Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

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

Sponsor

Marc Garneau  Liberal

Status

In committee (Senate), as of Dec. 11, 2018

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

Elsewhere

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

Votes

May 8, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast
May 1, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast
May 1, 2018 Failed Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast (report stage amendment)
Oct. 4, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast
Oct. 4, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 11th, 2018 / 3 p.m.
See context

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our natural resource sector is an important source of good middle-class jobs for all Canadians. We remain committed to a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples based on recognition, respect, co-operation and partnership.

I am delighted to report that many chiefs and leaders of B.C. coastal first nations were in Ottawa last week to express support for Bill C-48 and to express concerns about efforts by “people claiming to represent a unified voice in the northwest whose intentions are to undermine the implementation of the moratorium.”

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 11th, 2018 / 3 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are not listening to all indigenous people and they do not speak for all of them, just like when they killed northern gateway and the 31 indigenous partnership. That is why 15 leaders from the National Coalition of Chiefs, the Indian Resource Council and the Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council, which represents hundreds of first nations and Métis who want to build their own pipeline, are here today.

The Liberals' oil export ban, Bill C-48, and their no more pipelines, Bill C-69, blocked their way. If the Liberals keep ignoring provinces, economists and industry, will they at least listen to those leaders and to most Treaty 7 chiefs and will they kill their no more pipelines Bill C-69, yes or no?

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

December 6th, 2018 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to continue with this important discussion of policies around environmental sustainability. My colleagues in the other parties are saying it is their pleasure. I hope so, because there may be things that they do not hear in the talking points that are sent from the PMO about the accomplishments of the previous government in respect of the environment. It is an opportunity for them to take these things on board and benefit from them as they consider the policies that they are going to pursue. It is a good time for them to consider the contradictions in their discussion of pipelines as it relates to the issue of sustainability.

What did the Liberals do when it came to pipelines? One of their first acts, and their first act with respect to pipelines, was to shut down the northern gateway pipeline project. This is a project that had been approved under the previous government. It would have allowed energy from my province, from very near my riding, to get to the port of Kitimat in northern B.C., access a deep-water port there, and give Canada access to international markets.

This is so important as countries in Asia and other parts of the world think about how to increase their energy security. It is a Canadian economic question, a sustainability question, and it is also a geostrategic question. There are countries in East Asia, for example, Japan, that import most of their energy resources. They get them from the Middle East and they have to travel through the South China Sea.

The opportunities for energy security, for Japan and other countries in East Asia, to benefit from Canadian energy exports are significant. The opportunities for us economically, and the opportunities for them in terms of economic benefit as well as security of that supply are very significant.

The northern gateway project would have allowed us to have access to international markets. For these pipeline projects, from initial filing to being built, we are talking about a time period of three years. Had the Liberal government actually listened to Albertans, listened to Canadians when it came to the benefit of the northern gateway project, we might already be up and running. We might not have to have these challenges that Alberta faces, in terms of the big gap that exists between the oil price in the global market and the price that we are achieving here in North America.

The government has this talking point that is worth responding to in this context, where it will say that most of Canada's oil was being sold to the United States when the previous government took power, and when it left power, most of the oil was still being sold to the United States. The Liberals conveniently forget that the critical steps to reduce our dependency on the United States were in place and that the Liberal government cut those critical steps out at the knees. That was maybe an unhelpful mixing of metaphors, the steps were cut out at the knees.

In any event, the Liberal government cut off that progress that was being made that would have brought us to a point today where we would not have to be dealing with this massive spread in price that is killing jobs in Alberta. The decision to kill the northern gateway pipeline was a policy choice of the Liberal government that weakened our sustainability on so many fronts, and it was one that it must be accountable for.

To add insult to injury, the Liberals decided to pass Bill C-48 which formalized in law a tanker traffic exclusion zone that prohibits the export of our energy resources from anywhere in that zone on the Pacific coast between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaskan border. There are tankers in that area as a result of activity coming off Alaska, but from the Liberal government's perspective, we cannot have it; the Canadians are benefiting from that economic activity, so we have to shut off even the possibility of a future project by bringing in Bill C-48.

Again, the government cannot deny that these were policy choices. It was not good enough just to kill the project, it had to add on another bill designed to make sure no new project could be put forward in place of the northern gateway project. That was the Liberals' intended direct action in the case of the northern gateway pipeline.

What did the government do with the energy east pipeline? In geostrategic terms, this is an idea we should view favourably, to create pipeline linkages to a greater extent between western and eastern Canada to reduce the need for foreign oil to be imported. I would ask environmental activists who are against the construction of pipelines what they are doing about the terrible record of countries like Saudi Arabia when it comes to things like human rights. What are they doing to try to allow Canadian sustainable, well-managed energy resources to displace foreign oil?

As we delve deeper into the need for the government to be articulating plans around sustainability, I hope that with the requirements in Bill C-57 for the government to provide information and government departments to be more engaged on sustainability, we think about the contrast between Canadian sustainability practices of our energy sector and what is happening in other countries, as well as the value of the global impact vis-à-vis sustainability associated with displacing the unsustainable and anti-human rights practices we see in some other countries.

Energy east was an economic project. It was about this country prospering. It was also about saying that we can have nation-building infrastructure which allows the country to prosper together and reduce our dependence on actors which do not share our values and interests.

In the 19th century, it was a Conservative prime minister, John A. Macdonald, who had the vision of a railroad that would make our union sustainable, that would unite our country from coast to coast and allow us to do commerce with each other. Today, pipelines are the nation-building infrastructure of our generation. As we think about the legacy of those who came before us who understood the importance of nation-building infrastructure for our political and economic unity and our prosperity, we need to consider whether or not we are up for the challenge. Can we do the same kinds of things they did? Do we have the vision and the willingness to make nation-building infrastructure happen?

In particular, I know many members of the government caucus elected from the Maritimes are hearing from voters in their ridings about the benefits of nation-building infrastructure that connects western Canada with eastern Canada. Even though the government clearly has an anti-development, anti-pipeline agenda, that is why the government did not want to do as directly with an east-west pipeline what it did with the northern gateway pipeline. Therefore, the government simply piled on conditions in a way that made the project harder and harder to sustain from an economic perspective.

See, it was not that the project itself could not have succeeded economically. Rather, it was that the government sought the opportunity to impose new conditions that would make it impossible to proceed. One can never know with certainty the intentions of the government in this respect, but sometimes past statements are revealing enough.

A tweet I referred to before, which was put out by the Minister of Democratic Institutions before she was elected, talked about land-locking the tar sands. This is obviously deeply offensive language to many Albertans and many across the country. When we see government policy with respect to different pipeline projects that has as its effect the land-locking of our energy resources, the significant expansion of the spread between the world price and the local price and economic devastation for our province being the results of government policy, it is worth comparing that to past statements of a cabinet minister who said that this was something she thought was desirable.

There is an agenda among some to squeeze the Alberta economy and the energy sector in a way that forces a significant reduction in investments in our energy sector and that accepts the job losses. We in the opposition stand against that. We will stand up for our energy sector, which benefits not just one region of the country but benefits the whole country.

The government directly killed the northern gateway pipeline project and it added Bill C-48, to add insult to injury. The Liberals found a way of indirectly killing the northern gateway project, and now they have been pushing forward Bill C-69. Bill C-69 quite clearly is the “no new pipelines” bill. The Liberals are trying to establish the conditions which will make it impossible for us to build the nation-building infrastructure of the 21st century. They have an anti-development agenda which is out of step with the vision of our founders and is out of step with the vision that Canadians want, which is a country that can benefit from commerce done together, where people in eastern Canada can buy energy resources coming from western Canada and they can benefit from the value-added opportunities that are associated with that. In Bill C-69, we see specific policies that will make it harder for Canada to make pipelines. It will make it virtually impossible to see pipelines go forward in the future. That is the record with respect to the pipelines.

I have to add a few comments on the Trans Mountain project. As part of the Liberals' discussion on sustainability, they thought they would try this bait and switch strategy because they know Canadians want to see development of pipelines. On the one hand, the Liberals are killing many projects, but on the other hand, without doing anything to establish conditions for the success of the Trans Mountain pipeline, they decided to buy it. They pretended that buying the existing pipeline would somehow increase its chances of success.

Whether the federal government or the private sector is the owner of the project does not change the fundamental issues, which are the government's refusal to assert federal jurisdiction, the lack of a plan to get it built and the failure of the government to appeal a court decision. There would have been nothing wrong with appealing a court decision that blocked construction from beginning on this project, yet we see, despite spending $4.5 billion of taxpayer money and despite sending money to an oil company that will now use that money to invest in energy infrastructure outside of Canada, the Liberals still have absolutely no plan. They refuse to appeal a court decision with respect to this decision and they are piling on policies that make it difficult for this to happen in the future.

There is this deeply dishonest set of policies, in the sense that the Liberals are selling a particular policy approach as achieving a result that they do not want to achieve and that they are in fact choosing not to do the things that would much more obviously and directly help us move toward the goal.

When it comes to the government's anti-pipeline agenda, I want to read a few different quotations that underline the problems with Bill C-69, the government's “no more pipelines” bill.

Let us start with someone who is known to many members of Parliament, Martha Hall Findlay, president and CEO of the Canada West Foundation. My notes say she is a former Liberal, but she may well still be a Liberal. She was a Liberal leadership contestant twice. What she had to say about Bill C-69 was:

If passed in its current, even amended form, it could set Canada back for many years in terms of attracting investment and overall prosperity – at exactly the time when our competitiveness, particularly vis-a-vis our huge neighbour to the south, is in peril.

We might be in a much better position if she had won that leadership race, because I think Martha Hall Findlay hits the point on the head here. Again, she said with regard to Bill C-69 the following:

If passed in its current, even amended form, it could set Canada back for many years in terms of attracting investment and overall prosperity—at exactly the time when our competitiveness, particularly vis-a-vis our huge neighbour to the south, is in peril.

I worry that the policies of the government are actually designed precisely to achieve that objective. They are designed to make our energy sector less competitive overall. Therefore, the government is achieving its objective, but it is an objective it is not willing to acknowledge. Again, the Liberals persist in wanting to speak on both sides of these questions, but we see concretely in their policy agenda, recognized in that quotation by the Liberal leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay, that what they would do through Bill C-69 is to undermine Canada's competitiveness. They have already done many different things that undermine our competitiveness, but this is yet another example of that happening.

I will also read what Gordon Christie, University of British Columbia law professor specializing in indigenous law, said about Bill C-69:

But the courts have said for 15 years that you need to have meaningful dialogue [with first nations and] there is nothing in this legislation that seems to do that.

Moreover, with regard to Canada's activity in the north, the government feels that, somehow, without consultation, it can impose its anti-development agenda on Canadians and in particular on indigenous people there.

I will read what Stephen Buffalo, president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council and a member of the Samson Cree Nation said on Bill C-69:

Indigenous communities are on the verge of a major economic breakthrough, one that finally allows Indigenous people to share in Canada’s economic prosperity...Bill C-69 will stop this progress in its tracks.

That is a powerful quote from an indigenous leader that, while indigenous communities are on the verge of a major economic breakthrough, that would be stopped in its tracks by the no-more-pipelines Bill C-69. That is not a plan that reflects an understanding of sustainability in terms of our national economy. It is not a plan that reflects the need of indigenous communities to be economically sustainable. I think indigenous Canadians want us to support their opportunities for economic development and ensure that they are engaged in the process, as well as ensure that we are working with all communities, including indigenous communities, in respecting environmental stewardship and the importance of environmental sustainability. However, that is not happening under the government. It is persisting with a unilateral and anti-development mentality that holds back our prosperity and that hurts the prosperity of communities all across this country, especially communities in Canada's north that especially benefit from natural resource development.

Mr. Buffalo continued:

Left as it is, Bill C-69 will harm Indigenous economic development, create barriers to decision-making, and make Canada unattractive for resource investment. This legislation must be stopped immediately.

Mr. Buffalo also said:

We find it ironic and upsetting that the prime minister who has repeatedly said that the federal relationship with Indigenous peoples will be the defining characteristic of his government will be the one snatching opportunity and prosperity from our grasp.

He went to call on the government to “pull Bill C-69 from its legislative calendar”.

We see this recognition of the negative impacts associated with Bill C-69 from even the NDP premier of Alberta, Rachel Notley, someone I do not quote often. She said that “Bill C-69 in its current form stands to hurt that competitive position”.

Wow, it must be an election year or maybe there is a sincere conversion going on.

Moreover, the Quebec Mining Association says, “The time limits introduced by the bill will be enough to discourage mining companies and weaken Quebec and Canada in relation to other more attractive jurisdictions.”

We are hearing so much opposition to this bill, not just from energy companies, energy workers and Conservative politicians, but also from Liberals, New Democrats, indigenous leaders and people in every region of this country. The approach in Bill C-69 is not one that recognizes the appropriate balance required for sustainable environmental and economic policy. It is not one that recognizes the benefits that can be achieved by facilitating economic growth in a way that advances our environmental situation as well.

What is the justification for the government's ill-considered environmental policy? It speaks often about the importance of responding to climate change, and I think all of us in the House agree on that. I have spoken today about the real concrete achievements that were advanced under the previous government with respect to environmental change and greenhouse gas emission reductions. When it comes to assessing our sustainability obligations, we need to look at real results and outcomes, not just at the rhetoric.

Part of why the Conservative opposition supported Bill C-57 was that it would provide an opportunity for greater reporting across a greater number of departments and more mechanisms for holding the government accountable for what are demonstrable failures in the area of sustainability. With the kind of reporting mechanism called for in a committee report and that is now moving forward in Bill C-57, people will see more clearly the failures of the Liberal government in achieving our objectives.

When we think about the government's rhetoric around greenhouse gas emissions and sustainability, there is actually a real dissonance between the realities of what it talks about in terms of our international targets and the mechanisms it is putting forward. In that context, I want to make a few comments on the Paris accord.

The Paris Accord establishes a framework that comes out of the Copenhagen, which of course was one that the previous Conservative government was a part of and played a very constructive role in supporting. That process was to recognize the need for all countries to be involved, and the value of having nationally determined targets and clear and transparent reporting around those nationally determined targets. The second section of the Paris Accord speaks specifically of the issue of intended nationally determined targets and creates a mechanism whereby nations would provide reporting internationally on that.

It has been good to have an opportunity to have discussions with constituents on the Paris accord. From time to time, I meet people who are very skeptical about the Paris Accord, but my party recognizes the value of the framework and the differences between the framework we saw in the Paris Accord, for example, and the framework in the Kyoto Accord.

The Kyoto Accord, which was signed by a previous Liberal government that then failed to take any meaningful action toward realizing the goals set under that process, would have involved Canada sending money overseas to buy credits, effectively not reducing our emissions but simply buying credits overseas. That was the policy of the previous Liberal government, which was to do nothing on the environment, but to give money to other countries to buy credits, as if that somehow were a solution.

I do not think that is a sustainable solution by any metric. It is one that is very clearly in the framework of the transparent reporting that is moving forward in Bill C-57. I think that people would be very disappointed about seeing that.

The framework that was put in place was nationally-determined targets, which contrast favourably with what was put in place under the Kyoto protocol. The Copenhagen process, of which the previous government was a part, and the targets we set were targets that involved us taking real action at home, not simply musing about buying credits from other countries overseas.

It is very interesting to see the government come into power, championing the Paris accord, yet going into the Paris accord process with the same kinds of targets that were in place under the previous government. I know it has been criticized in some quarters for that by people who said there was there supposed to be real change. We have seen in so many areas a failure of real change in different ways.

Frankly, when it comes to the environment, it would have been better if we had seen more learning from the constructive action and experience of the previous government. So much was achieved at that time in the way of real, meaningful progress when it came to the issue of sustainability. I have read off some of those accomplishments.

I wanted to jump back for a moment to my discussion of Bill C-69. I want to read a letter that was sent to senators dealing with Bill C-69. In particular, it comes from those supporting the Eagle Spirit energy corridor. This is a proposal that would help to strengthen our indigenous communities economically, create linkages that would benefit them in energy development and export, and provide economic benefits in terms of energy across the whole country.

This is a letter that was signed by Helen Johnson, chair, ESE Chief's Council; Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom, Woodland Cree First Nation; and Chief Gary Alexcee, co-chair of the Chief's Council of B.C. They write the following:

“Dear Senators, we represent the 35 indigenous communities supporting the Eagle Spirit energy corridor from Fort McMurray, Alberta to Grassy Point on British Columbia's north coast. We have been working on this nation-building multi-pipeline project for the past six years and it is vital to the health of our communities and the future of our collective development. In this time, we have created the greenest project on the planet and developed a new model for indigenous engagement, real ownership and oversight that will lead to self-reliance and prosperity.”

“We are acutely aware that the Senate is currently debating Bill C-69, legislation that will change resource and other major project review in Canada. The objectives of this bill are vital to our communities and we believe the country as a whole. We trust that it should create a project review process involving substantial engagement with indigenous peoples and one in which all Canadians can have confidence.”

“While the bill includes many elements that are constructive, including early planning and engagement and a shift to broader impact benefit analysis, we have some serious concerns. In its current form, Bill C-69 has fundamental problems that increase the complexity and uncertainty of the project review and environmental assessment review process and must be addressed before it can be adopted.”

“Our chiefs have emphasized that the environment is at the top of their list of concerns and we have developed an energy corridor that will be the greenest on the planet and will set a precedent for all nations on how to engage with the impacted indigenous population. We do, however, have to holistically balance environmental concerns against other priorities such as building a strong local economy.”

I will pause to re-read that, because I think it is critical, and it is great wisdom coming from our indigenous leaders:

“We do, however, have to holistically balance environmental concerns against other priorities, such as building a strong local economy. There are simply no other opportunities than natural resource development in the remote locations where our communities are located, where 90% unemployment rates are common.

“ For some, the economic opportunities from oil and gas projects have allowed investment in local priorities and the future. It is critical that we develop our own resource revenues rather than continue in debt slavery to the federal government. The best social program is the jobs and business opportunities that come from our own efforts. If reconciliation and UNDRIP mean anything, it should be that indigenous communities have the ability to help themselves rather than continuing the past colonial litany of failed government-led initiatives.

“We agree that the current project review system should require strong engagement with indigenous communities affected by the project as well as responsible and timely development of natural resources. It should avoid litigation of projects in the courts. Investor confidence needs to be restored, and a clear and predictable process has to be set out for indigenous and proponents to follow.

“We are particularly concerned that Bill C-69 allows any stakeholder, indigenous or non-indigenous, to have equal standing in the review process. It is an absurd situation that the only people who have fought long and hard for constitutionally protected rights would have no stronger role in the process than a special interest group that is in no way directly affected by the project. This is a serious and fundamental flaw in Bill C-69 that could undermine the rights of all indigenous people in Canada, and it needs to be addressed.

“We are particularly concerned about the interference in our traditional territories of environmental NGOs financed by American foundations seeking to dictate development and government policy and law in ways that limit our ability to help our own people. What interests could such eco-colonialists have when parachuting in from big cities? They have no experience with our culture, people, history or knowledge of our traditional land. Input from such elitists in this process, who are secure in their economic futures and intent on making parks in our backyard, is not welcome while our people suffer the worst social and economic conditions in the country.

“We have been stewards of our traditional territories from time immemorial, and we believe that such parties should have absolutely no say in projects on our traditional territories.

“At the recent meeting of all communities of the chiefs council we unanimously voted in favour of the attached resolution to take whatever legal and political action is necessary to enforce our rights in relation to Bill C-69. In this spirit, we urge you to protect our rights and support badly required amendments to Bill C-69.”

I want to read as well the resolution signed by many indigenous leaders. It reflects unanimous support of the chiefs council that was referenced:

“Therefore, be it resolved that we oppose an act to enact the impact assessment act and the Canadian energy regulator act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts, legally and politically, as it will have an enormous and devastating impact on the ability of first nations to cultivate or develop economic development opportunities in their traditional territory, since it is being imposed without any consultation whatsoever and against the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the purported reconciliation agenda of the federal government.

“Furthermore, we agree that we will collectively file a civil writ seeking to quash an act to enact the impact assessment act and the Canadian energy regulator act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendment to other acts, should it become law.”

These are powerful words from indigenous leaders in Canada. This is the first time I have heard the word eco-colonialists.

That is an interesting term to use. These indigenous leaders speak about people who do not have the same history or connection to their land and who enjoy much greater prosperity than indigenous people in these cases might, yet they are coming in and claiming to speak on behalf of indigenous people while taking action that really has the effect of limiting their opportunity to pursue development.

They are thinking about sustainability. I talked at the beginning about what the principle of sustainability means. Sustainability is the idea that we receive the goods of society, of the Earth, from previous generations. We hold them in trust for the benefit of future generations. This idea is particularly well understood by our indigenous leaders. They have the longest history, by far, in this country. Their understanding of their history, of the need to proceed in this fashion, is particularly acute and is referenced in this case.

They are speaking in this letter very much about the importance of preserving our environment but also about striking a balance that builds opportunity for indigenous people, opportunity economically that would allow them to enjoy a similar standard of living as those who live in other parts of this country. It is rooted in an understanding of equity. That is what they are speaking about in this letter.

For once, the government should actually listen to what they are saying and pursue a change in course that supports the development of pipelines that are good for the environment. It should take steps that are actually going to move us forward, economically and environmentally. That means building pipelines, having a strong sustainability framework and having meaningful consultation when proceeding with a project but also when trying to kill a project. That is what we are talking about when we talk about the principle of sustainability.

At this point in my remarks, I want to dig a little deeper into the philosophy behind the principle of sustainability. When we talk about sustainability, it should not just be with reference to environmental issues. We can think across the board about our economic policies and our social policies. Are the decisions we are making decisions we could sustain and continue in future generations? Are they decisions that could only be operationalized in the short term, or are they things we could maintain in the long term?

When we look across the board at the government, the clearest example of its lack of sensitivity to the importance of sustainability is its approach to fiscal policy. This has implications for our environmental stability as well, because if we do not have a sustainable fiscal or economic policy, then cuts will have to be made, especially in critical areas, at times when we may not want those cuts.

That is why Conservative governments have pursued a responsible middle course. My friend from Spadina—Fort York thinks this is a reference to Tony Blair, but it is actually a reference to Aristotle, who said that virtue is the mean between extremes. We have pursued a middle course between the extreme of needing to make dramatic cuts when there is a fiscal situation that forces it on us, such as the situation of the previous Liberal government in the 1990s, and avoiding the other extreme of spending out of control and having no conception of the fact that what goes up must come down.

The history of Liberal governments we have seen in this country is a succession of extremes. We have the case with the government, and with the previous Trudeau government, of dramatic out-of-control deficit spending, unprecedented in peacetime in Canada. We had a reality in 1990 when, eventually, the Liberals' out-of-control spending caught up with them. Fortunately, we had opposition parties, as well, that were calling for some measure of restraint. Really, at the time, their way of responding was to make cuts in transfers to the provinces, which passed on the application of that to other levels of government.

Compare that with the approach of the previous Conservative government, which brought us back to balanced budgets, while continually increasing the level of transfers to the provinces.

My friend from Spadina—Fort York is shaking his head, but he needs to review the reality, because transfers were significantly increased to the provinces in every successive year of the previous government, and they were cut by the Liberals in 1990. I look forward to his intervention.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2018 / 4:25 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, I am glad the member opposite recognizes the fact that we had four major pipeline projects built. The thing that he failed to mention was the fact that northern gateway was approved and ready to be built until the Liberals brought in the tanker moratorium with Bill C-48. That would have definitely brought our oil to foreign markets.

Another thing he failed to mention was energy east, for which the government moved the goal posts and demanded an upstream and downstream calculation of the CO2 emissions the pipeline project would have produced. That deemed the project uneconomical. The company basically said that if the government continued to put up hurdles or hoops for it to jump through, it would take its ball and go home, particularly when other jurisdictions around the world were reducing red tape and making it more exciting to do business there.

I am glad the member recognizes the four pipelines we built. I am upset that he forgot to mention energy east and the northern gateway.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2018 / 4:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, I would like to begin this debate by quoting the premier of the Northwest Territories when the Prime Minister, in 2016, as part of a Joint Arctic leaders' statement, declared that the Beaufort Sea would be a national park essentially and that there would be no more drilling. This meant that any infrastructure there would now be landlocked and any infrastructure that had been invested in would now be stopped and be held up from being developed.

The premier of the Northwest Territories said that they would end up “living in a park.” That is precisely what the Prime Minister and his principal secretary Gerald Butts would like to see, that all of Canada become a national park, with no economy happening whatsoever.

I will be sharing my time with the member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake.

Bill C-88 lays out the legal framework for the drilling moratorium. It is part of an ongoing trend we see from the government. Canadians are welcome to live in Canada provided they do not do anything to touch the environment. Again, in the Northwest Territories, this is a record. However, we are seeing a trend.

The Prime Minister has pounded his fists on the table, saying that he will get the Trans Mountain pipeline built. However, when it comes to every other energy project in the country, he has done everything in his power to undermine it. It all started with Bill C-48, the tanker moratorium on the west coast. This effectively killed the northern gateway pipeline. It is part of a larger trend.

In Bill C-68, we see the reversal of the changes we made to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, making it easier for municipalities to develop their regions by putting culverts in and pipelines across streams. Those kinds of things were important changes we had made to make life easier for the people who live beyond Ottawa and Toronto, yet we see the government of today definitely reversing that.

There is also Bill C-69, what we are calling the no more pipelines bill that overhauls the regulatory process for pipelines.

We had a great regulatory framework to build pipelines. Under the Conservative government, we built four pipelines, approved northern gateway and other pipelines. What is really frustrating is that the Liberals went around saying that the public had no confidence in the process, which was completely false. It had been tested significantly by the court. Now that they are in power, they feel the need to overhaul it entirely so it will have to be tested by the court again.

We see that again with Bill C-69, putting the livelihoods of many workers in the oil patch at risk. It is putting the livelihoods of many people who live north of the 55th parallel at risk. We would like to see the government change its ways regarding this.

Bill C-88 is part of a strategy to keep oil in the ground. Therefore, we would definitely like to see it pull this bill back and Bill C-69 in particular.

Over the weekend, there was much to be said about the back-to-work legislation the House imposed on the Canada Post workers. Just yesterday I saw a carton on Facebook about two oil field workers. One of the workers said, “I wish Ottawa would legislate us back to work.” This bill would legislate them out of work.

The Beaufort Sea has vast oil reserves that have been explored. There are millions of dollars in infrastructure sitting up there, which has been basically been abandoned because of the drilling moratorium.

We need to ensure that Canada can work and be prosperous again. We have to ensure that our natural resources, whether oil in the Beaufort Sea, diamond mines in the Northwest Territories, or gold mines in the Yukon, can be developed and can bring prosperity for all of Canada.

One of the major things we know about in northern Canada is the carbon tax and how that will affect northerners in particular. We hear the Liberals talking all the time about Canada being a carbon intensive economy. If we looked outside this morning, we would see that it was snowing, and we typically have snow for six to nine months out of the year, depending on where one lives in Canada. That means the temperature is below freezing for that length of time in the year, so we need to warm things up. We need to make sure our houses stay warm. I enjoy a warm shower every morning. Those things require energy. Not only does Canada require energy, but the world requires energy as well. What better place to get our energy than right here in Canada? However, when we bring in a drilling moratorium in the Beaufort Sea or introduce a carbon tax or table Bill C-69, we limit the development of our natural resources and we then import the energy we need from other jurisdictions that do not have the environmental regulatory framework we have. We do not allow our economy to flourish so it can bring prosperity to some parts of the country that could really use it.

It is important that we develop our resources, including resources in the Beaufort Sea. We know that a large amount of money has been invested in developing that part of the world, and to just bar its development, through government regulation into the future, seems shortsighted and pandering on the world stage to forces outside of Canada.

The announcement in 2016 shows to some degree that the joint Arctic leaders' statement did not take into account the Canadian perspective whatsoever. It was pandering to an international audience. The Prime Minister only had the decency to phone the premier 20 minutes before he made the announcement. That left the territories scrambling. When I was up in the Northwest Territories, one of the things they often said was to let them keep their own royalty revenues. Allowing them to keep the royalty revenues now, when they are unable to develop anything, will not help the situation whatsoever.

With that, I ask the Liberals to reconsider the bill, to reconsider the drilling moratorium in the Beaufort Sea, to reconsider Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, and ensure that we can get development of our natural resources back on the table, bringing prosperity to all Canadians and all Albertans.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2018 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Madam Speaker, the hon. member and I have had many discussions. I do not think we are too far off on our feelings of the north. I have a fondness for the people of the north and I do not believe that we should be plundering any part of northern Canada for its wealth. It should be left to the people of the north to look after themselves and be the stewards of the land

I object to this bill because its overtones are so similar to Bill C-48, Bill C-86 and others. As well, it takes the control away from the people. That is where my concerns come in. It takes the control away from the people and local government officials like the hon. member's brother who is a very well-known and respected person in the Northwest Territories. I feel they are a bit concerned about this bill, as I am.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

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

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Madam Speaker, here we are again with another anti-energy policy from the current Liberal government that is driving energy investment out of Canada, costing Canadian workers their jobs and significantly increasing poverty in certain regions, especially in the north.

I am speaking to Bill C-88, because I am concerned that the changes it would make would politicize oil and gas extraction by expanding the powers of this Liberal government to block economic development. It would take local control and environmental stewardship away from the aboriginal people of the region and would inhibit local, territorial governments from doing what is best for the people of the area. I am speaking of the Mackenzie Delta.

I see that my friend across the way is smiling, because he is very proud of the region he has grown up in.

Bill C-88 is not just another Liberal anti-energy bill, like Bill C-48, Bill C-69 and Bill C-86. These bills could block all future pipelines, giving the government the authority to unilaterally shut down natural resource development. It is now systematically going after the Northwest Territories, as it has done with our western provinces.

Only a few people get to visit the Mackenzie Delta or travel the pristine waters of the Mackenzie River. Those who do find it breathtaking, due to its vast biological and ecological formations.

When Sir Alexander Mackenzie travelled the Mackenzie River in 1789, he was astonished by its sparse population and the pristine beauty of the region. As members may know, the river was named after him. That is for a few of my Liberal colleagues across the way, except for the member for the Northwest Territories.

I count myself fortunate, no, I should say I count myself blessed and lucky, to have been able to travel from the start of the Peace and Athabasca rivers, which are the headwaters of the Mackenzie River, and I have followed it as it flows, leading to the Beaufort Sea in the north. This pristine area, rich in ecological wealth, covers an area of just under two million square kilometres, and its drainage basin encompasses one-fifth of Canada. This is the second-largest river in North America, next to the Mississippi River.

Oil and gas have been part of this region since 1921. There are also mines of uranium, gold, diamond, lead and zinc in the area. During World War II, a pipeline was built from Norman Wells to Whitehorse, in Yukon. It carried crucial petroleum products needed during World War II and helped Canada and the United States build the Alaska Highway, which significantly helped Canada during the war. It is called the Canol Pipeline, and it still exists today.

At a very young age, I personally met and was inspired by one of Canada's great leaders. That was Mr. John Diefenbaker, whose statue sits at the rear of this building. He was a leader of great wisdom and vision who led our country to where it is today. I remember he once said, “I see a new Canada—a Canada of the North.” This is what he thought of and envisioned. He spoke of giving the people of northern Canada the right to develop their resources, protect their environment and maintain and develop strong economies in the region. Diefenbaker saw the need for the people of the north to do this, not the Government of Canada.

One of Canada's leading novelists of the same era, Hugh MacLennan, a Liberal visionary, noted at the time that by 2061, the Mackenzie Delta would have three million people living along the banks and shores of the river and that people's pockets would be full of money from the wealth of the region. He said there would be at least two universities built in the Mackenzie Delta area.

That Liberal's prediction was wrong, and the actions of my Liberal friends across the way from me are also wrong.

There are roughly 10,000 people living along the Mackenzie River Delta, in places like Wrigley, Tulita, Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, Fort McPherson, Inuvik, Aklavik and Tuktoyaktuk. I have been to those communities and I know the people.

There are 68 aboriginal groups that also live in this region. I have had the pleasure and honour of gathering and socializing with them to discuss their issues. We used to gather at the Petitot River. I have been there a number of times. To me, they are the real stewards of the land, not organizations like CPAWS, the David Suzuki Foundation or others that have the ear of the environment minister. The aboriginal groups are the real Canadian environmentalists and the real stewards of the land.

Recently, Merven Gruben, the mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, testified at the committee on indigenous and northern affairs. He said that the Liberal government should be helping northern communities. Instead, it shut down the offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole Arctic without even consulting communities. He also said that people in his town like to work for a living and are not used to getting social assistance. Now, all they are getting are the few tourists coming up the new highway. That makes for small change compared to when they worked in the oil and gas sector.

They are the people of the Mackenzie River Delta. Our Conservative government gave them the power to manage their resources in a true, healthy and respectful manner that only the people of the region can do. This was done through Bill C-15, which created the Northwest Territories Devolution Act of 2014.

Our former Conservative government viewed the north as a key driver of economic activity for decades to come, but this Liberal government is arbitrarily creating huge swaths of protected land with little or no consultation with aboriginal communities, while other Arctic nations are exploring possibilities within their respective areas.

Bill C-88 reveals a full rejection of calls from elected territorial leaders for the increased control of their natural resources. It consists of two parts. Part A would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act of 1998. Part B would amend the Canada Petroleum Resources Act to allow the Governor in Council to issue orders. That scares me.

What about the provisions that were introduced by the former Conservative government within Bill C-15's Northwest Territories Devolution Act? Bill C-88 would reverse these changes, even though Liberal MPs voted in favour of Bill C-15 when it was debated in Parliament, including the Prime Minister.

Now the Liberals want to reverse the former government's proposal to consolidate the four land and water boards in the Mackenzie Valley into one. I believe this is so that they can take control. The creation of a single board was a key recommendation that would address “complexity and capacity issues by making more efficient use of expenditures and administrative resources” and would allow for administrative practices to be “understandable and consistent”. When Bill C-15 was debated in the House of Commons in 2013 and 2014, the restructured board was included in the final version of the modern land claim agreements.

The Liberals would further politicize the regulatory and environmental processes for resource extraction in Canada's north by giving cabinet sweeping powers to stop projects on the basis of “national interest”. This reveals a rejection of calls from northerners for increased control of their national resources.

The Liberal government should leave the people of northern Canada with their resources and let them be their own environmentalists and stewards of the land. They know it the best.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

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

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in this House, that somehow the government is trying to move forward to export our oil. That member and his party proposed and voted in favour of Bill C-48, which would explicitly not allow the export of Canada's energy resources through northern British Columbia. If the Liberals wanted to help get our oil to other markets, the least they could have done was not pass a law that was explicitly designed to make it impossible to get our oil to other markets.

It is very simple. The previous Conservative government was working hard facilitating moving forward the northern gateway project, which would have opened all kinds of new markets and opportunities for those resources. If the member wants to see results in this area, I would tell him to repeal Bill C-48 and stop Bill C-69 as well. However, in particular, when it comes to pipelines and export, it is Bill C-48.

Let us move forward with projects that began under the previous government that would have gotten us to the results the member claims to want but very clearly does not want, from the substance of what he is voting on and saying in the House.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2018 / 3:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to continue a discussion I began before question period about the government's approach to the energy sector. It is a pleasure for me to participate in the debate, but it is no particular pleasure to review the great damage the government is doing to our energy sector. This bill is one of a number of bills which contain provisions that really weaken the situation for those who consider getting involved in resource development, whether it is as a worker, an employee, an investor or one of the many who benefit from spinoff jobs and opportunities associated with the development of our energy sector.

I would observe that part 2, for example, of this legislation would amend the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. In effect, it would allow the Governor in Council, in other words, the government, to issue orders prohibiting oil and gas activities, freezing the terms of existing licences and preventing them from expiring during a moratorium. This would essentially empower the government to take extreme steps whenever it wants to, whenever it deems it in its evaluation of the way things should go, to put an abrupt stop to natural resource development. Conservatives see this as part of a larger pattern.

Bill C-69, the government's “no more pipelines” bill, piles on all sorts of conditions and challenges that are clearly designed to achieve the result of not allowing pipelines to proceed in the future. There is Bill C-48 that would create a tanker exclusion zone, which is designed to say that we can never export Canada's energy resources from the northern coast of British Columbia. It is so interesting to observe government members talking out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to oil and gas development, especially some of my Liberal colleagues from Alberta. They talk about feeling the pain and they talk about supporting pipelines on occasion, but then we look at their legislative and voting record.

There have been multiple opposition day motions which call for the recognition of particular pipelines as being in the national interest. There has been legislation from the government, such as this bill today and others I have mentioned, that are designed to create a very difficult environment for any natural resource project to proceed. The Liberals put forward these bills that make it more and more difficult for investment projects to succeed and at the same time they vote against opposition day motions and proposals which recognize that these projects are indeed in the national interest. In terms of the Liberals' record, in terms of their votes and their actions, we see a real, practical, concrete, tangible opposition to the success of the energy sector, an energy sector which is not just for one region or one part of the country but is one which benefits the whole country.

I am a member of Parliament from Alberta and represent a resource rich area of the country. Many people in my constituency are part of the energy sector and are frustrated with the approach of the government. I would like to speak briefly about another region of the country, the north of Canada.

I had the pleasure of joining the foreign affairs committee recently on a trip to the territories. It was interesting to talk to people about the decision of the Prime Minister, while overseas, to unilaterally declare a moratorium on offshore development in a way that flew in the face of what many people in the north were hoping for in terms of opportunities that could come to them through new investment, new jobs and new development in Canada's north, development that would really open up opportunity and ensure greater access to services for people in the north.

A real opportunity did exist and yet the Prime Minister, while overseas and without consultation, did exactly the sort of thing that is envisioned in this legislation. He made a declaration that prohibits activity in the area of oil and gas development.

When we look at the proposed legislation, the government would be taking for itself more tools to be able to step forward at any point to say that it did not a want a project to proceed or did not want to allow development, even if there was an expectation, even if there was planning by indigenous leaders and by municipal, provincial and territorial leaders, or if there were investments made and workers making their plans to seek those opportunities. All of a sudden, the Prime Minister could put a stop to it.

So much is said by the government about consultation with indigenous people and how it is such a critical relationship for any government. However, while talking that talk, government members do not seem to recognize at all that many indigenous people in Canada want to see the development of our energy resources. They want to have the opportunities that flow from these developments. However, their voices are totally ignored if they are on the side of the discussion that is seeking more development, more opportunity, more employment and more of the kind of development that would allow them to significantly prosper and benefit from the wealth that would come into their communities as a result of oil and gas and other natural resources.

To put it as clearly and directly as possible, when it comes to our natural resource sectors, the government has an anti-development agenda. It is not an anti-development agenda it is perhaps willing to openly acknowledge or recognize. It covers it up in various ways, including by pumping billions of taxpayers' dollars into a pipeline it still has no plan to see move forward. However, in the concrete legislative initiatives it is putting forward, we see what its agenda is, and we see it walked out in practice.

A couple of years before the last election, the current Minister of Democratic Institutions put out a tweet talking about landlocking the “tar sands”. Now we do not hear that kind of language from the front bench. The Liberals try to modulate their tone, because they know that most Canadians do not want their anti-development agenda.

If we look at the history of the people involved in the government, if we look at the statements they have made in the past, if we look at the past statements and involvement of senior staff in the Prime Minister's Office, and as I mentioned, the comments from the Minister of Democratic Institutions, I think we can see what we are observing in the concrete detail of legislation that has come forward, which is, yes, the anti-development agenda of the government. It is disappointing. It is hurting jobs and opportunities in my province and across the country. We need Canadians to wake up to this, respond and stop legislative measures like this.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2018 / 1:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise to begin my remarks on Bill C-88.

I will be sharing my time with my colleague for Yellowhead.

Bill C-88 speaks to the general context in which we think about oil and gas development in Canada. It speaks to the framework that the government has put in place that allows or does not allow important projects to go forward. I will speak in more general terms about some of those issues during the five minutes I have before question period. After question period, I will continue and speak more specifically about some of the issues that are dealt with directly in Bill C-88.

I am pleased to represent an oil and gas riding. We have something called the “industrial heartland”. We benefit, in particular, from the downstream refining and upgrading component to the energy sector. However, we have many people from our riding who are involved in the direct extraction of our energy resources as well.

Sometimes we hear points made in the House that somehow we should choose between the issue of getting pipelines developed or getting value-added processing done in Canada. People in my community, which is a hub of value-added processing, are very supportive of pipeline development as well. It is not an either/or. In fact, we can do both at the same time. Indeed, we need infrastructure to get our resources to market. At the same time, we are very supportive of policy proposals that facilitate greater energy-related manufacturing and otherwise taking place within Canada.

Under the previous government, we saw four pipelines get built and a number of other projects were in process at the time when there was a change in government. What was the current government's approach when it came to developing vital energy resources? First, it directly killed the northern gateway pipeline project and passed a tanker exclusion bill that sought to make the export of our energy resources from northern B.C. impossible. Even if there were to be a new project proposed that went through all the consultation requirements, that still would be unable to succeed because of Bill C-48.

The government piled all sorts of new conditions on the energy east pipeline project, which led to a decision not to proceed with it. However, let us be very clear. It was the Liberal government changing the rules in the middle of a process, adding additional conditions, that prevented that from going forward. Of course, we have seen its failure thus far with respect to the Trans Mountain pipeline as well. This is really having a chilling effect on development.

I look forward to continuing my remarks after question period.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

Before I get into the details of the bill, it is important to look at the context with respect to what has been happening over the past three years and what is starting to be a real pattern of the Liberal government. The decisions it makes consistently increase red tape and bureaucracy, and are mostly anti-resource development. This bill is no different.

I would like to talk about a few areas to show the context, which will then show that this follows a pattern that adds to what is becoming an increasing concern in the country, and that is the ability to move our natural resources forward.

When the Prime Minister took office, there were three private companies willing to invest more than $30 billion to build three nation-building pipelines that would have generated tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic opportunity. The Prime Minister and his cabinet killed two and put the Trans Mountain expansion on life support. Bill C-69 would block all future pipelines.

In addition, the government has made a number of arbitrary decisions regarding natural resource development, with absolutely no consultation with those impacted. Today, we only need to look at what is happening in Alberta with the hundreds of thousands of job losses. Who has ever heard of a premier having to decrease the production of a needed resource throughout the country and the world because we simply cannot get resources to the market? This is because of the government's failure.

The northern gateway project was approved by the former government in June 2014. It had a number of conditions on it, just like the current Trans Mountain project does.

In November 2015, just one month after being elected, the Prime Minister killed the project without hesitation. It was subject to a court challenge. When we did finally hear what came out of that court challenge, to be frank, it was nothing that could not be overcome. We could have dealt with that.

The court decision told the Prime Minister to engage in consultation in a more appropriate and balanced way. The court really gave what I would call a recipe for perhaps fixing some problems with the process.

Did he wait for the court decision? No. He went out and killed it flat. With this approved pipeline, he did not wait for a court decision or wait to see how it could move forward. He decided that he did not want that one.

I think we are all pretty aware of the Trans Mountain pipeline. It has been moving along for many years. We know that many first nations support it and hope to see it go through, as they see enormous opportunities for their communities. Of course, others are against it.

What happened in this case? When the Liberals came to government, they decided they had to have an additional consultation process. However, did they follow the directions of the court in the northern gateway decision in which the court was very clear about what the government had to do to do consultations properly? Apparently not. When the court decision came down, we learned otherwise. To be frank, it was much to my surprise, because the Liberals talked about how well they were consulting and that they were putting this additional process in place. The court said that the Liberals did not do the job. What they did was send a note-taker and not a decision-maker.

The fact that the Liberals did not consult properly on the Trans Mountain pipeline is strictly on their laps, as they had very clear guidance from the northern gateway decision and they did not do what they needed to do. They should be ashamed of themselves. Had they done a proper process, they likely would not have had to buy the pipeline, the pipeline would be in construction right now and we would be in a lot better place as a country. With respect to the Trans Mountain pipeline, the blame for where we are on that pipeline lies strictly on the laps of the Liberals.

I also want to note, in spite of what people say, that the courts have said the process was okay, so it has nothing to do with environmental legislation by the previous government or with anything the Conservatives had put in place. It was the Liberals' execution of a flawed process.

Energy east was another one. The former Liberal MP who is now the mayor of Montreal was very opposed to it. I am not sure of all the pieces that went into the Liberals' decision-making, but all of a sudden, the downstream and upstream emissions of energy east had to be measured. As people have rightfully asked, has that happened for the tankers coming down the St. Lawrence from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela? Did that happen with the bailout for Bombardier?

The Liberals created regulatory barriers. Trans Mountain hung on for a long time before it finally said no go. I think Energy east saw the writing on the wall, knowing that the government was not going to be its friend and create an environment to get the work done. It could see the new rules coming into place, so it walked. What a double standard. Canadians who extract energy in an environmentally sound and environmentally friendly way have had standards applied to their ability to move oil through a pipeline that no other country in the world imposes on companies in terms of upstream and downstream emissions.

Next on the plate is Bill C-69. A number of former Liberals are very open about their concerns about Bill C-69. Martha Hall Findlay, a very respected former Liberal MP, said in a recent Globe and Mail article that the new environmental legislation, Bill C-69, “is the antithesis of what this regulatory reform effort hopes to achieve.... [I]n its 392 pages, the word 'competitiveness' appears only twice. Neither the word 'economy' nor the phrase 'economic growth' appear at all.” We have new environmental legislation that most people call the no-more-pipeline bill.

Martha Hall Findlay went on to note that this bill would create enormous uncertainty, more red tape and increased court challenges, and not only in the energy sector but in all other infrastructure in Canada for years to come. I do not know if members are starting to see a pattern: the Liberals have killed pipelines and put in legislation preventing new pipelines from being built. I am not sure why the process with Trans Mountain was not proper; it should have been. Everyone knew what they had to do, but they did not.

Another piece of legislation that is focused on killing opportunities in this country is the tanker moratorium, Bill C-48. The government loves to talk about how it consults, consults and consults, but it only consults to get the answer it wants. There was a large group of first nations that had a huge opportunity with the Eagle Spirit pipeline that would go through its territory. It had plans, it was moving along, everything was in place, and all a sudden Bill C-48, the tanker moratorium, put its dreams and hopes to rest for a while. The interesting thing is that there was no consultation at all. There was no notice about this tanker ban, so how can there be consultation when the government does not want to do something, but vice-versa when it wants to do something?

Now I will get into the details of Bill C-88. In 2016, there was an oil and gas moratorium in the Beaufort Sea, and the interesting thing about that announcement was that for most people in Canada, it came out of nowhere. The Prime Minister did not even have the respect to hold conversations with the territorial premiers and the people most impacted. He made the announcement down in Washington, D.C., along with an “Oh, by the way” phone call 20 minutes before announcing this measure that would impact those communities. That is absolutely shameful. The Prime Minister announced a moratorium on all oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea when he was down in the United States with President Obama at the time.

I want to read a few quotes by the community leaders subsequently. The Northwest Territories premier Bob McLeod issued a “red alert...for urgent national debate on the future of the Northwest Territories”. He wrote:

The promise of the North is fading and the dreams of northerners are dying as we see a re-emergence of colonialism....

Whether it be ill conceived ways of funding social programs, or new and perplexing restrictions on our economic development, our spirit and energy are being sapped.

That is a very different from what we just heard from the parliamentary secretary when she talked about the previous government. It is her government. Did she hear those words from the premier? He said, “our spirit and our energy are being sapped”.

Mr. McLeod further wrote:

Staying in or trying to join the middle class will become a distant dream for many....

This means that northerners, through their democratically elected government, need to have the power to determine their own fates and the practice of decisions being made by bureaucrats and governments in Ottawa must come to an end. Decisions about the North should be made in the North. The unilateral decision by the federal government, made without consultation, to impose a moratorium on arctic offshore oil and gas development is but one example of our economic self-determination being thwarted by Ottawa.

Then Nunavut premier, Peter Taptuna, told the CBC on December 22, 2016:

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. And at the same time, when one potential source of revenue is taken off the table, it puts us back at practically Square 1 where Ottawa will make the decisions for us.

Merven Gruben, the mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, told the indigenous and northern affairs committee on October 22, 2018:

I was talking to [the Liberal MP for the Northwest Territories]...and he said, “Yes, Merven, we should be doing something. We should be helping you guys.”

I agree the Liberals should be helping us. They shut down our offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole freaking Arctic without even consulting us. They never said a word to us.

We're proud people who like to work for a living. We're not used to getting social assistance and that kind of stuff. Now we're getting tourists coming up, but that's small change compared to when you work in oil and gas and you're used to that kind of living. Our people are used to that. We [don't want to be just] selling trinkets and T-shirts.

To go to the actual bill, what we can see is that in spite of the lofty words by the parliamentary secretary, there has been a real lack of consultation on issues that are very important to northerners.

Part A would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act to reverse provisions that would have consolidated the Mackenzie Valley land and water boards into one. These provisions, of course, were introduced by the former Conservative government with Bill C-15, the Northwest Territories devolution act. Part B, of course, would amend the the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.

As I have already noted, this is another anti-energy policy from the Liberal government that is driving investment out of Canada, costing Canadian workers their jobs and increasing poverty rates in the north. Like Bill C-69 before it, Bill C-88 would politicize oil and gas extraction by expanding the powers of cabinet to block economic development, and would add to increasing red tape that proponents must face before even getting shovels in the ground. Further, Bill C-88 reveals a full rejection of the calls by elected territorial leaders for much of the self-autonomy they desire.

We used to look at the north as being an opportunity to be a key economic driver for decades to come. Other Arctic nations, including China and Russia, are exploring possibilities. This could be something that is very important for our sovereignty.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are creating great swaths of protected land. I want to know why that change was originally made to the water and land boards.

In 2007, Neil McCrank was commissioned to write a report on improving the regulatory and environmental assessment regimes in Canada's north. As outlined in the McCrank report, entitled, “The Road to Improvement”, the current regulatory process in the Northwest Territories is complex, costly, unpredictable and time-consuming. The merging of the three boards into one was a key recommendation. Part of the report stated:

This approach would address the complexity and the capacity issues inherent to the current model by making more efficient use of expenditures and administrative resources. It would also allow for administrative practices to be understandable and consistent.

If these recommendations on restructuring and improvements are implemented, the regulatory systems in the North will be able to ensure orderly and responsible development of its resources.

Regarding the move to consolidate the boards, the report went on to state:

...is not meant to diminish or reduce the influence that Aboriginal people have on resource management in the North. Rather, it is meant as an attempt to allow for this influence in a practical way, while at the same time enabling responsible resource development...

I want to note that it was Bill C-15, which the Liberals and NDP voted for, that included that component. It was supported on all sides of the House. It was also included as an available option in the three modern land claim agreements. Bill C-15 looked to streamline the regulatory process and to place time limits on reviews and provide consistency. It was never meant to impact impact indigenous communities and their ability to make decisions. It was to streamline the regulatory process, place time limits on reviews and consolidate federal decision-making.

Certainly, I see this component of the bill as a move backward rather than forward. At this point, it would appear that all of the communities involved want to move in this direction. I believe that is unfortunate. The model I wish they would have worked toward would have been a much more positive one in doing the work they needed to do.

The final part is the drilling moratorium, which is perhaps the most troublesome. It would allow the federal cabinet to prohibit oil and gas activity in the Northwest Territories or offshore of Nunavut if it were in the national interest. This is a much broader power than currently exists in the act, which only allows Canada to prohibit that activity for safety or environmental reasons, or social problems of a serious nature.

I note that the licences set to expire during the five-year moratorium would not be affected, which is seen as somewhat positive by the people holding those licences. However, I suppose if we have a moratorium forever, it really does not matter if one's licence is on hold forever, because it would not be helpful in the long run.

In conclusion, what we have here is perhaps not on the scale of Bill C-69 or some of the other things the government has done, but it just adds to the government's habit, whenever it deals with the natural resource industry, of tending to make it more complicated and of driving businesses away rather than doing what Canada needs, especially right now, which is bringing business to us.

Steel IndustryAdjournment Proceedings

November 29th, 2018 / 6:35 p.m.
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Independent

Erin Weir Independent Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month I asked about the structural steel construction of the new LNG Canada facility. After determining that China was dumping and subsidizing structural steel, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal applied countervailing duties. LNG Canada sought an exception from those tariffs so that it could ship in steel modules from China. It appears that the Government of Canada has granted exactly such an exception.

It is understandable that the government wants to pull out all the stops to facilitate a $40-billion project. However, we should recognize that this project will not contribute very much to our economy if $39 billion is spent on imported components. On the contrary, I would argue that the construction of LNG Canada should be seized as an opportunity to develop Canada's steel industry.

As much as I would like to advocate that these steel modules be built in Regina, I recognize that it would not be feasible to ship them over land to the west coast. However, if they can be shipped from China, perhaps they could be shipped from Canada's east coast or perhaps we need to look at developing the construction facilities on Canada's west coast to build the modules right there. Therefore, we should take this as an opportunity, a historic chance, to build up our steel industry. There are all kinds of ways that the government could try to support this industrial development. However, the first and obvious step would be to uphold the existing tariffs on Chinese structural steel and not to grant an exception for LNG Canada to ship in modules from China rather than build them here.

I have talked about Canada's steel industry. Another aspect of the LNG Canada project is the regulation of tanker traffic on our west coast. Yesterday, I saw Canada's best premier, Rachel Notley, speak to the Canadian Club here in Ottawa. Unfortunately, only one other member of this House attended that event. It is too bad that other MPs missed the speech because Premier Notley raised a very good point, that the LNG Canada project inevitably means a large number of tankers on the north coast of British Columbia, which seems inconsistent with Bill C-48, which put a moratorium on oil tankers on the north coast of B.C.

I supported Bill C-48 because it seemed like a reasonable compromise to limit tanker traffic on the north coast and allow it on the south coast. That seemed consistent with the plan to export oil through the Trans Mountain expansion. However, since that project is now stalled, I think we need to re-examine whether it makes sense to ban oil tankers while increasing the number of LNG tankers. Maybe the government has a good reason for that, but I think we need more of an explanation.

Therefore, I have two questions for the parliamentary secretary. Why not use the LNG Canada project as an opportunity to develop Canada's steel industry? Why continue to ban oil tankers on B.C.'s north coast while the government supports LNG tankers in those same waters?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 29th, 2018 / 12:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to speak to the government's budget implementation bill. It is a very long bill, unprecedented in its length in terms of Canadian parliamentary history, despite promises to the contrary from the government.

There are many different aspects and themes that one could dig into. I am going to focus my remarks on what I see as five dominant debates that have emerged around this budget. I will share some thoughts on each of those five areas.

I want to speak about the government's carbon tax and associated debates about the issue of climate change and how we should respond.

I want to address deficits. The current government's massive deficit is relatively without precedent in peacetime and in times without a global economic downturn.

I want to discuss some of the debates around poverty, equity and how we can and should be responding to those very real issues.

I will speak about the energy sector and pipelines.

Finally, I want to address the government's media bailout. It has been interesting observing the debate around the media bailout and having conversations with the people I know in the press. I will contend very strongly that our position, opposing the bailout, is the fundamentally pro-media position. We recognize the importance of strong, independent media, and there is a legitimate discussion about what can be done that establishes conditions for the financial success of the media.

However, the way in which the government has approached this, whereby the media are dependent on the evaluations of a government-appointed panel, makes the media very vulnerable in terms of perceptions of lacking independence. They will be vulnerable to the kinds of challenges that naturally arise when they have been put in a position of having to come to a government-appointed body for dollars. I will speak more to that in a few minutes.

The first issue I want to address is that of the carbon tax. We have a government that does not want to have a debate around the effectiveness of the carbon tax as a tool. The Liberals will accuse anybody who does not agree with their chosen policy mechanism of somehow being not serious about responding to the challenge of climate change.

I sincerely believe that we need to respond to the challenge of climate change, and that we need to do it in a way that is effective, which means not using the climate change issue as an excuse for imposing new taxes on Canadians. Let me make a few points about that.

The first point is a historical one. Let us look at the records of the past Conservative government and the current Liberal one, as well as at the record of the previous Liberal government, by way of a contrast.

A previous Liberal government, under Chrétien and Martin, signed the Kyoto protocol, yet greenhouse gas emissions went up significantly during that period. Our Conservative government proposed binding, sector-by-sector, intensity-based regulatory targets. In other words, they did not penalize companies for increasing their output, but sought to regulate in a way that enhanced the efficiency of our production here in Canada.

In the long term, those kinds of measures would ensure and indeed increase our competitiveness. They would also ensure that we were part of effectively responding to the challenge of climate change.

The objective record of greenhouse gas emissions under the previous government shows that emissions went down. It was the first government in Canadian history under which emissions went down. In response to that, people like my friend from Spadina—Fort York will praise the record of the Kathleen Wynne Liberals, which is not as popular in Ontario as he might wish it to be.

However, across different jurisdictions we see that in every single Canadian jurisdiction, emissions under the Conservative government either went down, or they went up by less than they had under the previous Liberal government. Although the member for Spadina—Fort York might not want it to be true, he must recognize that under the previous Conservative government, progress was achieved in terms of the issue of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions in every single jurisdiction across this country.

That was done with an approach that emphasized binding sector-by-sector regulations but also ensured that individuals had the capital they needed to make investments in these kinds of improvements.

Rather than a punitive approach, like the carbon tax which punishes people, we had things like the home renovation tax credit, which ensured that people who wanted to make energy innovation investments in their own homes had the tax advantage in the process of doing so. That empowered people to engage with an issue that I think many people want to engage with, rather than the punitive approach adopted by the Liberal government.

What have we seen from the government? Upon taking office, the Liberals decided they would take the punitive approach, that they would impose new taxes on Canadians. Make no mistake that this approach is designed to raise revenue for the federal government. The GST is consistently being charged on top of the carbon tax. The GST, as everyone knows, is a federal tax. The imposition of the carbon tax in association with the GST means that this tax is designed to and will increase revenues for the federal government.

It is a punitive approach. It is a negative approach. It is a taxation-oriented revenue approach that is imposed on all Canadians. Because it is a point-of-sale tax, it is particularly regressive. We know that consumption taxes are more likely to hit those who are struggling economically. Even the natural regressivity of a sales tax was not enough for the government, which decided on top of that to provide an additional benefit for Canada's largest emitters.

It makes one wonder how sincere the government is in its rhetoric. The Liberals will extol the virtues of a carbon tax, yet they give a break to the largest emitters. The Liberals say these large emitters will really struggle to pay the carbon tax and it might hurt us economically. However, they are completely indifferent to the suffering this imposes on small and medium-sized businesses and to the suffering this imposes on individual consumers.

It especially hurts low-income people. Without the benefit of things like the home renovation tax credit, without some of the positive, constructive policies we had in place before and without things like the transit tax credit, which was an environmental measure that benefited people who were using public transit, without those kinds of measures, we are in a situation under this government where many people may not be able to make those kinds of investments that would allow them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

This underlines the failure of a punitive approach instead of a constructive approach. Our party believes that through constructive regulations and supporting innovation and not through punishing people we can work collaboratively for environmental improvements that do not hurt the economy. That is what we saw previously.

I would just note parenthetically that whenever we talk about the issue of how greenhouse gas emissions went down under the previous government, members on the other side will always say that was only because of the global recession. However, they never bring up the global recession in the context of deficits, which I will talk about next. When they want to complain about the fact that deficits were run under the previous government, they mysteriously forget that there was a global recession, but then when they are trying to explain away the real progress that was made under the previous government on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions, they are happy to talk about the fact that there was a global economic downturn.

The reality is that Canada was relatively less affected by the global economic downturn because of prudent policies that were pursued by the previous government in the lead-up to that. Canada was relatively less affected and our emissions still went down; whereas other parts of the world were more affected and yet global emissions went up. It is simply not logical to say that greenhouse gas emissions went down only because of the global economic downturn, because Canada was outperforming the rest of the world in terms of environmental improvements as well as the economic situation relative to the rest of the world. That very much contrasts with what we see under the Liberal government.

I want to speak now to the discussion about deficits. Let us be very clear that we are dealing with a significant dissonance between what the government promised in the last election and what it is saying today.

The government promised three deficits which would be a maximum of $10 billion and then in the final fiscal year, which is the one upcoming, the budget would be balanced. However, the government has articulated absolutely no plan to balance the budget ever.

It is great to see young people watching the debate today. I know they will have to pay for the spending of the government long into their future, as a result of the fact that the government has no plan to balance the budget and is spending money today that those young people will have to pay back tomorrow. At the very least, it is a broken promise.

How do members of the government respond to the reality that they broke a promise? The previous speaker, the member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, talked about when they came into office, they started to take a look at the situation. Maybe the Liberals should have started to take a look at the situation before they wrote their platform. The fiscal situation is quite clear in the reports coming out from the government, in terms of all the financial data that is publicly available. It is not as if there is any surprise in the fiscal situation.

The Prime Minister made commitments that he said were set in stone, yet he broke those commitments as soon as he came to office. The Liberals have to explain why they brought one spending plan to Canadians in the election and delivered a completely different spending plan as soon as they were elected to government. Beyond the question of broken promises, it is hard for me to understand how anyone who claims to care about their children and the next generation would impose on them the burden of paying for the benefits we enjoy today, plus interest.

Sometimes we hear members across the way raise the spectre of austerity. Let us be clear that the worst cases of austerity are those that we have seen in countries which have had no choice as a result of a debt crisis. When governments spend without a plan of ever balancing the budget, it causes a situation where the most severe form of austerity is forced on them whether they like it or not. What goes up ultimately must come down.

What we advocate then is having a plan to control spending, that is, to moderate the growth of spending in such a way as to balance the budget, not to dramatically increase spending beyond government revenue. It is a little bit absurd to suggest that any call for spending control or any call for balance will somehow be austere. It is a grievous misuse of the word “austerity”, as if to imply that we only have two choices, austerity on the one hand or out-of-control spending on the other. I actually think we can pursue a middle way, which is prudent measured spending that recognizes fiscal realities, while still investing as much as possible in the future in social programs but in a way that ensures that those social programs will be sustainable.

Members across the way know that if one spends consistently more than one has, or makes promises as the Kathleen Wynne Liberals did that are completely unbudgeted with no plan to pay for them, then yes, people are going to be disappointed when those things cannot be delivered. However, it is a result of overspending. It is a result of out-of-control debt and deficits. Then subsequent generations will have to pay not only for their own needs, but they will also have to pay down the debt and interest on the consumption of previous generations.

We propose a fiscal policy that avoids the need to pay massive interest and instead is prudent and measured. It is one in which when we make spending commitments to people, we do so in the context of a balanced budget so that they can have the certainty that those programs will be there for the future.

What we see from the Liberal government are these branded plans, these national strategies that often involve most of the spending in the latter years of those programs, but they have no realistic fiscal plan of actually delivering on. It is a grievous problem. It is one that will negatively affect the next generation and the most vulnerable. Inevitably, the government is promising things that it will not be able to deliver. I think that is a good segue into making a few comments about the government's approach to the issue of poverty.

The budget implementation act proposes to legislate goals, legislate the hopes and aspirations of policy-makers. Might I humbly submit, that is not going to provide very much confidence and reassurance to those who are living in poverty. What makes much more sense are concrete policies that would benefit the most vulnerable.

I have already spoken about how the carbon tax disproportionately impacts those who are most vulnerable in terms of being forced to pay more and not getting the same holidays that the large emitters get.

The government legislates goals. It spends half a million dollars developing a logo for an anti-poverty organization, yet it does not pursue the kinds of policies that we pursued that help the most vulnerable.

With respect to homelessness, the Conservatives invested significantly in housing first. We raised the base personal exemption and lowered the lowest marginal tax rate. We also cut the GST, which is the one tax that everybody pays.

Our approach was to recognize the need to help the most vulnerable but also to understand that helping the most vulnerable should not be an excuse to increase the size of government. Big government does not benefit those who need help the most. Constantly growing government benefits well-connected insiders, as we have seen consistently from the policies of the Liberal government.

The Liberal government could consider following the positive track record of the previous government. It could provide tax relief through raising the base personal exemption, through lowering the lowest marginal rate, through cutting the GST, through providing relief on the carbon tax to those who need that support the most.

There is nothing progressive about the government's approach to policy which gives huge amounts of money in corporate welfare, in payouts to companies like Bombardier. Bombardier even said it did not need the money, and then used some of that money to give benefits to its executives.

Nothing helps the most vulnerable when the government subsidizes CEOs through policies like the supercluster. Instead we could have a competitive tax regime. We could cut taxes for the most vulnerable. We could establish the conditions by which people could keep more of their own money and use more of their own money to meet their own needs.

Instead, the government uses climate change, uses poverty, uses whatever excuse it can come up with as part of its insatiable plan to increase the size of government and to increase government spending.

I am going to try to hit my last two points in the brief time I have left.

When it comes to our energy resources, the government spent a huge amount of public money to buy a pipeline with no plan to get that pipeline built. Under the previous government, four pipelines were built, some of which did increase our ability to move resources to tidewater.

The government has no plan to proceed with pipelines. It brings in legislation like Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 that would significantly hurt our ability to move forward in terms of pipelines, while, through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, it is paying a Chinese-controlled bank, an instrument of Chinese foreign policy, to build pipelines overseas. Its justification is that Canadian firms might get some of that work.

I have visited the headquarters of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing. It told us that regardless of whether Canada is a member of that bank or not, Canadian firms would still have the same ability to bid for work through that bank.

This talking point for justifying sending hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars to China to build pipelines in Azerbaijan and other places instead of building pipelines here by getting out of the way of the private sector holds absolutely no water.

Finally, on the point of the independence of the media, $600 million of taxpayers' money is going to a bailout of the media. Leading voices in the media have talked about how problematic this would be, because in order for the media to be strong, independence of the media is required. It also requires the perception of independence.

Journalists recognize that the perception of government handing over significant amounts of money through a process that fundamentally can be controlled by government makes them so much more vulnerable to misperceptions and criticism. We need to have media that are independent of government and that can do their job well.

This is an attack on the independence of the media through the government's attempt to control the process of allocation of funds. It is a significant threat to the media's independence more so than we have seen in the recent history of this country and more so certainly than the odd verbal criticism here and there.

For these and many other reasons that I do not have time to go into because it is such a large bill, I will be opposing this legislation.

Canada's Oil and Gas SectorEmergency Debate

November 28th, 2018 / 11:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the challenge that we face today in the energy sector is very simple. It is a question of stability and a question of certainty, both for the people who are making the investment decisions to invest in production in Canada's energy sector, and the people whom I talk to every day, who have selected me to be their voice in Ottawa. It is a question of certainty, and it is a question of stability.

The colleagues opposite who are laughing at this tonight should give their heads a shake. When people are sitting around a corporate board table and trying to determine whether or not they should spend several billion dollars on a major capital investment, they look at several determinants. They look at labour availability, political stability, market conditions, and all sorts of things. They make a determination based on a set of information available at the time, but they have to be certain that the information is right and that it is going to stay stable.

If there is no certainty in an area, workers who are trying to decide whether or not to stay in a region, or whether or not to sell their house, or what sort of purchases to make, or how to make ends meet, are going to make a decision one way or another.

The problem we have seen with the government over the last three years is the question of instability. When we started to see a shift in the supply side model of energy products in North America, as the Americans started to come on stream with more energy supply—and of course we should spend a bunch of time talking about the demand side model internationally as well—what the government should have done at that point in time, when they the Liberals came into government in 2015, was to do everything in its power to make the situation more certain and stable for the workers in Canada's energy sector so that companies could stay and prosper in Canada, and for those who seek to invest in Canada's energy sector, to do the same.

What does the government need to do to rectify the decisions it has made that have led to instability, so that we can see projects built from here on in?

First of all, the government has to scrap its carbon tax. It creates investment instability in the energy sector and is a burden on energy sector workers. There is no economic modelling to show that it will actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because for the most part carbon in Canada is price inelastic.

The second thing that it needs to do is to repeal its cancellation, during a major downturn in the Canadian economy, of the oil and gas exploration drilling tax credit. It needs to reverse that decision that it made.

The government needs to reverse the tanker ban that it put in place.

The government also put in place a five-year moratorium on northern oil and gas exploration, giving the territorial governments less than two hours' notice. That caused instability. It needs to reverse that decision it made.

The government also need to reverse the decisions it made around the methane regulation framework that it put in place. That is an example of the instability the government caused when it knew that the energy sector was going through a downturn.

The government needs to scrap and do everything possible to stop the passage of Bill C-69, which it has tabled. That bill creates instability. It creates a new regulator and an environmental assessment process with indeterminate timelines. If people are sitting at a corporate board table and trying to make a decision whether or not to invest, it is not about just getting to a yes, but about getting to a yes or no within a defined, clear set of timeframes. Bill C-69 completely undermines that.

Any investor who is looking at investing in Canada's energy sector looks at Bill C-69 and says, “No way.” The government put that in place in a time of economic downturn, and it needs to scrap that.

The Liberals need to scrap Bill C-48, which put in place the unilateral imposition of a ban on using B.C.'s north coast for oil and gas exports. They put that in place. They need to reverse that.

Bill C-86 gives cabinet the authority to unilaterally shut down the shipping of natural resources by water anywhere in Canada, including offshore oil and gas. That is instability that the sector looks at. They need to repeal that bill that they put in place during a major downturn in Canada's energy sector.

They need to repeal Bill C-68, because it dramatically increases the red tape on project development by adding a multi-month review under the navigable waters act for any water on a project site that is large enough to float a kayak. It adds instability. It is unnecessary red tape. They need to repeal this bill that they put in place during a major energy sector downturn.

They need to repeal Bill C-88, which politicizes oil and gas development in the Far North, by providing cabinet in Ottawa the unilateral power to shut down oil and gas development in the Far North.

As well, they need to stop the proposed fuel standards that they are proposing to unveil before Christmas that will equate to a carbon tax of $228 per tonne of fuel, which would almost certainly mean the end of the oil and gas sector.

They also need to apologize for standing here and applauding Barack Obama after doing nothing to prevent the veto or speak against the veto of the Keystone XL pipeline.

They need to apologize for the fact that they did nothing when they allowed Denis Coderre to dump millions of litres of raw sewage in Quebec and say that energy east was not in the best interest of Canada. Instead they stood up here and agreed with him. The speech by the member for Calgary Centre was such a disgrace. He said he was going to pound on the table for a pipeline. Where was he when Dennis Coderre was doing that? He got kicked out of cabinet. He was our supposed voice in cabinet for Calgary who did nothing to stop any of these bills.

They politically vetoed the northern gateway pipeline. In a political process, the government overturned a years-long regulatory review of the northern gateway pipeline that had over 200 conditions on it that was set and ready to go. That created uncertainty and instability, and politicized a system during a downturn in the energy sector.

They need to invoke section 92.10(c) of the Constitution Act to bring the Trans Mountain pipeline completely into federal jurisdiction so that B.C. cannot obstruct its building out through permitting or other mechanisms in their jurisdiction right now.

Mr. Speaker, I am sharing my time with the member for Peace River—Westlock.

They need to start building the Trans Mountain pipeline. If what the Prime Minister said is true, and it is in the best interest of this country, why are the Liberals kicking the can down through a potential spring election window? If they are serious about it they should be building it out today. There should be shovels in the ground tonight.

The last thing they need to stop doing, for the love of all that is holy, is stop abdicating the responsibility for getting these policies right. Every time, they stand up here and say that it is Stephen Harper's fault. They had three years to get these projects done. With that litany of lists that are nowhere near complete, all they have done every step of the way is add uncertainty and instability for the investors in Canada's energy sector and for the workers in my community. All the people in my riding want to do is get back to work. Everything the government has done has been to abdicate responsibility and create instability.

The last thing they need to do is the Prime Minister needs to stop going overseas and telling his true agenda to the world, which is that he wants to phase out Canada's energy sector. If I was a worker in Canada's energy sector or if I was looking to invest in this, I would be saying that is a pretty clear policy. He has backed it up with action. Every single one of these bills and actions has been anti-energy sector.

None of the Liberals can stand up in this place and say they have done anything for Canada's energy sector. However, they can tonight by undertaking to repeal all of these bills and standing up and saying that they were wrong, that this stuff was wrong, that it created instability and the death of Canada's energy sector.

We are out of time. The Liberals need to build Trans Mountain. They need to get the shovels in the ground tonight, repeal these bills, and start being serious about one of Canada's most prosperous and stable industries in this country.

Canada's Oil and Gas SectorEmergency Debate

November 28th, 2018 / 11 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Leona Alleslev Conservative Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, obviously what my hon. colleague is referring to is when I was actually a member of Parliament as a Liberal, and I did not fully appreciate just how devastating Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 were, not only to Alberta but to the entire country. Therefore, I am very grateful to colleagues on this side of the House who have given me the opportunity to understand the complexity and why those were bad bills. I have no problem reconciling it, because I did not know what I knew then, and I am doing my very best to know what I know now and make amends.