller cities to have a voice as well, not just big city mayors, and important that he hear what is impacting them, especially being in a western province like Saskatchewan. The mayor expressed to the Prime Minister the struggles of the people in my community and my region in not being able to get their agriculture products to market, for example, their canola, and not being able to get their energy products to market. The Prime Minister said that he understood.

What was troubling for me is, was that hope? Was it false hope? Was it a facade? Was it real? Was that conversation real and genuine? People today want authenticity. They want to be listened to. They want to be heard, actually heard.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the government needs to listen harder and that it has been sent a message from Alberta and Saskatchewan that it needs to listen harder. I had a little bit of hope. I thought that this was great and wonderful, and that the government knows something is not right and is going to take the time to listen better and maybe turn some of that listening and consulting into action.

Then came the throne speech, and unless I missed it, I did not hear mention of the Trans Mountain pipeline. I know one thing that would definitely help the constituents in Battlefords—Lloydminster is being able to get gas to market. We heard a lot about the no more pipelines bill, Bill C-69, and also Bill C-48. Are those bills maybe some of the reasons some people are being laid off, because the atmosphere and environment for energy investment just are not there and it is too restrictive? I did not hear anything in the throne speech on how we are going to help get our oil to market, and maybe lessening the restrictions that have been created in the environment that we have.

Also, what is the government's goal right now to help farmers get their products to market? In my riding, there is a lot of farming, whether it is grain or cattle. Farming is one of those things that is year-round as there is always work to be done, but in the off-season, a lot of those farmers are hauling oil and water. They are trucking. They are doing things to pay the bills while they are not able to actively farm. It was really disappointing to hear that the government understood about not being able to get the beef and the canola to market and then hearing that the agriculture minister missed the deadline to file.

It saddens me because I thought the government was listening harder. I thought, in good faith, that because of those conversations and phone calls the Prime Minister was having with premiers and mayors across the country that something would come out of it. I am so sorry to say that my disappointment with this throne speech is just overwhelming in that real actions were not taken to help reduce and alleviate the western alienation that is happening.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 12th, 2019 / 10:25 a.m.
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Liberal

Randeep Sarai Liberal Surrey Centre, BC

Madam Speaker, we have taken the most comprehensive action. We are protecting our coasts and land masses, we have put a moratorium on tanker traffic along the coast and we have taken the most stringent environmental measures in the resource sector, with Bill C-69 and Bill C-48. We have committed to net zero by 2050, we have committed to the Paris targets and have implemented a price on pollution, which has been scientifically and economically proven to be the best and most effective way to bring our carbon footprint down.

We are on the right track. Canadians accepted that and it is what Canadians are looking for in their government.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech From The Throne

December 9th, 2019 / 5:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the residents of Durham, my constituents, for giving me the honour to rise again in this House in the 43rd Parliament. It is a profound honour for me to represent my hometown in Parliament.

As someone who attended the Churchill Society award dinner honouring David Crombie last week in Toronto, and as the former director of that committee, I am very happy to start my first speech of this session with a quote by Winston Churchill.

It is self-deprecating, because Churchill once said, “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.” I have read many books of quotations, not just by Churchill but also by the government and the Prime Minister.

I am going to seize upon one of the quotes from the throne speech, which I actually took away in a positive sense. The throne speech ended with a remarkable passage by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson's speech at the opening of the Centennial Flame, just beside us in West Block, which read:

Tonight we begin a new chapter in our country’s story. Let the record of that chapter be one of co-operation and not conflict; of dedication and not division; of service, not self...

The irony is that speech was kicking off our centennial year, lighting a centennial flame using natural gas from Canada. I am not sure that irony was found by the Prime Minister's Office when it chose that aspirational quote, but that was how people celebrated. The Centennial Flame has all of our provinces and territories, now including Nunavut, around it and is burning Canadian natural gas, allowing that fountain to burn throughout the coldest winters in Ottawa.

Earlier in that speech, Pearson complimented our industrial capacity and our resourcefulness as a country. Sometimes we have to ask what was said before the quote that the government used for its throne speech. In the same speech, kicking off the celebration of Canadian natural gas in many ways, Pearson said:

Economically, we have become a rich society and a great industrial power. We have built new dimensions of progress and welfare into the Canadian way of life. The boundaries of freedom and opportunity have been expanded for every Canadian.

That was Lester B. Pearson's remark, speaking about the balance that Canada had been able to have by being resourceful, tapping our natural resources and being industrial, celebrating our industrial sectors, in order to provide for the welfare of the country.

One thing people on this side of the House have been saying, both through the first term of the Prime Minister and this one, and what is missing in the throne speech, is recognizing the economic diversity of this country. There is no mention of the serious national unity issues we are facing as a result of the Prime Minister and the Liberal government's opposition to our resource sector in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and beyond. There is not one mention of it. This is unlike Pearson who actually understood that resourcefulness, industry and celebrating it, the hard work of Canadians allowing us to have new dimensions of progress for the welfare of our people.

The Premier of Alberta is in Ottawa today. Alberta has been very proud to share not just that wealth with the rest of the country as part of the resourcefulness of its industry, but at times, when the auto industry was struggling in my province, more manufacturing jobs in Ontario were attributable to our western resource industry than into auto assembly. When our national economy was struggling, the global recession, it was actually our resource economy that allowed us to lead the G7. That is allowing new dimensions of progress, embracing that.

The Prime Minister and his whole cabinet should read the entire Pearson speech, not just cherry-pick some aspirational sections. We need a Prime Minister who does not divide the country.

The disappointment and the frustration we see in many parts of the country are the direct result of the Prime Minister hindering the progress of provinces already struggling with global resource prices, a range of issues, pipeline challenges. They have seen a government that has had policy decision after policy decision holding them back. That is how the Prime Minister started.

I spoke about this in my speech four years ago, in January, 2016. I spoke about how disappointed I was that the Prime Minister talked about diversity except for recognizing the economic diversity that our country had. In the Prime Minister's first speech abroad as the Canadian prime minister, at Davos in January 2016, he said, “My predecessor wanted you to know Canada for its resources. I want you to know Canadians for our resourcefulness.”

What was disturbing was that only a few minutes after he went to an international forum, he essentially attacked his predecessor. What mades it worse was afterward the Prime Minister's Office changed the speech to take out the reference the Prime Minister made to his predecessor and to just put “Canada” in the quote in the official record. We know press releases often will say “check against delivery”. The Prime Minister delivered something that he should not have delivered. More important than the slight against the previous prime minister was the fact that he mocked the resource industry in Canada in his first remark at Davos. That is division.

I said at the outset that I was going to look to quotations for guidance much like the throne speech used in the Pearson speech. Here is a quote I used four years ago, which rings even more true today, from Robert Stanfield in March, 1969. He said, “Let us be quite clear that national unity does not mean uniting most of Canada against part of it.” What wise words when the division in the country at that time was caused by a Trudeau, Pierre Trudeau, and I can say that safely in the House.

We see that in practice from the present Prime Minister from his first speech at Davos, playing off resourcefulness and the resource sector as if steam-assisted gravity drainage and the ability of our oil sands to minimize the mining operations, minimize water usage and minimize greenhouse gas, those innovations somehow did not count to the Prime Minister.

The resourcefulness of our resource sector and the capital markets that developed in Canada as a result of our resources have given us the new dimensions of welfare that Lester Pearson talked about on the eve of Canada's centennial.

What has the Prime Minister done in four years to cause this national unity crisis?

After the Davos speech, there was the cancellation, unilaterally, of northern gateway; no consultations with the one-third owners, indigenous communities; and zero consultations before taking that opportunity away from them. There was the cancellation of energy east as a result of Bill C-69, which is still being brought up in question period today. Why? Because the majority of the country opposed that legislation, including my premier. With respect to Trans Mountain, the company withdrew because of a lack of confidence in Canada. We had Bill C-48, the tanker moratorium, and the 2016 Arctic ban where unilaterally the Prime Minister took away 17% of the landmass from Inuit and northerners to develop.

In fact, previous Liberal Senator Charlie Watt said this about the Prime Minister's unilateral action in Washington:

There have never been clear consultations. As a matter of fact, when the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada made that decision, we were not too happy. Without even coming to us, they just turned around and said, “This is what's going to happen.”

That is not exactly reconciliation.

We can see why Canadians are upset. What is missing from the Throne Speech is a recognition that Canada can and must balance our economic diversity. This means getting our resources to market. It means prioritizing pipelines. It means ending the divisive Bill C-69. That is what we want to see from the Prime Minister.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech From The Throne

December 9th, 2019 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Marty Morantz Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, MB

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that for countries like Canada to transition to a low-emissions green economy, we need to have the revenue to do it. Countries with smaller GDPs have a harder time converting to green economies because they just do not have the ability to invest in sustainable technologies.

We had one of the most comprehensive environmental platforms ever tabled by a political party in the history of this country. It was not just a tax on soccer parents; it was a very comprehensive plan. It had some very good things in it. For example, it talked about the green home tax credit, which would affect millions of Canadians and incentivize them to make our homes more fuel efficient. It talked about taking the climate change globally, that a molecule of carbon does not know borders.

What I am saying is that balanced budgets, growing our economy and getting harsh bills like Bill C-69, the no more pipelines bill, and Bill C-48 out of the way so we can get our products to market will provide our economy with the strength it needs to make that conversion.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 9th, 2019 / 12:45 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to indicate that I will be splitting my time with the member for Elgin—Middlesex—London. I look forward to those remarks as well.

I cannot begin without thanking the constituents of Calgary Midnapore for sending me here again. I am so very overjoyed to be back in the House representing them. I am truly grateful.

My parents are my constituents, so my mom is probably watching. I promise to be extra good in the House at this time.

I am very sad for my family today. My mother is from Quebec and my father is from Saskatchewan. It is not uncommon for Canadian families to have one parent from the west and the other from the east. We heard a similar story on the other side of the House last week. Families becoming divided has become a Canadian story, and that is very sad. We are divided because the other side of the House spent the past four years playing all kinds of political games. The government split us right in half. It pit regions against one another. That is truly sad.

My region, the west, and more specifically Alberta, where the energy sector has no support, obviously comes to mind. Also coming to mind are several bills, such as Bill C-69, which makes it practically impossible to start new projects. There is Bill C-48, which makes it practically impossible to build a pipeline and transport oil. That is very sad. The carbon tax is another example. Bills that impede the energy sector have serious consequences on families and individuals. Bills like these are completely destroying families and people's lives. The government claims to want to eliminate poverty, but it is actually creating poverty with these kinds of bills.

On more than one occasion, the Prime Minister has said one thing to one part of the country and the opposite to another. The President of the United States called that behaviour “two-faced”. The President of the United States and Canadians have seen those two faces.

With the Speech from the Throne, the Prime Minister had an opportunity to put the country on a new path. Sadly, he let that opportunity pass him by. However, he had previously taken certain steps in that direction. He specifically appointed a minister of provincial relations. He held numerous meetings with various provincial premiers. The Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister promised to listen carefully to what the premiers had to say. The Speech from the Throne would have been the perfect opportunity to prove that they had listened. Unfortunately, the speech shows nothing of the kind. The situation is different from what it was before the election.

There were words, but not much was said. There were platitudes, like talking about the good of our community and clichés such as “no challenges are too big.” There were also false attempts to show empathy and understanding for regions. There were parts of the speech that said that as much as Canadians had instructed us to work together, they had also spoken clearly about the the importance of their regions and their local needs.

What did Canadians say when they spoke? Did they say how their father had not been able to find a job in three years because the corporation he was working for left because of instability due to political regulations? Did they say how their neighbours could not get out of a deep depression because they had spent their entire retirement savings on just surviving? Did they say that they sent a suicide note to their member of Parliament because they had absolutely given up hope of ever finding a job?

We do not know, and we will never know, because it was not in the Speech from the Throne.

The speech said that regional needs and differences really mattered. Today's regional economic concerns are both justified and important. However, in what year on the planetary spacecraft will Canada's energy workers get an apology from the Prime Minister; when he sheds a tear for those who have committed suicide because they are completely destitute or for the women and children who have been beaten because, after years of not having a job, dad finally snapped? What year on this spaceship is that? Is that when we will know that regional differences really matter? For now, we do not, because the speech does not say so.

This was the opportunity to demonstrate action, and if not action, true understanding, and if not true understanding, at least respect. It would not have taken much: a timeline for the TMX pipeline or a promise to look into the national energy corridor. However, it was not there.

We can pretend that the world is simple and that the solutions to Canada's problems need not be complex or detailed, but that is not true. We can pretend that we do not need one another and that we are not dependent on one another, but that is not true either. Anyone who denies those facts will suffer for it eventually, even if they refuse to acknowledge it today.

This is not the way of Albertans.

What a great day to be in the House, the day when my predecessor and now premier, the incomparable, the Hon. Jason Kenney, is here to get a fair deal for Alberta. He brings with him my counterpart, minister of children's services and MLA for Calgary-Shaw, Rebecca Schulz. Together Minister Schulz and I will work tirelessly for the children of this nation.

We Albertans love Canada. We have always been proud to work hard and to share the fruits of our labour with the nation, to do our part for Confederation. We have never told others how to live their lives or that their way of life is not welcome in our country.

We will not let the Prime Minister divide us and we will not let the government push us out of Confederation. We will not allow that to happen. The government had an opportunity to do something profound, to say something profound and to unify, and it did not.

That is why I am sad today. I am a woman from Alberta. My mother is from Quebec and my father is from Saskatchewan. I am here for unity. I am here for Canada. Unfortunately, the throne speech is not.