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


Marc Garneau  Liberal


Second reading (Senate), as of Oct. 4, 2018

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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.


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.


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

October 4th, 2018 / 9:30 a.m.
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Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Good morning, everyone.

Our colleague Kelly represents Saskatchewan. Rightfully so, she directed her questions to Mr. Orb. Matt and I represent a couple of Alberta constituencies, so I want to talk a bit about oil and the safety of shipping oil on our waterways.

As was mentioned by a colleague here, we were in Vancouver last week. Each time we asked, whether on our port tour or in presentations, about the safety of shipping oil by tanker, every answer was the same: There are no safety concerns by the shipping industry.

That was Vancouver. I'm more interested in shipping oil out of the northern ports. We all know that Bill C-48 was introduced to meet a campaign commitment that was made on the back of a napkin. I'd just like to get some comment on this from you. We have a government that talks about making decisions based on science and statistics.

To the Shipping Federation, do you have any statistics or do you know of any statistics that would support the tanker ban off the west coast?

September 26th, 2018 / 2:35 p.m.
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President, Chamber of Shipping

Robert Lewis-Manning

I've appeared before this committee before on Bill C-48. We certainly had concerns about the fact that a risk assessment was not included in the draft bill, and one of our recommendations was to include some sort of risk assessment on a periodic basis in that piece of legislation.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 8th, 2018 / 5:55 p.m.
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The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Pursuant to order made earlier today, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the third reading stage of Bill C-48.

The House resumed from May 4 consideration of the motion that 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, be read the third time and passed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

May 8th, 2018 / 10:10 a.m.
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Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all members of the House for their understanding and flexibility as we adjust the schedule and voting a little in order to honour our late colleague Gordon Brown.

With that in mind, I would like to ask for unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, Bill C-374, An Act to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (composition of the Board), standing in the name of the Member for Cloverdale—Langley City, be deemed read a third time and passed; Bill C-377, An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Châteauguay—Lacolle, standing in the name of the member for Châteauguay—Lacolle, be deemed concurred in at the report stage; that any recorded division requested on the motion for second reading of Bill S-218, An Act respecting Latin American Heritage Month, standing in the name of the member for Thornhill, be deferred to Wednesday, May 23, 2018, immediately before the time provided for Private Members' Business; and that the recorded division on the motion for third 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, be further deferred until the end of the time provided for Government Orders later this day.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:40 p.m.
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Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to speak in the House of Commons.

On a more serious note, I would like to take a moment to talk about my colleague from Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, who passed away very suddenly this week. I never imagined this could happen. I share his family's sorrow, though of course mine could never equal theirs. His young children will not get to share amazing moments in their lives with their father, and that is staggeringly sad. I would therefore like to publicly state that I encourage them to hang in there. One day, they will surely find joy in living again, and we are here for them.

As usual, I want to say acknowledge all of the residents of Beauport—Limoilou who are tuning in. I would like to let them know that there will be a press conference Monday morning at my office. I will be announcing a very important initiative for our riding. I urge them to watch the news or read the paper when the time comes.

Bill C-48 would essentially enact a moratorium on the entire Pacific coast. It would apply from Prince Rupert, a fascinating city that I visited in 2004 at the age of 18, to Port Hardy, at the northern tip of Vancouver Island. This moratorium is designed to prevent oil tankers, including Canadian ones, that transport more than 12,500 tons of oil from accessing Canada's inland waters, and therefore our ports.

This moratorium will prohibit the construction of any pipeline project or maritime port beyond Port Hardy, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, to export our products to the west. In the past three weeks, the Liberal government has slowly but surely been trying to put an end to Canada's natural resources, and oil in particular. Northern Gateway is just one example.

The first thing the Liberals did when they came to power was to amend the environmental assessment process managed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency; they even brag about it. Northern Gateway was in the process of being accepted, but as a result of these amendments, the project was cancelled, even though the amendments were based on the cabinet's political agenda and not on scientific facts, as the Liberal government claims.

When I look at Bill C-48, which would enact a moratorium on oil tankers in western Canada, it seems clear to me that the Liberals had surely been planning to block the Northern Gateway project for a while. Their argument that the project did not clear the environmental assessment is invalid, since they are now imposing a moratorium that would have prevented this project from moving forward regardless.

The Prime Minister and member for Papineau has said Canada needs to phase out the oil sands. Not only did he say that during the campaign, but he said it again in Paris, before the French National Assembly, in front of about 300 members of the Macron government, who were all happy to hear it. I can guarantee my colleagues that Canadians were not happy to hear that, especially people living in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta who benefit economically from this natural resource. Through their hard work, all Canadians benefit from the incredible revenues and spinoffs generated by that industry.

My colleague from Prince Albert gave an exceptional speech this morning. He compassionately explained how hard it has been for families in Saskatchewan to accept and understand the decisions being made one after the other by this Liberal government. The government seems to be sending a message that is crystal clear: it does not support western Canada's natural resources, namely oil and natural gas. What is important to understand, however, is that this sector represents roughly 60% the economy of the western provinces and 40% of Canada's entire economy.

I can see why the Minister of Environment and Climate Change says we need to tackle climate change first. The way she talks to us every day is so arrogant. We believe in climate change. That is not the issue. Climate change and natural resources are complex issues, and we must not forget the backdrop to this whole debate. People are suffering because they need to put food on the table. Nothing has changed since the days of Cro-Magnon man. People have to eat every day. People have to find ways to survive.

When the Liberals go on about how to save the planet and the polar bears, that is their post-modern, post-materialist ideology talking. Conservatives, in contrast, talk about how to help families get through the day. That is what the Canadian government's true priority should be.

Is it not completely absurd that even now, in 2018, most of the gas people buy in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, and Ontario comes from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia even though we have one of the largest oil reserves in the world? Canada has the third-largest oil reserve in the world, in fact. That is not even counting the Arctic Ocean, of which we own a sizeable chunk and which has not yet been explored. Canada has tremendous potential in this sector.

As I have often told many of my Marxist-Leninist, leftist, and other colleagues, the price of oil is going to continue to rise dramatically until 2065 because of China's and India's fuel consumption. Should Canada say no to $1 trillion in economic spinoffs until then? Absolutely not.

How will we afford to pay for our hospitals, our schools, and our social services that are so dear to the left-wing advocates of the welfare state in Canada? As I said, the priority is to meet the needs of Canadians and Canada, a middle power that I adore.

To get back to the point I was making, as my colleague from Prince Albert said, the decision regarding Bill C-48 and the moratorium was made by cabinet, without any consultation or any study by a parliamentary committee. Day after day, the Liberals brag about being the government that has consulted more with Canadians over the past three years than any government in history. It is always about history with them.

The moratorium will have serious consequences for Canada's prosperity and the economic development of the western provinces, which represent a growing segment of the population. How can the Liberals justify the fact that they failed to conduct any environmental or scientific impact assessments, hold any Canada-wide consultations, or have a committee examine this issue? They did not even consult with the nine indigenous nations that live on the land covered by the moratorium. The NDP ought to be alarmed about that. That is the point I really want to talk about.

I have here a legal complaint filed with the B.C. Supreme Court by the Lax Kw'alaams first nation—I am sorry if I pronounced that wrong—represented by John Helin. The plaintiffs are the indigenous peoples living in the region covered by the moratorium. Only nine indigenous nations from that region are among the plaintiffs. The defendant is the Government of British Columbia.

The lawyer's argument is very interesting from a historical perspective.

“The claim area includes and is adjacent to an open and safe deepwater shipping corridor and contains lands suitable for development as an energy corridor and protected deepwater ports for the development and operation of a maritime installation, as defined in Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act”.

“The plaintiffs' aboriginal title encompasses the right to choose to what uses the land can be put, including use as a marine installation subject only to justifiable environmental assessment and approval legislation”.

He continues:

The said action by Canada “discriminates against the plaintiffs by prohibiting the development of land...in an area that has one of the best deepwater ports and safest waterways in Canada, while permitting such development elsewhere”, such as in the St. Lawrence Gulf, the St. Lawrence River, and the Atlantic Ocean.

My point is quite simple. We have a legal argument here that shows that not only does the territory belong to the indigenous people and the indigenous people were not consulted, but that the indigenous people, whom the Liberals are said to love, are suing the Government of British Columbia. This will likely go all the way to the Supreme Court because this moratorium goes against their ancestral rights on their territory, which they want to develop for future oil exports. This government is doing a very poor job of this.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Beauport—Limoilou.

I stand in the House today to speak to Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, a bill that is yet another disappointment for all Canadians who want to see our country prosper.

The Liberals may want Canadians to believe that this moratorium is in their interest, but that is just not the case. This legislation is not justified by an environmental or economic study, nor is it supported by proper consultation with the impacted communities, industries, and experts. Rather, the legislation before us today is the fulfillment of political will, and its economic impact goes far beyond the prescribed geographic area in the legislation.

In considering Bill C-48, we must look at the full picture. The proposed moratorium is yet another hit to Canada's oil and gas sector, a sector that has already lost $80 billion in investment under the Prime Minister's watch. That is the biggest decline in Canadian energy investment in 70 years. Just last week, Canadians found out that the Prime Minister's government gave taxpayer money to an environmental lobby group to hire an activist to protest against the Trans Mountain pipeline project, a pipeline project that is supported by its environmental assessment and that the government told Canadians it supports. Canadians deserve a government that is up front with them, a government that does not undermine their prosperity.

Championing Canada's energy sector should be common sense. The responsible development of our natural resources is essential to our country's prosperity. It is our second-biggest export and provides tremendous economic opportunity. In fact, it employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians. It creates billions of dollars of tax revenue, tax revenue that benefits Canadians and communities across this country from coast to coast to coast, and we cannot dismiss the fact that oil produced and transported in Canada operates within strict environmental standards while also upholding human rights and workplace standards.

The message that the government's action is sending is that it would rather import oil from countries like Saudi Arabia than create infrastructure to move Canadian oil across this country, and by obstructing Canada's access to the global market, it is opening the door for countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Venezuela, countries that do not have the same environmental standards and human rights that Canada does.

The demand for oil is not ceasing but growing, and I believe the world needs more Canadian oil. The fact is that Canada is capable of providing more energy and greater energy security to Canada and the world, but to harness that opportunity, we need new infrastructure. We need pipelines and access to reach new markets, and to get that done, we need federal leadership, not tomorrow but today.

Unfortunately, that is not what we have before us. What we have is another step forward in the Prime Minister's plan to phase out the oil sands. The United States is Canada's largest energy trading partner, which is an important relationship, but landlocking Canadian oil does not put our country on a path for long-term energy success. That is why the diversification of Canada's energy partners is also important. By not relying on a single market, we will reduce our economic risk and better protect the long-term health of our country's economy.

The Asia-Pacific region is a large and valuable market opportunity. It is a market that can only be accessed through marine transport. The tanker moratorium proposed on the north coast of British Columbia hinders that access. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has said, “The moratorium would cut off the most economic path to Asia and sends yet another signal to the investment community that Canada is not open for business.”

The Liberals are turning away business, and for what benefit? The moratorium bans oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of oil from loading, unloading, or anchoring in the north coast of British Columbia. It does not ban tanker traffic. It does not take any substantial action to protect the environment. It penalizes an industry and prohibits communities in northern British Columbia from accessing economic opportunity.

Let us contrast that with real action to protect our coastlines. Our former Conservative government took strong action to ensure that Canada's tanker safety system is robust and modern. It introduced changes that included modernizing Canada's navigation system, improving inspections for all tankers, enhancing area response planning, increasing penalties for polluters, and building marine safety capacity in indigenous communities. That is tangible action to protect our environment, action that improves environmental protection in our waters and our coastlines, all while keeping Canada on the right path to harness our economic opportunities.

The legislation in front of us does not build on that meaningful action. As I have said, it builds on the Prime Minister's record of building roadblocks to stop the success of our energy sector. It is not in the interests of Canadians.

The Prime Minister already vetoed the northern gateway pipeline that would have brought economic opportunity to the impacted region. Now, if this ban is enforced, the north coast of British Columbia will be closed for energy business. Again, let us remember that is closed for business without any meaningful consultation, a concern that is rightfully echoed by industry leaders and impacted communities.

In fact, this tanker moratorium is even being pushed through without properly consulting coastal first nations. There is considerable support among British Columbia's coastal first nations who want to pursue energy development opportunities that are environmentally sound. I find it quite hypocritical of the Liberal government to move ahead without that meaningful consultation, particularly given that it has committed to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including free, prior, and informed consent.

It is no surprise that the Liberals' actions are already being challenged. The Lax Kw'alaams are among 30 first nations that are challenging the tanker ban in court. This ban prevents them from opportunities for future energy development on their land. It hinders their people from the economic benefits that it could yield.

The Lax Kw'alaams band has said that they were disheartened that this bill that is directed at their territories was introduced “without prior informed consent or even adequate consultation and input” from their people.

Eagle Spirit Energy Holding Ltd. was working toward a pipeline project that would have yielded tremendous economic opportunity and helped Canadian oil reach the Asia-Pacific market. However, with this ban, its project is essentially rendered useless. In response to the government's legislation it has said:

[T]here has been no consultation with those communities harmfully impacted in the interior of British Columbia or those in Alberta—a situation which certainly falls short of the deep consultation the Crown requires of corporations proposing major resource development projects on the traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples.

I cannot support this legislation. It cannot be overstated that this legislation takes no meaningful action to improve environmental protection in the north coast of British Columbia. It is not justified by science or safety. I cannot support the Liberal government's continued mismanagement of the energy sector. Many of my constituents work in the energy sector and their livelihoods depend on it. Canada needs to diversify its energy-trading partners, not introduce regulations and measures that will landlock it.

The Prime Minister needs to show leadership. The Liberals need to start supporting energy projects that are determined to be safe for the environment and in the interests of Canadians. They need to stand up for our energy sector and they need to stand up for Canadians.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity today to join in the discussion about Bill C-48 and the important role it would play in the protection of the province I represent, British Columbia.

Bill C-48, an act that would establish an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's north coast, is a significant step we are taking to enhance environmental protections for our coastlines. Preventing accidents from occurring in the first place is our primary goal. This measure, which complements the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan, takes a precautionary approach to help safeguard the extremely ecologically sensitive marine environment in this region.

The B.C. oil tanker moratorium would build on the existing voluntary tanker exclusion zone, which has been in effect since 1985. To protect our shoreline, the voluntary tanker exclusion zone ensures that loaded tankers carrying oil from Valdez, Alaska to U.S. west coast ports transit west of the tanker exclusion zone boundary.

By formalizing an oil tanker moratorium, this legislation would prohibit tankers carrying large shipments of crude or persistent oils from stopping, loading, and unloading at ports and marine installations in northern British Columbia. The moratorium area would extend from the Canada-U.S. border in the north down to the point on British Columbia's mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and it would also include the beautiful islands of Haida Gwaii.

The legislation would also include strong penalty provisions for contravention that could reach up to $5 million. This would help keep our waters and coasts safe and clean for use today, while protecting them for future generations. Through this legislation, we would put in place unprecedented levels of environmental protections for the marine environment in northern British Columbia. The precautionary approach taken in Bill C-48 would target both crude oil and persistent oil products that are likely to remain in the environment the longest if spilled.

Under the act, the Governor in Council would have authority to amend the schedule of prohibited persistent oil products. Amendments to the schedule would be done via regulation and could be considered following a review that would assess new science and evidence around the fate and behaviour of the petroleum product when spilled, advances in cleanup technology, and institutional arrangements for responding to vessel-source oil spills. Indeed, environmental safety and science would be the main considerations for adding products to the schedule or removing products from it.

During consultations and witness statements, we heard about the importance of environmental protections in this region. Coastal communities and industries rely on healthy ecosystems to protect their way of life and livelihoods, for example through fish populations that could become threatened should a serious spill occur in this region.

The moratorium would protect the livelihoods of communities on British Columbia's north coast by providing a heightened level of environmental protection while continuing to allow for community and industry resupply by small tanker.

Bill C-48 demonstrates that we do not support large shipments of crude oil or persistent oil products in this region. The British Columbia oil tanker moratorium would take a preventative approach to oil spills in the region so that Canada's coastal habitats, ecosystems, and marine species, including marine mammals, are able to thrive.

In addition to establishing the moratorium, we are also taking steps through the oceans protection plan to improve our incident prevention and response regime, and address environmental concerns in the event of a marine incident.

The role and authority of the Canadian Coast Guard are being strengthened to ensure rapid and efficient responses in case of a marine incident. The Canadian Coast Guard will offer training to indigenous communities for search and rescue, environmental response, and incident command to allow for a greater role in marine safety for these communities.

We are implementing the incident command system and enhancing emergency coordination centres across the government in order to bolster our response capabilities. These measures would improve the coordination of response actions of departments and agencies when dealing with an incident by using a common response system.

During the response to larger pollution incidents, our government quickly brings together relevant subject matter experts in the field of environmental protection who supply consolidated scientific and technical advice on environmental concerns, priorities, and spill countermeasure strategies. This ultimately enables an effective and timely response to pollution incidents.

Clearly, the oil tanker moratorium is just one of many initiatives in our comprehensive plan to protect the marine environment. The oceans protection plan, which is the largest investment ever made in our oceans and waterways, and the oil tanker moratorium act are two concrete actions we are taking to ensure a clean and vibrant marine environment. These measures reinforce our determination to advance science and utilize valuable traditional knowledge to keep our waters and wildlife clean, safe, and healthy for generations to come. This is why we hope we can expect the support of the members present for the passage of this bill, which moves this critical agenda an important step forward in protecting our pristine environment.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 10:30 a.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to Bill C-48, the north coast partial oil tanker ban. That we have this in place is a credit to decades of work by north coast people. I also want to acknowledge the work of my colleague, the member of Parliament for Skeena—Bulkley Valley. His version of this bill in the previous Parliament toured the entire country, and thousands of people came out under the “Defend Our Coast” banner. It was very powerful. It gave the Liberal government the mandate to implement this, so we are glad to see the legislation.

We will be voting in favour of the bill. Our New Democratic colleague from Port Moody—Coquitlam tried quite hard to strengthen it. There is more ministerial discretion than we would like to see. Some of our colleagues have been quoted saying that one could drive an oil tanker through this moratorium. Nevertheless, we are going to vote in favour and we are glad to see some version of it moving forward.

As a member representing the south coast of British Columbia, the Salish Sea and Nanaimo—Ladysmith, I can say that we have very complicated shorelines, very fast-moving currents, very sensitive ecology, and 450 islands between the area I represent on Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia and the U.S. border, with extremely complicated shipping traffic. We have very sensitive ecology and shorelines where we know that if there was an oil spill of any size, it would be extremely difficult to clean up.

Given that the industry standard for oil spill response is a 10% cleanup of oil, let me say again that members representing the southern part of British Columbia are committed to protecting their coastline, the economy, and the jobs that depend on it. They are just as concerned about the impacts of oil tanker traffic, especially when it is an unrefined, raw product that has no value-added jobs in Canada and no energy security benefit for Canada. Certainly, for British Columbians, the shipment of what we view as an increased level of danger by more oil tanker traffic and a thicker, unrefined product is all downside for our coast. There is no upside.

If the government is willing to put in strong measures for the north coast, why not for the south coast? There is still no peer-reviewed science that tells us how bitumen would react in the marine environment, in rough water with sediment in it. Who is going to have an oil spill with no waves? It just boggles the mind that the Liberal government could have approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline in the absence of evidence that bitumen can be recovered from the marine environment and that our response times are adequate to clean it.

What we have is some suspicion or concern based on what has been observed from other times when bitumen has been spilled in the marine environment. The diluent, which allows the raw, unrefined bitumen to flow, may evaporate very quickly. The evaporation itself may pose dangers to first responders, so it might be that first responders have to keep away. Certainly, if there was a bitumen spill in a heavily populated area, such as downtown Vancouver, a million people would be affected by a spill with much more toxic fumes than a refined product would have. We saw that in the Kalamazoo spill, which was in fresh water, but that was a huge occupational exposure.

When first responders have to stay away and cannot get to the spill quickly, this means that the diluent has more time to evaporate and there is an increased risk that the bitumen would sink. I have folders full of science reports from the Polaris Institute, the Royal Society of Canada, and others that talk about the stickiness and impact on marine wildlife such as sea otters and sea birds, let alone what would happen if we end up with bitumen coating the seabed. The damage that would be done trying to clean that up is alarming to contemplate.

We ask again, how is it that although the north coast partial oil tanker ban is being lauded by many of us on the coast and in the environmental movement, we do not have a concomitant level of protection in the south? We do not have confidence that our oil spill response is in a respectable and responsible place.

It turns out I am splitting my time with the member for Courtenay—Alberni. I look forward to his speech. We are full of surprises today.

My understanding is that the response regulations have not been updated or tightened since 1995. The Liberal government has had two and a half years to make that change. It has not. It is my understanding that if there is an oil spill in my region, the corporate entity responsible for the oil spill has 72 hours to get there. It is not in violation of the regulations unless it does not have booms and an oil spill response plan enacted within three days. How could that ever give any of us any confidence?

If the current government, or the previous government, really wanted to have pipelines approved and give coastal people any measure of confidence, then surely it would have upgraded and tightened those response times, as Washington State has done, repeatedly, as has Alaska.

When I was chair of the Islands Trust Council, we heard from our fellow governments at the local, regional, and state level that they were extremely concerned about Canada's, or British Columbia's, poor level of preparedness for an oil spill. Oil does not recognize the international boundary. They are very concerned, given the fast-moving currents. First of all, we are shipping a dangerous product for which there is no adequate response technology, and if we do not have the response times in place, the oil will move quickly to their side of the border. Certainly, their aquaculture industry is extremely concerned about our poor level of preparedness.

I am very glad to continue to see the Washington State governor salute the British Columbia NDP premier, John Horgan, for the very strong stand that he is taking to say, “I believe that the oil spill response plans for B.C.'s south coast are inadequate.”

We are seeing now, in court, the provincial government saying that as soon as the oil hits the shoreline, it is its responsibility and jurisdiction. If the federal government is not going to adequately regulate to protect this resource, then the provincial government will consider implementing regulations itself that would protect coastal ecology and coastal jobs.

To my regret, yesterday the federal Liberal government decided to intervene in that case to oppose my premier's efforts to better protect the coast where the Liberal government has failed to. Our New Democrat leader, Jagmeet Singh, urged the Prime Minister to join the British Columbia premier so they would co-operatively go to the courts together and ask for clarification.

That would have been leadership, and it would have been a real sign of co-operation and trying to get the right answer. Instead, to see the federal government intervening against the British Columbia government, which is simply trying to strengthen and increase the safety net, is extremely discouraging. What a strange way of spending both the government's legal resources and taxpayers' dollars. How on Earth could that be a good expenditure? What we need to be doing is strengthening the ecological safety net, and not fighting against stronger measures in court.

When I was chair of the Islands Trust Council, we heard from our Washington State colleagues about how important it was to have geographic response plans in place for oil spill prevention and preparedness. These are micro-studies of a particular region that would be enacted in the event of an oil spill. The responsible spiller, whoever that was, would know to boom this. The spiller is likely to be a corporate entity, and they do a pretty good job of looking after their own business.

We would love to see geographic response plans in place. I am pleased that the B.C. government is pushing for that.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 10:15 a.m.
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Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to speak on Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. The name of the bill is actually quite curious, because when we look at the facts, we see that this piece of legislation has very little to do with banning oil tankers from the B.C. north coast and everything to do with continuing the government's hurtful campaign against pipeline and oil development throughout this country, and in particular in western Canada. Little is surprising in this regard. The Liberals arbitrarily shelved the northern gateway pipeline in 2016, forced the cancellation of the energy east pipeline in 2017, and continued to do as little as possible to support the development of the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline, which has been put on life support now, certainly in this month of May.

First, let us examine what the Liberals are saying this bill would do. Time and time again, we have heard in this chamber that Bill C-48 is about environmental protection, that by imposing this moratorium, the northern coast will be better protected, specifically against oil spills. They argue that a moratorium is the only way to safeguard against the problem and that this legislation is therefore the way forward. There are numerous and significant flaws with this jurisdiction, which mark it as both hollow and ill-advised.

First, there is an issue of consistency. Why are the Liberals targeting the B.C. north coast for a ban on oil tankers while they apparently ignore the presence of oil tankers along many other of our coasts in this country? Why are they making the arbitrary decision to limit the transport opportunities for oil along the north coast and not the south? This kind of moratorium does not exist along the St. Lawrence Seaway or in the Great Lakes, and it does not exist along the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or New Brunswick. It does not exist around Vancouver. The fact that Bill C-48 quite arbitrarily applies only to the B.C. north coast sheds serious doubt on the Liberal claim that the intention of this bill is environmental protection.

Second, this environmental jurisdiction fails to consider that a voluntary exclusion zone of 100 kilometres for oil tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington State has been in place since 1985. These preventive measures have already been taken, prior to any sort of moratorium being put in place by the government. Additionally, oil tankers operating at this distance from the coastline would continue to be unaffected by this legislation. Once again, we struggle to find any support for the arguments being put forward by the Liberals in favour of this bill.

Third, the Liberal argument that the oil tanker moratorium is the only way to protect the environment completely ignores the current and extensive regulatory framework that exists for oil tankers today travelling within our waters. Canada's oil tanker safety procedures and processes still remain one of the best in the world.

We recall 2014. The former Conservative government introduced and implemented many innovative measures to ensure that oil tankers operated under strict regulations and environmental protections. These measures included modernizing Canada's navigation system, enhancing area response planning, building increased marine safety capacity in first nation communities, and ensuring that polluters pay for any spills and damages since 2010.

Every large crude-oil tanker that operates in Canadian waters must be equipped now with a double hull, so any tanker in our waters is covered by two full layers of water-tight surfaces to ensure safety and environmental protection. Oil tankers are consistently monitored by our national aerial surveillance program, and our data-sharing and communication technologies rigorously guide oil tanker traffic across this country to reduce the risk of collisions.

Do these kinds of regulations and protections exist for tankers exporting oil from, let us say, Venezuela or Saudi Arabia? There is no way. Given the strong and extensive regulations that exist for oil tankers travelling through Canadian waters, it is very clear that any jurisdiction for a moratorium on oil tankers for environmental reasons is completely unfounded.

What, then, is this bill all about? The answer, of course, is that it is about the Liberals' ideological objective to restrict Canadian pipeline and energy development as much as possible. The bill can most accurately be described as a moratorium on any and all pipeline development along the coastline of northern B.C., and as a result, this legislation would kill any economic opportunities communities in this region would otherwise have due to the increased energy investment in that area. We are already seeing that. This ban would seriously hurt many, and I say many, first nation groups that have stood to gain from a pipeline in their area.

The Eagle Spirit pipeline is a $16-billion project that would stretch from Bruderheim, Alberta, to Grassy Point, along the northern coast of B.C., which would be forced to reroute to Hyder, Alaska, and its end point. If this pipeline ban is imposed, the Eagle Spirit pipeline project, directed by more than 30 first nations across northern B.C. and Alberta, and their communities stand to lose a major economic opportunity due to the Liberal government's ideological and political posturing.

Bill C-48 has been brought forward without any true or meaningful consultation with first nation communities, which would be severely impacted by the implementation of a pipeline ban in northern British Columbia.

I will quote Calvin Helin, the chairman of Eagle Spirit and a member of the Lax Kw'alaams first nation, who said, “First Nations are completely opposed to government policy being made by foreigners when it impacts their ability to help out their own people [on reserve]. The energy industry is critical to Canada’s economy”, which no doubt it is, “and by some reports we are losing [an unbelievable] $50 million a day”.

We are losing $50 million a day. That could be many schools and hospitals that we could build in Canada every single day.

It is simply unacceptable that the government refuses to consult with these groups to allow them to develop energy infrastructure, which would create significant economic opportunities in these communities. However, this behaviour coming from the Liberals is also unfortunately unsurprising, considering that it is the Liberal government that has overseen the largest decline in Canadian energy investment in the past 70 years. We have talked a lot in the House about $80 billion-plus taken out of the economy, along with jobs in the energy sector. Well over 110,000 workers are unemployed in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

A moratorium on pipelines in northern B.C. is just another example of the government's blatant hostility toward our energy sector and the jobs and economic opportunities it would supply to communities across this country. The government has used the justification of environmental protection as a smokescreen for its anti-Canadian energy policies. When this argument is held up against the facts, we see it for what it is: a desperate attempt to mask the Liberals' ideological agenda. There are no real winners as a result of the northern B.C. pipeline moratorium, except American consumers, who receive discounted prices on our Canadian oil.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 10:15 a.m.
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Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, that is why the Liberals need to have proper consultations. That is why they need to say to the public that this is what they are thinking and this is the problem. They would be surprised by what would come up as solutions. There are solutions to the problems. If they do not want to hear the solutions, they do stuff like this. They shove it down people's throats and get it done so they do not have a chance to present a solution. That is what they are doing in this case.

I will remind the House that there are still going to be tankers going up and down the west coast. However, they will not be Canadian tankers, and they will not be hauling Canadian oil.

We can look at all these new processes and new technologies and embrace them. I encourage us to embrace them. However, the government will not embrace them. It does everything but that. Instead, we see things like Bill C-48, which takes a sledgehammer to it and bans it outright. It takes all the development and throws it away, when there are probably opportunities here to make it better so that it works for everyone involved. That is so disappointing.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 10:05 a.m.
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Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Saskatoon—Grasswood.

I would like to thank my colleagues across the aisle for accommodating me this morning. Sometimes I think we should issue a press release whenever goodwill shows up between parties, because all Canadians see in this chamber is something other than that, which is unfortunate, because we do work together many times to get things done.

I am rising today to talk about Bill C-48 and the importance of making sure that we get this right. I am also going to talk about the concerns that we in Saskatchewan have about how this is being handled.

I sit on the trade committee. When the Liberals came into power, they wanted to review the TPP. They said that proper consultations had not happened. They said that the consultations had to be redone before the agreement was signed by the Liberal government.

The trade committee went across Canada. It redid all the work that the previous government had done and then some. Committee members made sure they talked to first nations and to business communities. They talked to people right across Canada. A lot of people said it was the third or fourth time they had talked about the TPP and it was being done again. The Liberals were telling us that we had to consult, that we had to do our homework, that we had to make sure everybody was aware of it, and that we had to be aware of all circumstances before going forward with that trade deal.

I look at this bill and I say the same thing. When we look at the impact this legislation would have on western Canada and Canada as a whole, we know we need to talk to a lot of people before this can be done.

I am from Saskatchewan. Some may ask why people in Saskatchewan would care about a tanker ban. A lot of people in Saskatchewan work in the oil and gas sector and their jobs will be impacted by this ban.

Let us not fool ourselves. This is not a tanker ban. This is to stop development in the resource sector and to stop shipping products to the west coast. It is nothing more than that. It is what the Liberals really planned to do from day one, and this bill is how they are going to achieve it. That is very disappointing.

If the Liberals wanted to make this major change, where were the committee meetings? When did the committee travel out there and talk about this with the various people who would be impacted? When did the Liberals talk to the premiers? When did they talk to the Premier of Saskatchewan and tell him this is what the government had planned? They did not do that.

This is the Prime Minister personally saying that he is going to ban tanker traffic because he thinks it is bad. Where is the science? What is his logic for doing this? Is there a problem with tankers? Are tankers unsafe? Is there a problem with the currents and other things in that area? The science that we have says no.

If tankers were unsafe, why would we allow them down the St. Lawrence River? Why would we allow them off the coast of Atlantic Canada? As we speak, tankers around the world are shipping oil out of places like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. They do this every day and we hear nothing about it.

What is it about this coastline that is so unique and special that Atlantic Canada does not get the same special consideration? Why is Atlantic Canada or the St. Lawrence not treated the same way? If we are concerned about the west coast, why are we not concerned about the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Canada? It does not make sense.

Some from western Canada may ask why the Prime Minister is doing this. It comes back to what he said before. He does not want the resource sector to be developed. He wants to shut it down. This bill is one of the corner pieces of the puzzle that would actually do that. What does that mean for the people of Saskatchewan, the people of Alberta, and the people of northern British Columbia? It means lost economic opportunity and lost jobs. What is left for the families that are employed in this sector, who are in good, well-paying jobs, who are in a good situation and are able to give their kids a good quality of life?

People in western Canada right now are taking part in rallies. I was on Facebook last night and watched a rally in Fort Nelson. Families are saying, “Enough is enough.” They have had enough. They want their MPs to represent them. They want their MPs to tell them that they care. They want their MPs to understand that the resource sector is not bad. They want us to understand that people need fuel in their cars and they would love to provide it. They want us to understand that they provide it in the most environmentally friendly fashion in the world.

What is the deal? Where is the problem? It comes back to one thing. The Prime Minister does not like the resource sector.

The Prime Minister went to Paris. He wanted to be the big guy in town, so he made commitments. He came back to Canada and he took the Conservative targets. He brings in things like a carbon tax, which he is going to shove down the throats of Canadians. People in Saskatchewan are looking at that carbon tax and they know it is really going to hurt them because they cannot pass those costs on.

A farmer cannot pass a carbon tax on. He cannot take the cost of fuel for his tractors, his combines, and his machinery and put it in the price of a commodity that is traded on the world market. However, he is still forced to compete against Americans who do not have a carbon tax. The Australians removed their carbon tax. Other countries are not going down this road.

What is even sadder about carbon is Saskatchewan has a really good game plan that does not involve a carbon tax, which would actually meet our commitments, and the Liberals will not agree to that. Why is that? What is the issue there? If their goal is to reduce carbon and there is a game plan that will not impact the economy and will actually achieve that goal, why not take it? It goes back to one thing: lack of respect.

The Liberals want to shut down the resource sector. We are hearing stories now that they want to shut down the coal sector. In Saskatchewan, we have carbon capture off our coal power plants. With this technology, those power plants have five times less emissions than natural gas. However, the Liberals say, “Let us get rid of coal.” What does that mean? Is that really crazy? I think so.

If there is technology to make coal clean and to reduce its carbon footprint, why would we not embrace the new technology and still use this fuel source? No, we are going to get rid of it. We are to ignore the science because, heaven forbid, cabinet knows best. That is what is happening. All the regulations and science are being thrown out the window, and it goes back to cabinet, and its members are going to say “Do I like this guy or not?”, or “I have a toothache so I'm going to vote no.” What about the science? Science needs to trump that.

In Bill C-48, where is the science to say it requires this type of ban? It is not there. There is no science.

There have been no consultations. It is something that is going to drastically change the lives of families across western Canada, if not all of Canada, yet the Liberals just march ahead. They put the earplugs in and just do what they do. Then they wonder why people are protesting in western Canada. They wonder why families are concerned and upset. They cannot understand why they do not love them. There needs to be respect. The Liberals need to talk to them. The Liberals need to understand why this is important to people. They need to show common sense, because there is no common sense in bringing oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela when we have oil right here in Canada. It is actually clean oil. It is more environmentally friendly than any oil we would receive from other parts of the planet.

This bill is a bad piece of legislation. It should be thrown away. If the Liberals want to talk about protecting the environment in that region, or maintaining areas in that region in their natural state, let us have that discussion. I have no problem with that. There might be areas where we see that through. However, to say there will be no more tankers in the whole region is absolutely crazy. It is ludicrous.

People in western Canada just cannot understand the government. It has so many things at its fingertips to make this economy run really well and still meet all its environmental commitments and the government keeps chopping off the hand that feeds it. It is so sad.

I will not be voting in favour of the bill. It is a bad piece of legislation. It sets a bad precedent. It does not meet the commitment Liberals made to voters about consulting before making legislation. It does not meet the commitment about working with opposition parties and other groups at committee to have good pieces of legislation. It does not meet any of those criteria. However, the Liberals will still ram it through. It is unfortunate they are going to do that because they are making a huge mistake.

I will leave it at that, and I will entertain some questions.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 5:10 p.m.
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Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today to discuss Bill C-48. It is always both an honour and a privilege to stand in the House and have the opportunity to take part in these crucial debates.

I am speaking today mainly about the issue that Bill C-48 raises and why I will not support the bill.

The Liberal government has introduced Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, which would ban all tanker traffic on the north coast of British Columbia. Aside from this legislation just being another shameful step in phasing out the oil sands, it seems highly hypocritical to me. The Liberals believe that Venezuelan oil in Quebec is fine, that Saudi Arabia oil on the east coast is fine, that Canadian oil in Vancouver is fine, but they do not believe it is fine in northern British Columbia. This does not make any sense.

My colleagues in the Conservative caucus and I know that diversifying Canada's export markets for oil and gas is crucial to support the continued growth of our economy. We also know that the demand for Canadian oil is strongest in the rapidly growing market of the Asia-Pacific region.

We on this side of the aisle want to keep our country competitive and we will always support jobs and growth in Canada's energy sector.

Our Conservative caucus wants Canada to prosper in the international market so that Canadian families from coast to coast can prosper. I just do not understand why the Liberal government would put forward legislation like this which seeks to stifle prosperity for Canadians on one specific coast in one single sector.

This bill would establish 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 $5 million. Nowhere else in Canada would there be a ban like this. The government is just trying to throw a wrench into the Canadian energy sector.

I want to touch on the work of the previous Conservative government. We introduced and implemented a number of measures to create a world-class tanker safety system in November 2014. These measures included modernizing Canada's navigation system, enhanced area response planning, building marine safety capacity in aboriginal communities, and ensuring polluters pay for spills and damages. These were meaningful changes while still supporting our energy sector in Canada.

I want to remind the House that there is already a voluntary exclusion zone of 100 kilometres for oil tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington state. This is a voluntary practice that has been in place since 1985.

The Liberals claim this legislation is being put forward in the name of the environment, but that is not at all the case. This is a pipeline moratorium under a different name.

My Conservative colleagues would suggest that Bill C-48 would do absolutely nothing for the preservation of British Columbia's environment. Ships, including U.S tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington state, will continue to be able to travel up and down the coast just outside the 100 kilometre limit. This bill does not take meaningful action in terms of the environment.

On that note, Canadian oil is extracted and transported under some of the safest and most environmentally strict regulations in the world. Conservatives are here to help, rather than hinder, Canada's energy sector. Preventing our Canadian oil resources from reaching customers in other countries only serves to increase the production of oil products extracted and transported in a less safe and less environmentally friendly way.

We need to support Canadian industry. The strange contradiction that we see here with the government's view on Canadian oil is that its opposition to it defeats its supposed greater goal of protecting the world's environment. Canadians deserve better than this.

The proposed moratorium would be in effect from the Canada-U.S. Alaska border and the northern tip of Vancouver Island. This legislation would prohibit oil tankers carrying oil as cargo from stopping, loading, and unloading at ports or marine installations in the moratorium area. Vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil would be exempted from the moratorium. I believe the government should maintain strong regulations to allow for the safe passage of all vessels through Canadian waters rather than impose measures that target the development of one single industry.

In addition to this, there is another issue with this legislation I would like to raise. The 3,800-member Lax Kw'alaams based near Prince Rupert is a collective of nine tribes that oppose Bill C-48, known as the oil tanker moratorium act. I am proud that my colleagues and I support responsible development of all kinds of energy in all sectors across all provinces for the benefit of all of Canada. The government needs to look at the facts. It is important for this discussion that it consider all of the risks, costs, and benefits associated with this legislation, which was imposed without sufficient consultation with local communities and indigenous Canadians.

If we look at the evidence, we see that the tankers have safely and regularly transported crude oil from Canada's west coast since the 1930s. We also see that there have not been any tanker navigational issues or incidents in about 50 years in the port of Vancouver.

There is considerable support among first nations on B.C.'s coast for energy development opportunities. How does the government plan to move forward with this tanker moratorium without properly consulting coastal first nations? Canadians are concerned about the direction in which the government is taking this country. They are worried about their jobs, their industry, and their economy. This bill is an attack on the hundreds of thousands of energy workers across Canada. It is an attack on one industry, and one industry only, and one product. The government needs to head back to the drawing board with this legislation and focus on what is best for the growth of this industry, the growth of communities, and the growth of livelihoods.

My Conservative colleagues and I will continue to stand up for Canada's energy sector and continue to hold the government to account.