Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

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


Marc Garneau  Liberal


Second reading (Senate), as of June 5, 2018

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

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

Vancouver Quadra B.C.


Joyce Murray LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I am very grateful for the opportunity to speak today about the importance of B.C.'s north coast and why we are seeking to protect it with Bill C-48.

The area targeted by the tanker moratorium goes from the southern border of Alaska to the tip of continental British Columbia, to the north end of Vancouver Island, and it includes Haida Gwaii.

I will begin by reading from a document written eight years ago:

[This bill] legislates a crude oil tanker ban in the dangerous inland waters around Haida Gwaii known as Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. It will protect our oceans and communities from the risk of a major oil spill and promote a sustainable economy – one that supports B.C.’s growing fisheries and tourism sectors.

[This] bill responds to the clear voices of British Columbians, [the majority]...of whom support a permanent tanker ban on B.C.’s north coast. First Nations, B.C. municipalities and thousands of businesses whose growth and sustainability depend on a healthy ocean and coastal ecosystem are united in their call for a permanent ban.

To be clear, [this bill] does not apply to natural gas products and will not affect existing deliveries of condensate into Kitimat, B.C. It will not prevent the continued transport of diesel and other oil products to local B.C. communities or in any way affect current or future shipments of oil to Asia and the United States through the Port of Vancouver. The bill does not limit growth in exports of Canadian crude to expanding international markets. And finally, it allocates no new ministerial ability to close other shipping areas in Canada, as these powers already exist under the Canada Shipping Act.

[The bill] does acknowledge that Canadians want communities and wildlife protected and [they want] prosperity. This can be achieved by making smart choices about where and how development takes place.

We have witnessed the environmental, economic and social devastation caused by the Exxon Valdez and BP catastrophes [in the Gulf of Mexico]. One major spill along B.C.’s shorelines would threaten fragile ecosystems, endanger wildlife, harm lives and communities, and jeopardize many of our...[tens of thousands of] coastal jobs. It is simply not worth the risk.

I am reading from a letter that was written to my colleagues when I tabled Bill C-606 back in 2010. Today, I am so grateful and appreciative to our Minister of Transport for having tabled this bill, Bill C-48, which would do exactly what I called for with my bill, Bill C-606.

I had a chance to visit 15 communities up and down our coast, hosting events to hear from community members, including the chambers of commerce, indigenous people, and citizens. There was an overwhelming consensus that the Pacific north coast was a very important internationally-significant area that we must protect and defend from the risk of a major oil spill.

I spoke with individuals who showed me pictures of themselves wearing gumboots as they cleaned up oil from sea life and shorelines up in Prince William Sound in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez spill of 10.8 million U.S. gallons of oil back in 1989. Some of those ecosystems have never recovered from that spill, and it affects the economy and ecology of those areas today. I certainly understood the concern the people in the north coast had.

I will explain why that area is so unique, actually risky, and why in my letter I talked about this risk British Columbians did not believe was worth it with respect to the benefits to our province.

I want to give credit to the environmental advocacy groups that raised awareness about the risk of oil tanker traffic and spills in our north coast related to a pipeline that was proposed for the area. It has since been determined not permissible by our government. I want to also thank our Prime Minister for recognizing that our Pacific north coast is not the right route for pipelines and oil tankers.

I was privileged to successfully ensure that the ban on oil traffic in the Pacific north coast was included in two Liberal platforms, one in 2011 and one in 2015: promise made, promise kept.

The marine ecosystems that span the northern coast of British Columbia are unique. The coastline itself with its rugged cliffs and inlets provides an abundant environment for its ecologically rich and diverse animal populations. It is dotted with thousands of islands and etched with deep fjords. The coastal rainforests are places of stunning biological prosperity and diversity, and an environment that deserves protection.

Not only is the north coast geographically complex, it also supports a wide range of distinct marine ecosystems. These ecosystems provide spawning and schooling areas for fish, and is important for a variety of sea birds, marine mammals, and other marine fauna, like humpback and killer whales, and that says nothing about the region's rich flora.

I had a chance to travel in this area as the environment minister for the province of British Columbia. I spent a week on a B.C. Park's boat touring the isolated inlets and shorelines as we sought to discuss with local indigenous peoples the possibility of creating a provincial park and reserve in the Great Bear Rainforest. I had a chance to see just how little human impact there had been on that part of our coast and how it really was a virgin ecosystem, which is expressed in the rich variety of the ecosystem I spoke about.

It was not just the marine areas that were so important to protect, but also the area on land, which a pipeline was proposing to traverse. The pipeline would have crossed hundreds of fish and salmon-bearing streams. It would have crossed wilderness, mountain, and valley areas with virgin forests and ecosystems, which are almost impossible to even hike through as they are so remote and uncivilized, and I say that in the technical sense. So few people live there in such vast areas that are uneroded. It is very important for grizzly bears and other wildlife to live without the impacts of human civilization, which have caused challenges to their abundance in other parts of our province and country.

In the northern coastal area, salmon still runs in the rivers, trees hundreds of years old loom over vast landscapes, and predators and prey keep the delicate balance necessary for these ecosystems to thrive. Our government is committed to ensure that this coast remains a vibrant ecosystem for generations to come. Ecotourism in this area is growing year by year as people from around the world recognize how internationally unique the area is.

The government recognizes that indigenous groups have inhabited the north coast for millennia and continue to rely on its bountiful ecosystems as foundations for their cultures and economies. As I travelled around Haida Gwaii and Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in a sailboard a few years ago, I spoke to many indigenous people from Haida Gwaii. They were completely and utterly determined that their precious area would not be subject to the risk of a major oil spill by oil tanker traffic. Therefore, this moratorium is very important to those members of the Haida Gwaii community.

Bill C-48 is a significant step being taken by our government to enhance environmental protection for this pristine and important coastline.

The minister also travelled from coast to coast to coast to hear from people about this particular project. From Haida Gwaii to Iqaluit and St. John's, he wanted to hear their perspectives on the oil tanker moratorium and improving marine safety.

Our government has met with stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, other levels of government, and indigenous groups to listen and gather input. I have to recognize that the Minister of Transport has done a full and deep job of consulting with people across the country. As the proponent of Bill C-606 in 2010, which was up for debate in March 2011, I was not able to do quite that thorough a job of consulting, but certainly the majority of people I spoke with felt that this was an important initiative. The minister heard a diversity of views, and the importance of these environmental protections was made abundantly clear.

Coastal communities and industries everywhere in Canada understand the importance of healthy ecosystems to protect the way of life and livelihoods of those areas. In fact, there is a wide range of economic activity that feeds and sustains the Pacific north coast region's economic life cycle. For over a hundred years, we have had logging, mining, fisheries, and canning and processing facilities. Those activities have been important and have supported many communities along the coast.

I want to acknowledge that the Province of British Columbia has really worked hard to consult with stakeholders from environmental groups, communities, indigenous communities, and industy to make sure that its land use planning process reflects where there should be more intensive use of the land and waters, and where there should be more protection of the land and waters. That balance has been found in our province. It can always be improved, but there has been a great deal of emphasis on proper management of the lands and waters in British Columbia since the 1990s, including the government I was part of in the early 2000s.

It is not something our government takes lightly, to ensure that a particular activity, such as a pipeline or oil tanker traffic, will not be permitted there. The jobs that would have been created, I would point out, were not an enormous number. The building of the pipeline would have created some jobs for sure, but once it was built, the number of ongoing jobs would have been far less.

The moratorium would protect the livelihoods of communities on British Columbia's north coast by providing a heightened level of environmental protection, while continuing to allow for community and industry resupply by small tanker, which was an important part of the bill I proposed as well, Bill C-606. We know that these communities and the industry rely on marine shipments of critical petroleum products to sustain their livelihoods. That is why our government will continue to allow shipments of crude or persistent oil products below a certain level, which is 12,500 metric tons.

The moratorium would protect the northern coastline, that whole area and its delicate ecosystems, including Haida Gwaii, from accidents that could upset this fragile region via a major oil spill.

We know that the vast majority of citizens in this area do not believe the risk of that kind of major spill, which we have seen before on our west coast, is worth it. We understand that should something like this happen, our coast would never be the same. On the north coast, there are far fewer services to prevent a spill, to act quickly if a major oil tanker were in difficulty, and to prevent the damage.

This tanker moratorium does not tell the whole story of our protection of the coast and the precautionary approach that we are building in to help safeguard the marine environment in this region. I want to mention the oceans protection plan, which adds another set of protections. The oceans protection plan is a $1.5-billion initiative on which there was wide consultation. I know many members of the Pacific caucus, the B.C. members of Parliament, were asked to provide input into what should be in the oceans protection plan.

It will improve our incident prevention and response regime and address environmental concerns in the event of a marine accident. The oceans protection plan will lift the liability cap for defraying the costs of cleanup, should there be a spill, to unlimited liability. I am referring now to smaller ships. My colleague from Port Moody—Coquitlam read into the record some concerns about the smaller ships that were underneath the cap. There would be unlimited liability and the government would implement a levy on oil shipments to fund compensation, as well as to speed it up, so communities would not be not stuck footing the bill for the cleanup of smaller spills.

In the bill, we recognize that when the delicate balance of this coastline becomes threatened, it upsets relationships between the environment and its inhabitants. It is not just about today's coastal communities. It is also about inhabitants that have spanned thousands of years. The Musqueam first nation, for example, which is on a different part of the coast, the south coast, has a record of habitation and its traditional areas for over 4,000 years. We know there are deep historical and cultural ties to the Pacific north coast that support cultural practices and social structures, and that is also what makes this area worth protecting.

Clearly, the oil tanker moratorium is just one of many initiatives in our comprehensive plan to protect the marine environment, to begin restoring some of the species that have been impacted by human activities over the years, and changes to our oceans, like acidification and warming from climate change, and the warming of streams that are necessary for our salmon cycle. There is so much work to be done, but this is a key part of it for a key part of our country, which is the Pacific north coast.

I hope we will have the full support of all members present for the passage of this bill, to take this important step in protecting one of the world's most diverse and rich regions anywhere on the planet.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 4:20 p.m.
See context


Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, yes, we are at a crossroads. I am glad he learned of the story of my three-week swim down the Fraser, which was a life-changing event for me. I have done that twice. I did it in 1995 and again in 2000. The only effect that I have suffered as a result of that is I got into politics, which I feel passionate about.

His question about the world and the country being at a crossroads in our energy use is critical, and we must shift. Our science, information, and local knowledge are all converging and telling us that we have to shift now, that we are beyond the point of knowing that we cannot avoid this shift and that we have to make it. It is not a future issue; it is now. We have to look at developing, supporting, and turning to a just transition in renewables, moving to geothermal, solar, wind, and hydro. We need to invest in these projects.

We need to work with municipalities, provinces, territories, and with working people to make the transition. We need to have jobs and work. We need them to make our communities and economies thrive. We also need to have a planet that is livable and sustainable, one that we can pass on and feel proud, as a society and national government, that we did the most we could to pass on a sustainable way of living.

That is why Bill C-48 is a move in the right direction. We need to make an even greater move in the direction of a sustainable way of living, support it, invest in it, and make the needed transition happen today.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:55 p.m.
See context


Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The tanker moratorium is good and necessary public policy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
See context


Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:30 p.m.
See context


Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calvin said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The West Coast Environmental Law website says:

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

Calvin Helin said:

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

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

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

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

Calvin Helin wrote:

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

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

Calvin Helin went on:

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

Another quote:

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

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

In September 2016 the chiefs' council said:

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

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

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

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

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

Chief Jim Boucher of the Fort McKay First Nation says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

Kanata—Carleton Ontario


Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we were talking about the improvements in technology and the changes we see that will actually help to protect our coasts and how much we are actually working to encourage research and to encourage the development of technology partnerships with the marine industry, with academia, with other federal departments and other governments to continue to work with us to develop innovative solutions that enable the official movement of goods and at the same time protect the marine environment. These partnerships are essential to enable us to share the latest innovations in research, knowledge, and intelligence on new technologies and to also encourage skills capacity for an increasingly knowledge-based economy.

Accordingly, the Government of Canada will strengthen the polluter pay principle by strengthening the Canadian ship-source oil pollution fund. We want to ensure adequate industry-funded compensation is available for those affected by oil spills. This includes removing the fund's current limit and providing unlimited compensation to those affected by an oil pollution incident. When compensation is beyond what is currently available, funds will be recovered by a levy on the companies that import and export oil by ship. The changes to the ship-source oil pollution fund will position Canada as a world leader among ship source liability and compensation regimes.

I should point out that Canada has a long-standing tradition of multilateralism related to international shipping. Canada is a founding member of the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency that regulates the world's maritime shipping. Canada also has a proud history of working closely with the International Maritime Organization to advance standards that promote maritime safety and security, protect the environment, and safeguard seafarers.

The Government of Canada will continue to contribute to the comprehensive body of international conventions supported by hundreds of recommendations governing every facet of shipping. In fact, as part of the oceans protection plan, the Government of Canada will strengthen its leadership role internationally. This includes playing an active role in developing international marine safety standards with the International Maritime Organization and other international partners.

As a trading nation, Canada relies on a safe and secure maritime transportation system to support our economic growth. A wide variety of cargo is transported through Canada's marine transportation system, from food and consumer goods to energy resources. Marine transportation is the primary means of transporting Canada's trade with other countries other than the United States. It is critical for economic growth in Canada which has provided us with one of the highest standards of living in the world.

The moratorium will continue to allow critical local resupply activities and still enable communities to develop economically. The moratorium does not apply to lighter oils such as gasoline, propane, or jet fuel that local communities and industries rely upon, nor will it apply to liquefied natural gas. Accordingly, opportunities remain open for the continued shipment of non-persistent oils.

Further, once passed by Parliament, the Governor in Council will have authority under the act to amend through regulation the schedule of persistent oils should future innovations and technological developments in the transportation of these products offer a significantly higher level of protection for our waters.

Amendments to the schedule could be considered following a regulatory review that would assess new scientific evidence about the fate and behaviour of petroleum products when spilled, cleanup technologies, and the state of institutional arrangements to respond to ship-source oil spills.

The schedule could only be revised through the regulatory amendment process. Environmental safety and science would be the primary considerations for any changes to the schedule.

Always keeping an opening for new technology and scientific development is testament to our commitment not only to protecting the environment but also to fostering innovation in the marine industry.

We are committed to demonstrating that a clean environment and a strong economy can go hand in hand, and that is why Bill C-48 is so important to all Canadians. The moratorium is but one of a suite of actions that the government is taking that will strengthen environmental protection, instilling confidence in Canadians that it is possible to have economic growth and to protect the environment, because this is not an either-or proposition.

I have a list of those who have demonstrated and expressed strong support for the passage of Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. It is quite an exhaustive list: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Dogwood Initiative, Friends of Wild Salmon Coalition, Haida Gwaii, North West Watch, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, SkeenaWild, and Stand.earth, and there are many more.

We remain open to enable future innovation and technological developments in the transportation of oil that offer a significantly higher level of protection for our waters today and for future generations.

I hope I can count on the support of all hon. members to establish in law an oil tanker moratorium on the north coast of British Columbia. Let us work together so we can continue to create a sustainable future for the generations that will follow.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

Waterloo Ontario


Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we will resume third reading debate on Bill C-48 on the oil tanker moratorium. The debate shall continue tomorrow.

On Monday, we will start report stage and third reading of Bill C-65 on harassment. Tuesday will be an allotted day.

Next Wednesday, in accordance with the order adopted on April 26, the House will resolve itself into a committee of the whole following question period to welcome the athletes of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic and Paralympic Games. Afterward, the House will proceed with debate at report stage and third reading of Bill C-21, an act to amend the Customs Act.

Next Thursday, we will only begin the debate of Bill C-76, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act. As members have heard in this House numerous times, we are committed to seeing more people participate in democracy. I have always committed to ensuring that there is a reasonable amount of time to debate and also to ensure that the committee can do its work. Therefore, I look forward to hearing from all parties how much time is needed so that we can continue to ensure that legislation is advanced in a timely fashion.

Just quickly, Mr. Speaker, I want the opposition House leader and all colleagues to know that this is our parliamentary family, and we are always going to be here to work together. We know that in the days and weeks and years to come, there might be times that we need to lean on each other, and we will always be here to do that, and I know the opposition does the same. We sincerely appreciate those kind words today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 1:45 p.m.
See context

Kanata—Carleton Ontario


Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to stand in the House today and speak to Bill C-48. In my opinion, it is a very balanced, comprehensive framework for a responsible and sustainable future. It would protect our precious coastal communities of northern British Columbia while supporting those communities as they enjoy the ability to grow and prosper in that beautiful part of the world.

It really does not matter which ocean one is facing. Whether it be the Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic oceans, the health and protection of our coasts are critical to our environment, to our economy, and to all Canadians. In today's competitive markets, ensuring that the import and export of products is done in a safe and efficient manner is paramount to the vitality of globalized economies.

In Canada, our domestic shipping industry is the linchpin to our supply chain that allows us to competitively engage in the international marketplace. With a direct contribution of $3 billion annually to Canada's gross domestic product, transporting approximately $200 billion in international goods, the value of a strong domestic shipping industry is unquestionable. The marine industry not only ensures that our goods get to market, but it also provides essential supplies to rural and coastal communities. British Columbia's coastal communities know how important these resupply activities are.

British Columbians will also tell us that what they truly love about living on Canada's Pacific coast is the extraordinary beauty and the breathtaking landscapes, which they rely upon for food, for cultural activities, and for their very livelihoods. The abundance of nature's bounty is a cornerstone of their quality of life.

Obtaining the right balance of safe and efficient marine shipping while protecting our coastal waterways is top of mind for our government. To help preserve and protect our national heritage across all of Canada's coasts, we are investing $1.5 billion over five years in our national oceans protection plan. In parallel, we are also moving forward with Bill C-48, which proposes to formalize an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's north coast. This moratorium complements our ambitious oceans protection plan.

The goal of the oceans protection plan, and Canadians' expectation, is that a strong economy and a healthy environment go hand in hand. This is an unwavering commitment. Formalizing an oil tanker moratorium that would ban oil tankers from stopping along British Columbia's environmentally sensitive north coast is an important element of this commitment. While still allowing critical local resupply activities to continue, this moratorium would help protect the north shores of British Columbia and still enable communities to develop economically. This proposed legislation underscores that our government is serious about encouraging long-term economic growth in a way that does not harm our marine or coastal environments.

Given that the volume of goods moved by marine shipping has increased by almost 20% over the past decade, Canada needs to be well prepared for the associated risks of increased trade and marine development. Our goal is first and foremost to prevent incidents from occurring, and in the unfortunate event that they do take place, minimize their impacts on the environment, on local communities, and on the economy.

This proposed legislation builds on a solid foundation. Canada has had a comprehensive, multi-layered marine safety system in place for many years. This is reflected in our safety record. Although accidents have occasionally occurred in Canada, there has not been a major incident in decades.

Complementary to this legislation, the oceans protection plan will make important investments in science to better understand how oil behaves in water and to research more effective technologies for spill cleanup, including through partnerships with external research institutions and academia. In addition, we are significantly increasing our capacity to prevent incidents through investments, such as increased towing capacity for the Canadian Coast Guard. Through these initiatives, we want to build an economy that prioritizes responsible and sustainable growth.

I want to acknowledge that the shipping industry has evolved over the years to enhance its safety record. Design and construction have improved, as have safety and communications equipment. Seafarers are better trained than in the past. Lifeboat design and drills have also improved. All these contribute greatly to marine safety and security. Despite the relatively strong safety record that Canada enjoys, there is room for improvement.

We need to address gaps and continue to build a world-leading system that will keep pace with the growth and developments in the marine transportation industries. Canada needs to position itself for a future characterized by emerging and disruptive technologies, and new approaches. Connectivity and automation will have far-reaching impacts on the transportation sector and the economy as a whole.

Transport Canada is the federal department that oversees a comprehensive legislative and regulatory system that ensures marine transportation remains safe and efficient, and protects our marine environment. Canada has more than 60 marine safety regulations. The key components of this existing safety regime include compulsory pilotage areas in sensitive or busy waterways where marine pilots with local knowledge of the area are required, and marine safety inspectors to ensure that all vessels, including tankers, meet the strict safety requirements in Canadian law.

Building on this record of excellence and marine safety measures already announced under the national oceans protection plan, Bill C-48 would add another layer of protection. It would not only protect one of British Columbia's most sensitive marine environments, but would also complement several other initiatives that promote marine innovation in support of safe and environmentally friendly marine shipping.

In 2016, Transport Canada consulted Canadians on our transportation system. On the subject of the environment and innovation, Canadians told us that pollution should be reduced in all modes of transportation by using options such as alternative fuels and electric power. They also told us that government incentives and regulations can encourage the use of new technologies.

For example, the shore power technology for ports program is part of our effort to limit air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and to improve air quality in ports near major cities. The program reduces emissions by allowing docked ships to turn off their auxiliary diesel engines and connect to electric power. This is one way Canada is acting on its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels, and to do it by 2020. So far, seven ports have received funding under this program, five of which are in British Columbia, totalling $9.5 million for the B.C. ports.

Since January 1, 2015, under the North American emission control area in coastal waters, vessels operating in Canada must use fuel with a maximum sulphur content of .01%, or use technology that results in equivalent sulphur emissions to reduce air pollutants. These regulatory changes enacted by both Canada and the U.S. are expected to reduce sulphur oxides by 96%. This is another important example of how government uses incentives and regulations to enable the marine industry to develop innovative solutions to complex problems and invest in new technologies.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 1:45 p.m.
See context

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec


Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 1st, 2018 / 6:05 p.m.
See context

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec


The House resumed from April 30 consideration 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, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of Motions Nos. 1 and 2.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 6 p.m.
See context


Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we have heard many intelligent comments about Bill C-48 from many people with an extreme amount of knowledge on this topic, and there have been many questions of those people. Maybe that leaves me with rhetoric. I do not know what is left to say, but I will try.

Trade has always been a pivotal component of life in Canada. Long ago, before European settlement, indigenous peoples traded prolifically. On the British Columbia coast, much of that trade was conducted by water. For example, the Haida Nation made use of large commercial canoes to achieve great prosperity along the Pacific coast. It is quite remarkable that this legislation makes such a radical departure from Canadian history. In Canada we have some of the most lucrative trading goods in the history of humanity at our disposal, namely oil and gas, but we cannot trade them, because we cannot access the market to do it. It seems a betrayal of Canada's historical legacy as a trading nation.

Unfortunately, this oil tanker moratorium appears to be just another stage of the government's plan to phase out Canada's energy sector. We desperately need to diversify Canada's export markets for oil and gas, yet Bill C-48 would take further steps to limit access to tidewater for Canadian oil. It is not just a tanker moratorium; it is a pipeline moratorium. The government has increasingly demonstrated that its agenda is dictated by radical activists and the foreign donors who support them. These people want Canada to be nothing more than a giant nature preserve.

Of course, we do have vast areas of pristine wilderness that I think all Canadians are proud of. I have been on the coast of Newfoundland all the way down to New Brunswick. It is a beautiful coastline. I was probably on the Pacific Rim, which is now the Pacific Rim National Park, before many people in the House were born. I have been on the tide pools and the coast and the beautiful Pacific part of Vancouver Island. Some members are older, which the minister might be, but some of us are a little older than he is.

I know that the Prime Minister was just in Europe, in France and Paris, and he apologized about being so slow to phase out the energy sector. It might have shocked his audience to find that Canada is not just one large nature preserve. People live here in Canada and people across the country work in the Canadian energy industry, and those people are being hurt by the government's disregard of the Canadian energy sector. In my riding of Bow River, the job losses have been catastrophic. People need pipelines with oil going to foreign markets. These people are highly skilled and highly trained. They may have found other jobs in other sectors, but they are much lower paying and are not using their highly trained skills.

Those foreign markets need oil. Global demand is growing. It is projected to keep growing at least for the next 30 years, especially in the Asia-Pacific region that we need to reach from the west coast. Let us get our economy back on track and meet this global demand.

As it stands, we are selling our oil at a huge discount to the United States. The U.S. sells it back to us to refine in New Brunswick refineries at the full market price. It is like building a car in Canada for $30,000 but having only one market, which offers us $15,000, and we take it, and then they sell it back to us for $30,000, because we have no choice.

By some estimates, the losses amount to at least a large school a day and a major hospital a week being built in the United States instead of in Canada. Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost because we cannot diversify our energy exports. It is a ridiculous situation. It is embarrassing to our country on the international stage when we look at countries that trade. Despite this totally unacceptable situation, we have learned that the government is funding anti-pipeline activists through the Canada summer jobs program, yet in my constituency, summer camps cannot get any money for summer jobs.

One constituent told me today that if people are convicted of obstructing justice, they should immediately be put on a no-fly list. They could not fly if they were convicted of obstructing justice while protesting. That is an interesting concept.

The government can dismiss the reality with its favourite talking points all it wants, but the issue is a lot more complicated than a talking point. Oil products are already shipped safely in and out of ports across Atlantic Canada and B.C. If we have to distill it down to a sound bite in the way the government likes to, let us put it like this: Venezuelan oil is shipped up the St. Lawrence to Montreal. If both those coasts were travelled on both sides of the St. Lawrence, one would find some of the most natural beauty in our country. It is very different on one side and the other, yet we are shipping large oil tankers all the way up the St. Lawrence to Montreal.

We are shipping Saudi Arabian oil to the east coast through the many islands to get to the refineries in St. John. If one has travelled on those islands and seen the beautiful coast, one knows we have skilled pilots on the west coast. It is tricky to get through to St. John's as well, but we are allowed to do that. Canadian oil is okay for Vancouver but not northern B.C. It does not make much sense when one puts it like that, but that is exactly what this legislation would implement.

This bill is yet another signal to investors that Canada's energy sector should be avoided. That is a travesty, especially since our former Conservative government already implemented responsible tanker safety regulations and established a world-class tanker safety system in 2014. That legislation modernized Canada's navigation system. It enhanced area response planning. However, we have had colleagues say we could do more. Well, we could do more. It built marine safety capacity in aboriginal communities and ensured polluters pay for spills and damages.

What we should be doing is building upon that successful safety record. Let us build more. We should be harnessing Canadian ingenuity and the great skills that our pilots have on the west coast. We should be collaborating with regional and indigenous stakeholders to develop even safer mechanisms for our coasts. We could maybe export that to the rest of the world. That is the logical next step, not a moratorium that would prevent any possibility of progress. Furthermore, a voluntary exclusion zone of 100 kilometres for oil tankers travelling from Alaska has already been in place since 1985 just beside this area.

Look at the current investment climate. Why pass legislation that does nothing more than remind investors of the government's attitude toward oil and gas? I guess what Maslow said was right. He said that when someone only has a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. This legislation is nothing more than a nail in the coffin of investor confidence in Canada.

Some $80 billion in investment has now been driven out of Canada. I hear about this in my constituency. That is a huge number, but the devastating impact of the government's attitude toward oil and gas is not limited to investors. The indigenous nations mentioned earlier have sued the federal and provincial government over this tanker ban. They argue that it is an unjustified infringement on their aboriginal rights and title. In fact, 30 first nations started an online campaign to raise money against this ban. It does not seem that the government was able to convince them in the consultation process that it was a good idea.

I have had the opportunity to meet with several first nations elders. Their views on energy development are not as uniform as the government would have us believe. Many I spoke with did not want to be told what they could and could not develop. They want the autonomy to make their own decisions in the best interest of their people. They view this as a lack of consultation and a form of colonialism, as they mentioned to me. Many first nations leaders want the right to develop their resources in the way they choose.

Even if this legislation receives royal assent, U.S. tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington would continue to travel up and down the B.C. coast. This is not about the tankers; it is about tying the hands of future governments and preventing pipeline construction. It is a pipeline moratorium under a different name. It is the opposite action to what the government should be taking. It needs to send positive signals to international and Canadian energy investors. It needs to actively champion the diversification of energy exports. This bill would not do that, and I cannot support it.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 5:45 p.m.
See context


Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House to talk about this bill.

I sat on the transport committee while this bill made its way through committee. I know this has been labelled by many as hypocrisy, but the number one thing I want to talk about today is consultation. It is interesting that it was brought up by the last speaker from Edmonton and the minister mentioned it as well.

The minister made a key point that I think will be proven wrong in a court of law. He mentioned it at committee as well. I asked him about the duty to consult. He responded to that question with a long list. He will remember full well the list he provided me. However, when he asked his question just now, he said that he had a meeting or that he met.

That is not consultation. I asked people whom he had on his list when they appeared before committee if they had met with the minister. They said, “Yes, we did.” I asked if they called that consultation. Whether they approved of the ban or opposed the ban, they all snickered because they all know it was not consultation. In fact, a number of the people who were there also said, and members can check the record because it is all recorded, that when they sat down with the minister, they told him that it was not to be considered consultation, that it was just a meeting.

The question constitutional experts, and I am not one, will ask is, “Do you need to consult to impose legislation?” Well, we might find out.

The flip side of this is, let us say another government gets in in another period of time and wants to do away with Bill C-48 and eliminate the tanker ban. Will it need to consult? We may find out the answer to that question as well.

The key point is, and I think we will see this in the court case that is being brought forward, whether the federal government has the right to impede on resource development on lands where it is clearly stated in their nationhood? Will the government have the ability to eliminate any possibility for them to develop resources, to transport resources across the area? Will it be able to tell them whether or not they will be able to develop a deepwater port along the coastline of their land?

I think most constitutional experts would say that as long as it passed all the regulatory requirements of an environmental assessment, etc., they probably should be able to. We will see.

I just wanted to make that point, that from the very beginning of when the minister appeared just down the hallway here on Bill C-48, I asked him the question, and all the way through the process of the bill going through committee, I asked the question. Each and every time, people felt they were not consulted. They had a meeting, but true consultation is not a meeting. We will see on that one. It will be an interesting court case.

I will also mention that there were a few comments that really raised my eyebrows on the reconciliation and rehabilitation between first nations members and government. Again, this is on the record. One of the main objectives of the government was to improve relations with first nations, and they made the comment, “We don't need a trust fund prime minister telling us what to do.” They also looked at this bill as “further colonialism.” We are talking 2017-18. These are their words. These are not my words. These are the words of first nations members.

Eagle Spirit Energy took five years to work on a project where members of first nations could come together to develop resources from Alberta to the coast of B.C. and to do a project. One of their comments, which I also thought was great, was that they were not looking for a handout, that they were looking for a hand up to further the economic ability and the economic development within their own communities to give their people, their children, and their grandchildren an opportunity to have a better life.

These are regular Canadians who just want a chance to develop resources in a safe manner and transport resources in a safe manner. They love their country, they love their environment, and they would not do anything if they ever thought it would have a negative impact on them.

I know hypocrisy has been mentioned before, and probably every speech has mentioned it in one form or another. We are banning tanker traffic in this area, yet we are not banning it in an area south of this area. We are not banning it in an area on the east coast. We are not banning it in an area along the St. Lawrence. It is just one specific area. Oil will be coming in from different countries that certainly have less stringent environmental regulations on the development of resources than we do. This has even been written about by former Liberal members of Parliament as well.

To show members the kind of crisis we are at and the situation we are in, instead of creating a pipeline to transport oil to a port and transporting it from that port on a safe vessel to a market and actually getting a fair price for it, we are now forcing companies like CN Rail and other technology companies to use this product called CanaPux. They are actually adding polymer plastic to oil so they can ship it by rail through the two CN rail lines on the northern coast. They ship these CanaPux on vessels that would normally handle coal. This is what we have been forced to do. Diesel locomotives are travelling thousands of kilometres of rail line up and down interesting terrain just to ship it along the way. As a guy from Ontario, I sometimes question what we are doing in this country.

Another thing I thought troublesome, and I think the minister and department officials would agree, is the schedule. Using the CanaPux example, I asked government officials if CanaPux would be put on the schedule. Well, nobody has an answer, and I am not sure anybody will have an answer. Also, if we get on that schedule, how do we get off the schedule? There are no answers to that. Before any proposed legislation comes into force, I think that needs to be clearly defined and clearly set out. The industry has a right to know.

A constituent of mine mentioned that there is a consortium of clean tech people who have the technology and ability to clean up spills. They have been on a contract to provide cleanup services on the west coast. Their project or their submission to public works was flatly declined in favour of a solvent that was an American technology. I do not think we have anything against America, but when we have a Canadian technology that has been proven to be able to clean up oil spills—not dissolve oil, but actually clean up oil spills—then we have to question exactly what we are trying to accomplish here. I feel fairly safe about what technology can do to deal with vessels exporting oil products to this country, China, and parts in between, but what are we doing?

The final thing I will add is that yes, there is a ban on oil, but there is no ban on diesel fuel. Obviously I am not a scientist and I realize that the two have different properties, but there is no ban on diesel fuel. That is further to the hypocrisy point. I would say that if we had a diesel spill, it would cause a lot of damage to the environment, marine life, and marine plants, yet there is no mention of that in the bill. Each side is making is making their points, and the bill will get passed, but I would like to mention that there will obviously be court challenges and perhaps quite a bit of hypocrisy as well.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 5:30 p.m.
See context


Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my remarks, I would be remiss if I did not mention a great man who has been mentioned many times today in this House, former prime minister Stephen Harper, who is enjoying his 59th birthday today, so I wish Prime Minister Harper a happy birthday.

I rise today to speak to Bill C-48, which aims to ban oil tanker traffic on the northern coastline of British Columbia. This legislation is yet another blatant attack on Canada's energy sector, along with all the high-paying and high-quality jobs that go with it.

The current government can talk about balancing the environment and the economy, but this proposed legislation is not balanced, and it is a direct threat to the viability of Canada's energy sector. This bill not only threatens jobs and the prosperity of Canada but also the solvency of our governments. Furthermore, it fails to respect our commitment to first nations, because the Liberals failed to consult and are discriminating against first nations who support energy development.

This legislation sends a clear message that our country is closing up for business, and industry leaders are listening. Energy giants are already beginning to move their operations to Texas, taking jobs with them. Where will the wealth creation and tax revenues that are needed to finance our transition go? They will go straight south of the border, leaving Canada in a vulnerable position, with few resources, as we seek to embrace change and innovation.

The failure of our energy industry is simply not an option. Although oil prices have doubled over the last two years, governments in Edmonton and Ottawa continue to run substantial deficits. I would like to see the government start trimming these deficits. However, the Liberals cannot seem to kick the habit of spending more than they take in, even with significant tax hikes on small businesses. How is the government ever going to balance the budget while it campaigns actively to phase out the very industry responsible for those revenues? This does not square. Budgets simply do not balance themselves. The government must either raise taxes, cut spending, or, as we propose on this side of the House, grow the economy, not as the Prime Minister suggests, “from the heart outwards”, but by embracing the real opportunities in the energy sector.

The Minister of the Environment recently said in an interview, “Hard things are hard”, and they certainly are. However, the government has made things harder on the families that rely on the energy sector because of its ideological approach to energy development. Take, for example, that the current Liberal Prime Minister ran in the election on a promise to cancel the northern gateway pipeline. He did not run on a promise to review the science or to act in the national interest. No. He made a promise because it was politically expedient to do so. That is the easy thing to do. The problem with taking the easy way out is that someday one has to pay the price, and today, as we watch the dying throes of Canada's last, best hope of getting energy to tidewater, we have only the Liberals to blame. They are now doubling down on their mistakes. They are not content to just cancel northern gateway; they are legislating for future generations to ensure that no pipeline will even be considered for the northwest coast.

Actions have consequences, and those consequences are hard. The families of my constituents know that all too well. The reason for their hardship is that the current Liberal government made rash promises not founded on reason or science but on political calculation. Rather than recognizing that fact, the Liberals are closing their minds and hearts to the hardships of Canadians.

The bill before us today is an attempt to dig up the corpse of northern gateway and put it on trial. It is a declaration to the world that never again will a pipeline be considered to our north. This moratorium is not based on science. It is not even based on the national interest of Canada. It is a political exercise to try to appease those who oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline and who will oppose any energy infrastructure the Liberals' foreign masters will pay them to oppose. When will these Liberals show some backbone, stop caving in to foreign interests and radical activists, and instead stand up for science and stand up for Canadians?

If the Liberal government were to extrapolate its logic and apply it consistently across the country, it would severely hurt our economy. Oil tankers enter Canada daily through the Port of Vancouver, on the east coast, and through the St. Lawrence River without incident. The sad thing is that for the most part, these vessels have circumnavigated the globe to bring Canada energy from other countries, energy that we have ample reserves of ourselves. In ports like Saint John, New Brunswick, millions of tonnes of energy products have been shipped and provide jobs necessary for the prosperity of our eastern provinces. If Bill C-48 passes, the government will be setting a precedent for our entire coastline that will reverberate across our country, killing jobs and opportunities for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Let me talk about the hypocrisy of the Liberal government, a government that stands every day in the House to malign the reputation of former Prime Minister Harper, a man they accuse of not consulting with first nations on energy development. Let us talk about the Lax Kw' alaams first nation and the nine tribes whose traditional territory lies within the zone that this moratorium would apply to. Did the government consult with the Lax Kw' alaams, or does it only negotiate with first nations who oppose energy development?

The nine tribes on the west coast have issued a legal challenge to this moratorium and this legislation. I wonder whether the Liberal government will respect aboriginal sovereignty, and will it fulfill its duty to consult? Evidently, it has not. The Lax Kw' alaams are fighting them in court. They are fighting for their economic future, the future of their children, and the Liberal government is disrespecting them and discriminating against them with this legislation. It is shameful, not only because it is the wrong thing to do, but because it flies in the face of everything the Liberal government claims to believe in.

For those who are reasonably concerned about environmental impact of oil tankers on our coast, let us look at some facts. In 2011, the Conservative government undertook the development and implementation of a world-class tanker safety system. This included modernization of navigation systems, enhanced area response planning, and ensuring that polluters pay for the spills and damages caused by accidents in their operations. As a result of this legislation, on top of Canada's sterling record of environmental safety, there has never been a major oil spill on our west coast.

Now the Liberals are pouring more resources into ocean protection, but for what purpose if they are not allowing development to proceed? Why are we spending taxpayer dollars to the tune of $1.5 billion, if they are going to ban the tankers in the first place? It is another example of the government's absolute incompetence when it comes to responsible development and environmental protection.

In the best-case scenario, even if this legislation only leads to preventing tankers from operating on the northwest coast, it would be an act of supreme unfairness for those communities on the coast. If there is a lack of infrastructure to protect from or mitigate a possible spill, then perhaps some of the Liberal money should be going toward that solution. Surely if this legislation is their solution, then it should be sufficient to protect our northwest coast. If oil tankers are as big a threat as the Liberals claim, why have they not invested in better ocean protection on every coast? Why are they not speaking in Halifax, St. John's, or other Atlantic city on the importance of protecting against oil spills with new funding?

The fact is that they are not. They know full well that there is no clear threat of a catastrophic oil spill. They are merely trying to score political points by shutting down an entire coast from any development, hurting communities like the Lax Kw' alaams in the process. It is a shameful state of affairs when a government chooses to put its own political self-interest ahead of the interests of all Canadians.