Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

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

Sponsor

Marc Garneau  Liberal

Status

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

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Summary

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

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

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

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

Elsewhere

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

Votes

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 8th, 2018 / 5:55 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

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

The House resumed from May 4 consideration of the motion that Bill C-48, an act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast, be read the third time and passed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

May 8th, 2018 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

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

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

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, Bill C-374, An Act to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (composition of the Board), standing in the name of the Member for Cloverdale—Langley City, be deemed read a third time and passed; Bill C-377, An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Châteauguay—Lacolle, standing in the name of the member for Châteauguay—Lacolle, be deemed concurred in at the report stage; that any recorded division requested on the motion for second reading of Bill S-218, An Act respecting Latin American Heritage Month, standing in the name of the member for Thornhill, be deferred to Wednesday, May 23, 2018, immediately before the time provided for Private Members' Business; and that the recorded division on the motion for third reading of Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast, be further deferred until the end of the time provided for Government Orders later this day.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He continues:

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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Liberal

John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 10:30 a.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 5:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

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

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

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

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

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

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

This bill would establish an administration and enforcement regime that includes requirements to provide information and to follow directions, and that provides for penalties of up to a maximum of $5 million. Nowhere else in Canada would there be a ban like this. The government is just trying to throw a wrench into the Canadian energy sector.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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May 3rd, 2018 / 4:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer—Mountain View, AB

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my remarks on Bill C-48, let me add my voice to those who have spoken before about our colleague from Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Gord Brown. Although Gord was a few years younger than me, he became my mentor when I was first elected in 2008. His quiet demeanour, his love for his community, and his respect for this institution, along with his fervent belief as a Conservative that individual rights and freedoms create the strength of our nation, are beliefs that he so passionately championed and ones that this side of the House will continue to champion and hold dear. To his wife Claudine, as well as his two sons, my wife Judy and I offer our sincerest condolences.

I will be sharing my time with the member for Markham—Unionville.

The bill we have before us today is the genesis of the demise of our oil and gas industry under the advisement and dictation of the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Gerald Butts. It has been said that it is not the puppet that we fear; it is Butts, the puppeteer. It is now obvious that both the puppeteer and the puppet are things Canadians need to fear.

This proposal was developed to ensure that the northern gateway project, although properly vetted, with stringent conditions, would be derailed. This was the goal of eco-activists headed and funded by groups whose goal was to cause havoc in Canada's resource industry to curry favour with international donors, who many say are simply hedging their bets with oil and gas investments in other parts of the world. These groups do not care about the well-being of Canadians. They do not care about our first nation entrepreneurs. They do not care about our commitment to humanitarian causes around the world. They just want to see Canada's natural resources stay in the ground so that their global partners can reap the benefits from such actions.

Whenever we hear from those who want to “phase out” the oil sands, including the current Liberal Prime Minister, we need to know that it will be all Canadians who will suffer from these actions. How can it be in the interest of Canadians to have Venezuelan oil power vehicles in Quebec? How is it better for the environment to have Saudi Arabian oil filling up refineries on the east coast? Why would we want American oil to fuel our machines in Vancouver? None of this makes sense.

If we had a government that recognized the need to diversify our export markets so that the most ethical oil and liquid natural gas on the planet could find its way to the rapidly growing markets of Asia, then maybe we would not be the laughingstock of the world. What other country would do this to its own economy and its own people?

As was mentioned in a November 8, 2017, article in the Financial Post, entitled “How the B.C. tanker moratorium is killing First Nations' enterprise”, Canadians have to be awoken to what the current government is doing and what the consequences of its actions are.

Five years ago, members of the Lax Kw'alaams Band proposed an energy corridor from Fort McMurray to the B.C. coast. The social licence, which has now become some imaginary, elusive target, would have been achieved for all types of future expansion, helping all Canadians, especially first nations people. After consultation, and with broad acceptance, Eagle Spirit Energy came to the table with practical solutions that focused on environmental protection that even exceeded Canada's world-class regulations. What happened after was pure sabotage of a nation-building project, a pattern that has become all too familiar under the current Liberal government.

We should have been aware that this was the Liberals' goal all along, as they have been trying to limit the potential expansion of northern gateway since the project was first proposed a decade ago. The previous attempts by the Liberals, when in opposition, proposed banning tankers sailing within the defined waters of Canada's fishing zone 3, which is from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska panhandle. Bill C-48 would expand this original proposal to prohibit tankers carrying crude oil from entering or leaving ports in the same area. In order to avoid a conflict with the U.S.A., tankers can still carry crude up and down the waters, as long as they do not enter or leave from a Canadian port.

Who does this hurt and who does this benefit? We have stopped our private sector partners from moving ahead with first nation partners to move Canada's natural resources to tidewater. That hurts Canadian taxpayers who could have been building schools, building hospitals, and other needed infrastructure across this land with the profits attained, but they now need to depend on deficits to be paid off by future generations in order to develop those same types of projects.

Who benefits? The foreign funders whose investments flourish around the world as those countries market their crude at world prices to the very markets that we are shut out of. What adds insult to injury is, as I mentioned earlier, that we buy oil from those very same countries to fuel our economy in eastern Canada. However, those same activists and complicit provincial governments that want to shut down or oil going west have also thwarted our efforts to move it to the east.

Is that what makes a nation strong or is that what causes division and scorn? The old Trudeau government only cared about the unity of our country as long as he got his way. What is the difference now?

In November of 2014, the Conservative government introduced and implemented a number of measures to create a world class tanker safety system, including the modernization of Canada's navigation system, enhancing area response planning, building marine safety capacity in aboriginal communities, and ensuring that polluters paid for spills and damages.

The concept of Liberals demonizing Conservative actions, layering them over with red paint and calling them new and improved, is nothing new. This was the game played with regulatory reviews for pipelines. The Liberals used this to argue for Kinder Morgan, but now they stay quiet about how safe this would make all our other waterways because that does not fit their narrative.

In summary, Bill C-48 would do very little for the preservation of British Columbia's environment. Ships, including U.S. tankers, travelling from Alaska to Washington State, will continue to be able to travel up and down the coast just outside the 100 kilometre limit. This is just another slap in the face to resource developers, as it is just another pipeline moratorium under a different name.

There is no recognition, because it does not fit the Prime Minister's “keep it in the ground” narrative, that Canadian oil is extracted and transported under some of the safest and most environmentally strict regulations in the world. Preventing our Canadian resources from reaching customers in other countries only serves to encourage the use of foreign oil products that are extracted and transported in a less safe and less environmentally friendly way.

What is ironic is that the political machinations of both the Liberal government and the NDP, which also hold a negative view and constant vendetta against our oil and gas sector, actually defeats their stated goals of “protecting the global environment”. Their efforts not only cripple our economy and communities, they are also helping to fill the coffers of some of the most unethical and ruthless regimes on the planet. It is the Liberals who insist on creating wedges among Canadians.

The Liberals know that on this issue they are losing ground, and now they are desperate to paint any distractions in the most negative manner. One thing is for sure. The Conservatives will always be the party of freedom, opportunity, security, prosperity, and conservation. We will always stand proud of Canada and the millions of Canadians who work hard every day to make it the best country in the world.

Canadians deserve a government that takes pride in what Canada has to offer. Canadians deserve better. They deserve a government that will put them first. In 2019, that is exactly what the Conservatives will offer Canadians.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 4:50 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Vancouver Quadra, hon. the parliamentary secretary. I completely agree about the hazardous area of the Hecate Strait. From the last time I rose, when talking to the parliamentary secretary for transport, I looked up the reference. Environment Canada's marine weather hazards manual lists the Hecate Strait as one of the fourth most dangerous bodies of water in the world.

However, I have to agree with my friend from Courtenay—Alberni. It is hard to understand. I applaud Bill C-48, but our Salish Sea needs protection. We have no known technology for cleaning up diluted bitumen. I know it is not a Bill C-48 issue, but could we not agree that no new pipeline should go through for Kinder Morgan until we know how to clean up dilbit?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 4:25 p.m.
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Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

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.
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NDP

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.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The tanker moratorium is good and necessary public policy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

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

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

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

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calvin said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The West Coast Environmental Law website says:

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

Calvin Helin said:

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

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

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

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

Calvin Helin wrote:

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

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

Calvin Helin went on:

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

Another quote:

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

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

In September 2016 the chiefs' council said:

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

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

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

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

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

Chief Jim Boucher of the Fort McKay First Nation says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:10 p.m.
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Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

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.
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Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

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.
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Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

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.
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Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 1st, 2018 / 6:05 p.m.
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Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

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.
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Conservative

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.
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Conservative

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.
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Conservative

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.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak on Bill C-48 again.

There is a content creator on YouTube who does these great videos called “honest trailers”. He discusses what movies should actually be talking about when they do their trailers. I would like to do the same with Liberal bills, because quite often we hear these grandiose names.

For example, for the budget, I would rename it the “Dude, where is my infrastructure budget?”, because no one seems to know where the infrastructure money went. Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer could not locate $7 billion of it. I do note that of the $7 billion, he was able to find that it was costing Canadian taxpayers $700,000 of spending for every job created.

I also called it the “Honey, I sank the kids” bill, because $100 billion in added debt is going to stick to our children and our grandchildren in the coming years. However, I stuck on a different name, the Vantablack bill. Vantablack is the darkest substance known to man, so I called it that because of the lack of transparency in the budget bill. In fact, it is so lacking in transparency that even a supernova could not bring light to it.

An issue with the budget bill was, for example, that the finance department refused to respond to either us or the Parliamentary Budget Officer about some five-year spending projections. There was vote 40, which the treasury board president has brought forward, which will allow him to spend $7 billion without any oversight from committees, Parliament, or votes once the money has been done. The government that brought us an $8 million hockey rink is going to be given $7 billion without any oversight or transparency.

With Bill C-48 there could be a lot of names, but I am going to call it the “hypocrite bill”. The name “hypocrite bill” could also be applied to a lot of other bills. For example, the government talked big on military spending, but it is not mentioned once in the budget. The Liberals also talk about helping the middle class, yet burdened it with tax hikes and hundreds of billions of dollars of added debt with no mention of how it will ever be paid back.

As well, the government brags about a gender-balanced cabinet, but they give all five junior ministries to women. No government since the Trudeau Senior government has given all five of the junior ministries to women.

The Liberals killed energy east by constantly changing the goalposts and requiring upstream and downstream emission considerations. At the same time, they have given hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to their friends in Bombardier to pay out millions of dollars in bonuses, by the way. Apparently Bombardier jets do not emit emissions. The Liberals have given millions and millions to Ford motor companies because apparently Ford cars now run on pixie dust.

Let us look at the general hypocrisy around Bill C-48. Do not let anyone be fooled. It is not about banning tankers; it is about killing the northern gateway pipeline once and for all and killing Alberta jobs.

The Liberals like to talk a lot about human rights, but they blocked Alberta oil, the cleanest, most ethically produced oil in the world, to bring in oil from some of the worst human rights-abusing countries in the world. We bring in oil from Saudi Arabia, where there are some of the worst oppressions of women and of the LGBTQ community.

The Liberals brought in oil from Nigeria, where the government will murder a person for being gay. Think about that. We are bringing in oil from Nigeria and giving them money. Instead of creating Alberta jobs, we are getting oil from people who murder gays just for expressing who they truly are. We bring in oil from Angola, a country that Human Rights Watch highlights for its heavy government oppression. However, we buy their oil and block Alberta oil.

This is really interesting. Just last week, the Liberal government banned the famous Angolan human rights crusader Rafael Marques from Canada. We have open borders to all those fleeing the tyranny of the U.S., where one million Canadians still live. I hope they are going to flee as well. The Liberals will allow open borders for that, yet an award-winning human rights crusader from Angola is banned by the government. However, we will buy their oil.

The Liberals talk about evidence-based decision-making, so let us look at the facts on tanker safety.

We allow tankers into the Vancouver harbour to pick up oil in Burnaby from Kinder Morgan, where it currently is. We are planning, if Kinder Morgan gets built, to move that up to one freighter a day. That is perfectly fine. The Liberals approved that.

We allow what is called an Aframax tanker to move under the Second Narrows bridge in North Vancouver or Burnaby, where there is a width of 137 metres across the narrows.

The government now also says that a tanker moving through a width of 1,400 metres, through the Douglas Channel from Kitimat to the open seas, is not safe. Not only is the Douglas Channel 10 times the width of underneath the Second Narrows Bridge, but it would be escorted with three pilots for the entire passage. That is something we do not do when bringing in Venezuelan oil, Saudi Arabian oil, or Nigerian oil on the east coast. It is something we currently do not do when we bring in ships through the much narrower passage from North Vancouver to Burnaby.

The TERMPOL document for northern gateway added many other safety measures, such as radar on Gil Island, and more response gear, which we also do not offer for the tankers coming in through North Vancouver or the east coast.

Let us talk about the hypocrisy of the government's empty statement on nothing being more important than the nation-to-nation relationships. We heard in the government operations and estimates committee that no industry does better in Canada than the energy industry in working with indigenous groups, indigenous business, and providing jobs and prosperity to indigenous people of Canada. Who does the very worst on engaging them? It is the Canadian government.

This is what the first nations are saying. Elmer Ghostkeeper of the Buffalo Lake Métis said that they and other first nations are disappointed by the political decision, not the evidence-based decision, but the political decision, made without their input. Mr. Ghostkeeper said that 30 bands were looking forward to the shared prosperity that northern gateway would bring, with $2 billion in set asides.

Again, let us remember. It is Suncor, Syncrude, Enbridge. These are all the companies that were named in the government operations and estimates committee as companies that do the very best of any industry in providing prosperity, jobs and opportunities for first nations, and we are throwing it aside.

Chief Derrick of the Gitxsan first nations said that the Prime Minister did not even want to hear from supportive bands.

The government will consult with every U.S.-financed radical environmentalist group on pipelines in the industry. It will even take taxpayers' money to give to these radical environmentalist groups, saying, “Here, take some taxpayers' money from Alberta, from all across Canada, and go out and work against the Canadian interest.” It is working against what the government has said is in the national interest. Will the government listen and consult with first nations? No, of course not.

I want to talk about some of the safety issues. B.C. coast pilots are some of the very best pilots in the entire world. They have a safety standard for shipping off of B.C. that far exceeds what we do on the east coast. I want to talk about their record.

Since 2007, the very worst year for incidents has been a 99.94% success rate. There was not a single issue of an oil spill from tankers since Kinder Morgan was built 63 years ago. Not one. On regular shipping, the very worst year was 99.94%. In 2017, it was 99.97%. They have gone above and beyond, as I mentioned.

With the portable pilotage units they put on their ships in case their ships piloting or GPS goes down, they can control it as well. They spend $600,000 a year in training for the pilots. As I mentioned, they have a perfect record for moving liquid bulk vessels of over 40,000 dead weight. These are the experts.

They did a computer program when northern gateway was being considered. The experts said that moving ships down, even without pilots, would be perfectly safe. However, the plan was to include three pilots. Here we have the experts saying it is perfectly safe without all the added measures, and they have offered to put on these additional measures to make them extra safe. The government shot it down.

Bill C-48 is not about coastal safety. If it were, the government would shut down the east coast and Vancouver as well. This bill is all about killing Alberta jobs, and about killing once and for all the northern gateway pipeline.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 4:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by saying a few things about pipelines in French. There are francophones in Alberta, and pipelines are an important issue for the entire country.

An American journalist by the name of Michael Kinsley once said that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. That is an interesting thought. It might be rephrased a little to say that a gaffe is when politicians say what they actually think. When we look at some of the comments that have been made by ministers and by the Prime Minister about the energy sector or various other issues, these one-off comments are often dismissed as gaffes or mistakes. We are told not to worry, that the tweet was deleted and the minister provided clarification.

However, when we start to see a pattern when comments are made, it is worth reflecting on this Kinsley quote. These are gaffes in the sense that these are cases when people are actually letting the curtain slip and are showing what their real agenda is with respect to our energy sector. For example, in 2012, the Minister of Democratic Institutions tweeted that it was time to “landlock” Alberta's tar sands. That is pretty offensive language, but it came from an MP who is now a minister in this government. The minister once said that she wanted to landlock Alberta's oil sands. Clarifications were provided and the tweet was deleted, but that person is now sitting in cabinet, and it makes people wonder what her views are with respect to Alberta's energy sector. Actually, we do not really need to wonder, because she has already told us what her views are in that regard.

More recently, the Prime Minister stated that the time had come to phase out Canada's oil sands. He has also said that Canada was not doing well with people from my part of the country in key management positions.

Such remarks, which are very disparaging towards Alberta, also indicate opposition to energy development and the desire to landlock our energy resources, and are sometimes deemed blunders or gaffes. I think they are truly revealing. They are gaffes in the sense that sometimes the Prime Minister and cabinet members let a comment slip and say what they are really thinking.

We have a government here that is attacking our energy sector, and people in my constituency and across the country realize that. The government has all these fancy talking points to try to hide what it is doing. The Liberals will say in one part of the country with one kind of audience how they are stopping energy development. These things will come out about what the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet really think. On a different day, the Liberals will say that they are getting the pipelines built and that the previous government did not build pipelines.

Let us correct the record on that. I am very proud of the record of the previous government when it comes to delivering for the energy sector. Not only did we say no to a carbon tax and not only did we approve the northern gateway pipeline, but it was under the Conservatives that four pipelines were built in this country: the TransCanada Keystone pipeline, Enbridge's Alberta Clipper, the Kinder Morgan Anchor Loop pipeline, and Enbridge's Line 9 reversal. Every single pipeline project to tidewater that was proposed under the Conservative government was in fact approved. For the minister to say that more could have been built, well it beggars the imagination how Conservatives could have approved pipeline projects which at that time had not even been proposed, but we put through a rigorous process and we approved pipeline projects that were proposed. We built projects. We approved the northern gateway.

We got it done, and we established an environment in which people wanted to build and invest. They saw Alberta and Canada as a place with the kind of taxation and regulatory environment that made it a good place to invest and create jobs. That is why we had the best economic record, the lowest unemployment, and the best fiscal performance in the G7 under Stephen Harper.

Since members across the way want to talk about the record of Stephen Harper, on all of these fronts, support for the energy sector and strong fiscal management, that is a record very much worth defending. We can line that up against the terrible performance of this government running massive deficits during good years, rather than using fiscal stimulus only during economic downturns.

The Liberals want to run deficits all the time, whereas Conservatives take a balanced approach. We believe in balanced budgets over the medium and long term. We believe in establishing the conditions that allow all sectors of the economy to succeed, including the energy sector, the auto sector, and the forestry sector, not pitting them against each other, but rather to survive, thrive, and excel together, recognizing their interdependence. The steel industry benefits from the energy sector because pipelines have to be built. Indeed, there are other parts of the country outside of Alberta that benefit. I know there is a plant in our leader's riding, but there are other regions of the country, as well, that benefit from the steel industry that serves the pipeline industry.

We see with the government an attack on the energy sector. What has it done when it comes to pipelines? With northern gateway and what we are talking about today, the Liberals killed the northern gateway pipeline. They are proposing today Bill C-48, an arbitrary bill that says we cannot export from northern B.C., from this established exclusion zone.

Let us dig into this a little. They say that we cannot export Canadian oil from this exclusion zone, yet we have Alaskan tankers taking oil as close as they can come to the coast, outside the designated area, but quite close in principle. Canada cannot benefit from that economic activity. We cannot export, but the same activity and potential theoretical vulnerability is very much still there. We have tankers coming into the St. Lawrence Seaway and on the east coast that are bringing foreign oil into Canada for import, yet we cannot get the energy east pipeline built because the government has introduced regulatory hurdles that make it difficult for the project to proceed. It killed the energy east pipeline indirectly. It has killed the northern gateway project quite directly.

However, the Liberals cannot explain why it is somehow okay for tankers to import foreign oil into Canada and not okay for Canadian oil to be exported by tankers from Canada. They cannot explain why there is some environmental risk that is unique to Canadian oil being exported that does not apply in the case of oil from other countries being carried very close to international waters. They need to answer that question in order to justify putting forward this bill.

They say they are in favour of the Trans Mountain pipeline. They have no plan to build it, but they say they are in favour of it. In the opposition, between the Conservatives and New Democrats, we have a different view on virtually every pipeline question, but one area where we agree is that the government is making strange unjustified distinctions. It claims to be in favour of the Trans Mountain pipeline and is doing nothing to build it, yet it is completely opposed to the northern gateway pipeline.

Obviously, if we tell people that pipelines are dangerous, then there will be people in the Lower Mainland who are going to ask why the government is pursuing one policy in northern B.C. and a completely different policy on the Lower Mainland.

We are clear in the opposition about the strong safety record of pipelines. We are clear about the benefit of Canada being an energy superpower, which means we seek to create jobs here in Canada by promoting the development and export of Canadian energy resources, by taking advantage of those export opportunities, because other countries are not going to wait for us.

There are countries in Asia, for example, Japan, which imports most of its energy resources. Canada could benefit from a stronger relationship with Japan by selling our energy resources to Japan. Right now most of its energy resources come from the Middle East through the South China Sea. There is a big opportunity for Canada to get in the game through helping Japan with its energy security and building a better partnership. I just use that as one example.

Canada should be getting in the game and it should be growing economically. We need to end this Liberal attack on Canada's energy sector. We are proud to oppose this bill.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 4:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am astounded by the member's comments, and not by the volume and number of words he speaks, because he is famous for that. I talked about how the Prime Minister has provided zero consultation with respect to his unilateral decision on northern gateway, zero consultation when he signed away Inuit rights to self-determination on 17% of their lands. The member comes back to me and suggests that their consultation was the election. I guess that is what he is saying.

I would bet that the Liberals have not consulted on Bill C-48 with the 31 first nations impacted by the northern gateway decision, but the member seems to think the election writ period qualifies as consultation with our first nations. I would suggest that is not meaningful. I would suggest that falls short of Supreme Court decisions.

The second apology I would like to hear in the House is from that member for that suggestion.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 4:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his remarks, particularly for his great overview of the history of safe tanker traffic off Canada's Pacific coast. We hear a lot of rhetoric and clearly a lot of confusion from some members on regular marine accidents, where a vessel might spill some of its diesel or its own petroleum products. That is very much different from an oil tanker, which is designed to transport diluted bitumen or a range of petroleum products.

There have been no accidents on the Pacific coast. Multiple governments, of both Liberal and Conservative stripes, have continued, over the last few decades, to modernize marine navigation and regulatory regimes and safeguards. I think that unblemished record will not only continue but has been enhanced by Canada's world-class regime.

My remarks on Bill C-48 are going to touch on two things. When Canadians go to the polls in 2019, they are going to assess the Prime Minister. Before, they just knew him as the celebrity son of a previous prime minister. He had no record, no record in the private sector, no record in the non-profit sector, no record in academia, and no record, really, of any note from his days as a member of Parliament in this place. Therefore, he ran and won on a celebrity record.

Now they are going to judge him on his performance, whether it is broken promises on the deficit, whether it is hundreds of billions of dollars of investment fleeing Canada, or whether it is our competitiveness, which literally every bank and economic forecaster in recent months has said is at real risk with changes in the U.S., with Canada increasing taxes and the U.S. lowering taxes. They are going to judge him on his record.

Nowhere is the current Prime Minister's record worse than on first nation issues. There is some laughter coming from the Liberal benches. The Prime Minister has a tattoo of the Haida Nation on his shoulders. However, I cannot say one thing he has done for that nation or any other nation. The missing and murdered indigenous inquiry has been a disaster from start to finish. There has been no clarity for the families that were promised certainty. There have been departures, with people leaving. They are now asking for twice as much time and twice as much budget. The Prime Minister promised healing and to drive us toward reconciliation. However, he has not done that.

One might ask why I am speaking about this when it comes to the tanker moratorium and Bill C-48. I will quote a chief from the Buffalo Lake Métis, Elmer Ghostkeeper, who, when the Prime Minister unilaterally, and not following science or regulatory approvals, cancelled the northern gateway pipeline, and this moratorium bill is essentially a way of blocking that from ever coming back, said, “Equity was offered to aboriginal communities, and with the change in government that was all taken away.”

Another leader from that area, from the Gitxsan Nation, Elmer Derrick, said, “The fact that the Prime Minister chose not to consult with people in northwestern [British Columbia] disappointed us very much”. In fact, 31 bands across that route were going to be 30% equity holders in that line with Enbridge. Unilaterally, the Prime Minister of Canada took away that economic opportunity that could have eliminated poverty in many of those communities within a generation.

It is sad that the Liberals are heckling, in light of some of the language coming from first nation leaders. That would not suggest a reconciliatory attitude from those members.

This is a pattern that started back in 2016 with the Prime Minister. In fact, on his first state visit to Washington, he signed on to an accord with the United States and with President Obama that put a ban on development of 17% of Canada's Arctic land mass and on 10% of Arctic waters. How much consultation was done in conjunction with that? It was zero.

Days after, the Premier of the Northwest Territories confirmed his disappointment that there was no consultation, that the first nations and Inuit of the area were not consulted. Who was trotted out by the Prime Minister's office? It was the president of the WWF Canada, David Miller, the former mayor of Toronto. That seemed to be the only organization in on this ban on our Inuit development opportunities in the north. I would note that a year earlier, the president of that organization was Mr. Butts, who was a principal adviser to the Prime Minister.

There was zero consultation with Inuit and first nations leaders in our Arctic and in northwest British Columbia but lots of consultation with insiders and, I would say, groups on the left. Why is that important? It is because now we see the Prime Minister's record on economic development coming home to roost. He unilaterally cut the northern gateway project. He killed energy east through changes to regulation. Now Trans Mountain is on the precipice.

Today marks one month remaining until Kinder Morgan may be withdrawing its capital investment, having watched two and a half years of the Liberal government over-regulating, over-taxing, and becoming less competitive and with uncertainty on whether it can even get a twinning of its existing line completed.

What is going to happen now with Bill C-48? If Trans Mountain fails, and the government is doing its best, even funding protestors through Canada summer jobs, to make that happen, this bill will preclude 31 first nations from actually coming up with an alternative to northern gateway through some of their traditional territories.

The Prime Minister is a master at rhetoric, but he is a disaster at delivery. He talks about consultation and reconciliation and does none of it. I stress that 17% of the land mass in the Arctic was struck away without a phone call. That not only violates the spirit of reconciliation, following what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission outlined, but violates Canadian law and case law on the duty to consult, going from the Sparrow decision to the Delgamuukw decision right through to last year's recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada on the Clyde River matter and the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.

Consultation has to be meaningful to those affected, particularly when it is about the adverse impact of a decision. That is what the duty to consult, in Canadian law, with our first nations means. The Prime Minister has failed at every juncture on that duty. He did not consult Chief Derrick, Dale Swampy, or Elmer Ghostkeeper when he unilaterally took away an opportunity for 31 first nation communities to provide opportunities for their people. Where was the consultation?

Where was the consultation with our first nation, Inuit, and territorial leaders when, with the stroke of a pen in Washington, he struck away the opportunity for them to provide and make decisions on their own territory? Now, with Bill C-48, and with Kinder Morgan teetering on the brink, he is going to block yet another opportunity for Canadians and first nations to chart their own destiny.

As I said earlier, apart from the tattoo, I have not seen much commitment from the Prime Minister. In fact, his lack of consultation is insulting. I worked on these issues before becoming a parliamentarian. I was not a bouncer. I was not doing drama. I was working with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business on trying to provide opportunities by working with the resource industry. I have been blown away by some tremendous first nation leaders from across the country who are providing an opportunity for a new story for their people.

We have a Prime Minister who has killed northern gateway and energy east, and Trans Mountain is on the brink. I call him the serial pipeline killer. Not only do we have that happening to getting our resources to tidewater on our west coast, but the government is now going to block the opportunity for a new option with this moratorium, ignoring the fact that there has already been a voluntary 100-kilometre exclusion zone between Washington State and Alaska since 1985.

Once again, a government that talks a lot about reconciliation and building trust does not even have the courtesy to talk to the first nation communities that are going to be horribly impacted by their decisions.

The next apology I hear in the House of Commons I would like to come from the Prime Minister on his terrible decisions with respect to our first nations.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have been looking forward to the opportunity to engage in this debate.

I am going to frame this discussion in terms of Canada's competitiveness and our future, what our future will look like for the coming generations if we continue to go along the path of sending terrible signals to the global investment community. My comments will actually focus on how Bill C-48 is poorly thought out and really does not reflect the reality of Canada's resource economy.

I am a proud Canadian, but I am also a very proud British Columbian. Unlike many of my colleagues in this House, I have had the chance to hike many of the different remote wilderness areas of British Columbia. I have had the chance to hike the Chilkoot Trail, where one hikes out of the coastal rainforest in Alaska into the drier interior area of British Columbia and follow the trail the early gold miners took to the Yukon gold fields. I have had a chance to hike the Bowron Lakes. In fact, we canoed the Bowron Lakes, 12 lakes connected with portages, where one is almost guaranteed to see moose and bear along the way. I have had a chance to climb the Rockwall and Skyline trails in the Rocky Mountains. I have had a chance to hike in the Cathedral Lakes area outside of Keremeos, British Columbia. Also, in the northeast corner of British Columbia, there is the Muskwa watershed, Gathto Creek, and Pine River. British Columbia is an awesomely beautiful province, a place we as Canadians can be very proud of. It is a legacy that has been left to us.

Anything that would threaten our coastal areas, any threat to the marine life in our oceans, is something I take very seriously. We know oil tankers have been plying our coastal waters for many, many years. Over those years, how many crude oil spills have actually happened in British Columbia waters? Does anybody want to guess? Zero. There have been zero crude oil spills as far back as we want to go. Why? Because we have superior pilotage, and we have tankers today that are double-hulled as opposed to single-hulled to make sure if they strike something, that object does not penetrate the hull. We now have a world-class marine oil spill response, and we love the government for doing that. That is good. We want to protect our coastal areas.

What we do not want to do is undermine Canada's prosperity as we do this, so we have to be careful how we implement policy. We have to ask ourselves what the Prime Minister's motive is behind imposing a moratorium on tanker traffic off our west coast. By imposing a moratorium, we are preventing Canada from getting its oil and gas products to foreign markets where they fetch the best price. What is the motive? Well, we could just follow the Prime Minister around the world on his global travels from costume to costume, leader to leader. Guess what? We found him in France, where he thought he was safe and he started badmouthing Canada's resource sector. More specifically, he badmouthed Canada's oil sands and lamented the fact that he had not been able to phase out the oil sands by now.

There is the hidden agenda. We have a Liberal government that wants to phase out our oil industry. It wants to put all kinds of impediments in the way of our resource sector to make sure Canadians do not get the maximum dollar that they should for their products.

The Prime Minister goes so far as to pretend he is one thing in British Columbia, where of course he is the champion of the environment whenever he visits, but when he travels to Alberta of course he suddenly becomes the champion of the energy sector.

In fact, what he did in Alberta was to say, “If you impose a massive carbon price on your residents, you'll be able to get the social licence to get the Trans Mountain pipeline built.” What happened? Alberta followed suit. It trusted the Prime Minister, which is something I think Canadians are now very wary of. Premier Notley trusted the Prime Minister when he said, “Hey, a carbon tax and you'll get your pipeline to tidewater”. Well, do we have a pipeline to tidewater? Today we have protesters, no leadership from the Prime Minister, and court challenges. What happened to the social licence? It is bogus.

Along the way, this moratorium on tanker traffic off our Pacific coast is just one more nail in the coffin of completely undermining Canada's competitiveness within the global marketplace. Every day that goes by, Canada becomes less and less competitive, especially vis-à-vis our partner to the south, the United States. I will mention a few things that this government has already done. If imposed, a moratorium on offshore drilling in the north undermines prosperity, because we leave resources in the ground that could have fetched good dollars, but we leave them there.

On the massive carbon tax that Canadians are now being expected pay, members can imagine how that undermines our competitiveness as we layer tax upon tax. Foreign investors wonder why they would invest in Canada and not go to the United States where the corporate tax rate was dropped from 35% to 21% and it got rid of all the red tape. The Liberal government funds a Canada summer jobs grant to an organization that is actually organizing and protesting against the Trans Mountain pipeline. The Prime Minister publicly says that it is going to build, but then gives cash to oppose it. That is our Liberal government.

Then, of course, there is Bill C-69, the new regulations that the Prime Minister would impose on resource projects. The bill would add more discretionary powers to the minister to extend and suspend timelines. There would be longer time frames. There would be new criteria added, including upstream and downstream impacts. This is how crazy it gets. The government would impose criteria, conditions, upon our own oil and gas producers that we do not impose on those who ship gas from foreign jurisdictions like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, and Venezuela. The oil that comes from those countries into Canada right now does not have to comply with any of those criteria, but our own homegrown producers of that product, which is the cleanest in the world, and is subject to the toughest conditions in the world, have to comply with those criteria. We wonder why we have lost 100,000 jobs in our economy. It is because of policies like that. Over 87 billion dollars' worth of capital has fled Canada because of the poorly thought out policies of the Liberal government.

As Conservatives, and the word “conservative” implies conservation, we believe that the highest environmental standards have to be complied with. When we extract our resources in Canada, whether it is mining, oil, or gas, Canadians expect that it be done to the highest environmental standards. Canadians also understand that those resources that lie in the ground represent huge opportunities for economic growth in our country, for jobs, for long-term prosperity, and for funding the programs that governments want to provide to Canadians. It is absolutely critical that moratoria, like the one the Prime Minister is trying to impose on our west coast, not proceed, because at the end of the day, Canadians will pay a very significant price for that. Quite frankly, if in fact the Prime Minister cannot get the job done, he should step aside and let the adults take over. Let someone else take over, someone who really understands the economy, someone who understands the environment, and the appropriate balance between the two.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, which would ban oil tanker traffic on the north coast of British Columbia.

I want to start by saying that this is a very poor name for this bill. It would be better labelled the “let's destroy Canada's opportunity for economic growth and prosperity, including for indigenous people” act, because that is exactly what this bill is going to do.

The government likes to talk about how the economy and the environment go hand in hand, and the importance of its relationship with indigenous peoples. I would like to illustrate how this bill is in fact a triple fail. It would actually hurt the economy; it would do nothing in terms of supporting the environment; and certainly many indigenous communities are very concerned.

Undeniably, the government's approach is incoherent and illogical. It is the furthest it could be from fact-based decision-making. Bill C-48 is one part of a bigger puzzle, in terms of the very incoherent approach the government is taking.

It is more rooted in government ideology. All we have to do is look at what the Prime Minister said last week in France, that he was sorry he could not phase out the oil sands more quickly. The Liberals, ideologically, want the oil sands phased out. All other pieces of legislation, whether related to pipelines or tankers, go back to their desire to take away the prosperity from our oil sands.

Venezuelan oil in Quebec is okay. Saudi Arabian oil on the east coast is okay. Canadian oil in Vancouver is okay, but it is not okay in northern British Columbia.

The Liberal government just released, on April 26, “Our Response to British Columbia’s Policy Intentions Paper for Engagement: Activities Related to Spill Management”. The government is telling British Columbians how it will be able to protect British Columbia, which I actually agree it can do through its marine protection plans.

This is a 62-page document. In talking about how the government is going to protect British Columbia, just a little further down the coast, I think the question we need to ask ourselves is, if it can protect a little further down the coast, what is wrong with a little further up the coast? I think the same principles would apply.

Again, it is a 62-page document put out by the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Environment, and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. I am going to read some quotes.

Canada's actions have demonstrated our commitment to the highest environmental standards and strong Indigenous partnerships, while ensuring vital infrastructure for the Canadian economy moves ahead.

Our submission outlines the comprehensive scope of federal spill prevention and response activities to protect our oceans....

Then it talks about the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan.

Building on the existing safeguards, we are developing a marine safety system that rivals any in the world. The system draws on over thirty years of scientific research in spill prevention and response—including specific measures to ensure the safe transport of diluted bitumen.

Canadians can be assured that our coastline will benefit from a world-class marine safety system thanks to the implementation of the Oceans Protection Plan.

Then it talks about the science and the research.

If the government is confident that this could be done in Vancouver, then it could absolutely be similarly confident that the same protections could have been put in place, and it did not actually have to go forward with the tanker ban. That is one area of incoherence.

An article in the Calgary Herald looks at some statistics. These are really important statistics, from Statistics Canada's “Monthly Merchandise Trade Report—February 2018”, which tracks Canada’s international balance of trade.

The article states:

Hidden within those summary numbers was the revelation that imports of energy products into Canada advanced by a material 15.4 per cent to $3.4 billion, the highest level since November 2014, with the largest share of those imports originating from the U.S.

The importation of crude oil and bitumen advanced 15.4 per cent, with imported refined petroleum products up by 24.1 per cent, the latter due largely to increased imports of gasoline into British Columbia....

A recent study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute, using 2016 data, indicates that substituting Canadian oil wherever possible using space on existing pipelines, railcars and ocean tankers, could reduce foreign oil imports into Eastern Canada by a whopping 47 per cent.

Whether it is the energy east pipeline, because of the resistance in Quebec, or the northern gateway project, we are destroying not only Canada's ability to get the price it should be getting on the world market, but our internal domestic capacity. We have lots of imports, and we are cutting off our opportunities at the same time.

While a precarious B.C. government opposes oil pipelines, the Trudeau government’s avowed transition away from fossil fuels appears perversely to be directed solely at penalizing Canadian producers.

What is this? We are having more coming in from the United States; we are having more coming down the St. Lawrence seaway from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia; and we are not willing to let our own workers benefit, who produce in some of the most environmentally sensitive ways.

It goes on to state:

Canada is over-regulating domestic producers with misdirected policies that allow foreign petroleum imports—unimpeded by Canadian environmental laws, so-called social license, greenhouse gas reduction strategies and associated taxes....

The final point I want to make before I conclude is about our indigenous communities. The Liberals talk about the importance to consult, but they did not consult. They plunked down a moratorium with very limited discussion with the first nations that would be most impacted by these decisions.

This is one of the chiefs, on the day of the moratorium: “'I am just administering poverty,' despite sitting on some of the world’s richest oil and gas deposits, he said. 'I want the ability to share the wealth that has been taken out of our territories for the last one hundred years.'”

Another article stated:

“The reality is it is the only way forward. There's nothing else," [said] Calvin Helin, an executive with the Eagle Spirit Energy....

Helin said there are few economic alternatives for many rural and remote Indigenous communities where there are unemployment rates in excess of 90 per cent.

“Ordinary First Nations people want the same opportunities every other Canadian aspires to.”

Ellis Ross stated:

We were right on the cusp of First Nations in my region being able to look after themselves.

We were just starting to turn the tide on that opposition to everything. For the first time, since white contact, we were ready to take our place in B.C. and Canada. Instead, B.C. is not going to exist pretty soon in terms of investment. That is how worried I am.

We have a moratorium that is actually just shifting carbon pricing. We are getting more in from the States. If we can protect our coast in Vancouver, we can certainly protect the north with some of our best class pilotage in the world. This is an arbitrary political decision made by the government, which would certainly hurt not only indigenous communities but Canadians across this country.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-48.

While it is a proposed act that deals with the prohibition of oil tankers on the British Columbian coast, let us be honest and just call it what it is: part 3 of the Liberal government's plan to phase out the oil industry.

Let us recap. Part 1 is the carbon tax, which is just basically taxing investment and new jobs out of existence. Part 2 is to slowly kill off any pipeline to get product to tidewater. This part has been well under way since 2015. In fact, killing the oil and gas industry has been one of the few things that the government has achieved that will placate its militant left in British Columbia for votes in the next election, as my colleague just mentioned.

The Prime Minister said that he misspoke when he said that he wanted to phase out the oil sands, but we know this is just simply a mistruth. We can see it from his actions and the actions of his government. His environment minister is prepared to unilaterally impose a carbon tax and dismisses those opposed to this job-killing tax grab as climate change deniers. She has even committed to battling in court any province that tries to block the carbon tax, but on pipelines her answer is to please not take it to court. Her strategy is to ask those committed to the destruction of the oil industry to allow for a pipeline in exchange for a carbon tax.

There is no commitment to fight for the oil and gas industry, and one could say that the government is simply calling on paid protesters and saying “Well, I guess we'll allow that to occur.” No one is actually calling those paid protesters “job deniers”. As for the NRCan minister, who should be a champion of the natural resource industry here in Canada, he is actually just AWOL.

Here is the reality. The Liberals are beholden to an anti-oil activist group to keep their seats in the Lower Mainland and their hopes of picking up additional seats in Vancouver Island.

To those in the oil industry in my hometown of Fort McMurray who have lost their jobs due to the ineffectiveness of the Prime Minister on the energy file, the Liberals offer yet another slap in the fact to them. In Fort McMurray and across Alberta, we have people losing their homes. We have people committing suicide. We have an economic crisis happening, and the government could not care less. The Liberals would rather appease protesters and others who would kill jobs than stand up for those who actually want to go to work. Perhaps the oil workers left unemployed by the government's lack of leadership could find a summer job as an anti-pipeline protester now, since those jobs are available.

While the Prime Minister is happily jetting around the world for photo ops, his labour minister happily approved a grant to an anti-oil NGO to hire students to “stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project”.

It pays only $15 an hour for a summer student and so will not necessarily pay for someone's mortgage or their home. As a former labour minister myself, I can say that it is a problem overall that we are against well-paying, great jobs, the type of jobs that Canadians need and should be receiving, while we are creating temporary jobs for individuals who want to kill an industry that is doing outstanding work for Canadians.

The Prime Minister refuses to use federal power to have a pipeline, built but he is happy to use them to impose a carbon tax. This country has not seen anything like this, and with so much division on the issue, since his father was prime minister.

Regarding, as I said, part 3 of his plan, the tanker moratorium, I will offer some suggestions on what can be done to help ensure we get our product to tidewater, and once at tidewater, to market.

First, increase the penalties for those engaging in acts of violence or vandalism designed to disrupt natural resource development. Second, ensure that those who provide support for the aforementioned resource disruption that disrupts the natural resource industry are actually charged. Third, classify environmental lobbying as a political activity to ensure transparency in their funding. This would prevent the Liberals from funding organizations that are acting in direct opposition to the scientifically reviewed, approved, and legal activity. It might stop the Minister of Labour from approving temporary jobs for summer students who want to protest against these projects and shut them down.

If the Liberals are really serious about getting oil to market, then they would pull this bill today. They would institute tough penalties, take real action to ensure that pipelines get built, and support getting the product to market once it arrives at tidewater.

However, they are not. The Prime Minister will talk about building Kinder Morgan while he funds opposition groups fighting against it. He will ban oil tankers from carrying that product to market, and he will impose a carbon tax on everything.

The Liberals' three-point plan to phase out the oil industry is well under way. In my opinion, 2019 cannot come soon enough, when we will form a new Conservative government, fix this mess, and allow Albertans, like my family and our family friends, to get back to working hard at their jobs, which they deserve.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 3:30 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise to speak to Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. A north coast tanker ban has been a legislative priority of the NDP for many years, and we welcome the fact that the Liberals are finally taking action on this issue.

The bill calls for a ban on tanker traffic carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil on the northwest coast of Canada. It makes exceptions for refined oil products, like diesel and gasoline, in order for coastal communities to be resupplied. Therefore, right off the top, the bill does nothing to prevent refined oil spills, like the Nathan E. Stewart disaster, from threatening our coast.

We are concerned that Bill C-48 also gives the minister broad arbitrary powers to exempt vessels from the ban, and define what fuels are covered by the act. We hope the government will implement constructive amendments to limit ministerial power and increase spill response resources.

I have had the good fortune and privilege of travelling to and working on the north coast of B.C. numerous times. I have been on that wild coast going around the eelgrass beds of Flora Bank when I was working on the environmental assessment for the Ridley Island terminals. I have worked on charter sailboat natural history cruises around the coast of Moresby Island, acting as a natural history resource person. For a young guy from the desert grasslands of the Okanagan Valley, those were really life-changing experiences.

It is truly a wild coast. I remember one ferry trip to Haida Gwaii across Hecate Strait. The ferry was taking green water on the third deck, the restaurant deck. Sand was coming up from the bottom of Hecate Strait, in the middle of the strait, on to the boat's decks. Large semi-trailer trucks were being tossed around on the vehicle decks. A lot of damage was happening. It was quite an experience. I have really experienced the wild and crazy weather that can beset shipping traffic there.

Not only is it a wild coast, it is really a rich coast. We heard a lot about the fish resource, especially salmon, from my colleague, the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam. For millennia, first nation cultures have relied on this diversity, this richness, and the local economy today continues to rely heavily on fisheries and tourism. I want to talk about the rich natural heritage of that coast.

The northern B.C. coast is one of the richest in the world. There are great rivers, like the Stikine and the Skeena, that carry nutrients from the interior to the coast, where they mix in rich estuaries with marine waters. Currents, like the Alaska current, bring up more nutrients to the surface from the bottom sediments of the continental shelf. The cold waters of the Alaska current hold high concentrations of oxygen. The result is a natural diversity that is truly unbelievable. It is truly amazing. This topic may never have been brought up in this chamber before, but British Columbia and the British Columbia coast have the highest diversity of sea stars, starfish, as many of us call them, in the world. Members may not have known that. When one is kayaking along the coast of Haida Gwaii in Burnaby Narrows, one can see leather stars, bat stars, sunflower stars, and many more. It is incredible. That is just one example of that diversity.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have marine mammals, whales, dolphins, porpoises, fur seals, sea lions, seals, and sea otters, the mammal that brought Europeans to the British Columbia coast and really fuelled the European exploration of the coast and the first contacts with first nations people because of their fine fur, fine fur that cannot withstand a drop of oil or the animal will die, because those animals require their fur to be in pristine condition.

For many years, the whales were harvested in great numbers off the coast. Their numbers declined almost to extirpation and extinction. However, there have been some good-news stories. The humpback whales and the grey whales have now recovered in a dramatic fashion, and we can now see hundreds or thousands of them over a season along the coast.

Off the west coast of Haida Gwaii down to Cape St. James and other places, the land drops precipitously off into the waters. There is very little continental shelf, and sperm whales come close to the shore. If people are down to Cape St. James and they look up at the big cliffs that go straight into the water, they see thousands and thousands of seabirds, thousands of common murres and puffins. British Columbia has three species of puffins, and the Atlantic coast only one. I am looking for some Atlantic MPs, who only have one species on the Atlantic side, but there are three on the Pacific coast. They are all there in British Columbia.

There is another little relative of the puffin called the ancient murrelet. I am going to go into birds and I hope people will find it educational. Half of the world's population of the ancient murrelet, about half a million birds, breeds on Haida Gwaii. This is a little seabird that eats crustaceans in the water, such as shrimp. They nest in burrows in the forest and the young go off into the ocean when they are just tiny little downy things. Again, they are very susceptible to any pollution.

At the north end of Vancouver Island, which is the south end of the area that this bill covers, is Triangle Island. Triangle Island has another species of seabird breeding on it in immense numbers, the Cassin's auklet. There are about a million pairs of Cassin's auklets that nest there. Again, these birds are indicators of the richness of what is in the water, and we have to protect them. There are albatrosses that come from Hawaii to feed on the B.C. coast and then go back to Hawaii to feed their young.

I would like to switch gears now and talk about the history of this oil tanker moratorium. In the late 1960s there was actually oil drilling off the B.C. coast, but in 1969 there was a big blowout at Santa Barbara that sent shockwaves through the industry, and drilling was stopped. Facing that threat and the new shipments of oil coming south from Alaska, in 1972 the federal government instituted a moratorium on oil tankers off the northern B.C. coast, but it was never put into law. This is the first attempt to do that.

Plans for drilling rose to the surface again in the 1980s, but two incidents put an end to those plans. One was the Nestucca barge, which collided with its own tug off the coast of Washington just before Christmas in 1988 and spilled about a million litres of bunker C. That oil from the central Washington coast spread north and covered the entire west coast of Vancouver Island all the way down into Oregon, about 1,000 kilometres of coast. The Nestucca spilled less than one-tenth of the amount of the limit that we are talking about here today in this bill.

Not many people have heard of the Nestucca, because three months later the Exxon Valdez went down in southeastern Alaska, spilling 40 million litres of oil. That disaster killed 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 seals, and 250 eagles. The Alaska coast has never been the same.

We can see, therefore, why many British Columbians are concerned about repeated plans for bulk oil transport along the B.C. coast. The tourism industry there is worth more than $780 million a year and creates more than 40,000 jobs. Fishery is also key for the local economy, with $100 million input into the economy from that industry. There are 2,500 people working in the fishery and more in processing. Therefore, I am happy to support Bill C-48. It would put into law a policy that has been in place for almost half a century. The NDP has supported the moratorium through those years.

As I mentioned before, we are concerned about several aspects of the legislation. First is the limit of 12,500 tonnes of oil allowed for community and industry supply. The vessels that supply these communities are now well under 1,000 tonnes in size, so it is unclear why such a high limit was put in place. We would like to see that lowered significantly.

Second, we are concerned about the amount of ministerial discretion in this bill, which would allow the minister to exempt vessels and define what fuels are covered.

However, we will continue to support the bill, as it is a step in the right direction that protects the British Columbia coast.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 3:25 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-48 fulfills a commitment the Liberals made in the last election to put in a moratorium. The government has been very clear in terms of how important our oceans are. We have seen literally hundreds of millions of dollars over a number of years invested in protecting our oceans, our marine life, and so forth. At the same time, we have also seen a government working with indigenous people and many different stakeholders. Unlike the previous Harper government, which was not able to get a pipeline to tidewater, we were able to do that through a process that respects the importance of consultation, respects the environment, and respects the national interest.

Surely to goodness the member across the way would recognize that the bill fulfills a commitment made by the Prime Minister for a moratorium, while at the same time on another file, the pipeline, we were able to proceed with that too.

The House resumed 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.

Motions in AmendmentOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 1:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Madam Speaker, the simple and easy answer is to leave it to companies, people, and entrepreneurs to innovate and find solutions to problems out in the real world. When we come before the House and consider legislation like Bill C-48, that is not a solution. It is just more red tape to kill off energy jobs.

Motions in AmendmentOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 1:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be joining the debate on this, but I think the bill has the wrong name. It is called the “oil tanker moratorium act” when it should basically be called the “pipeline moratorium act”. That is really what it is all about. It is not about cancelling the ability of tankers to move through a certain region of northern British Columbia. In fact, they will be able to move 100 kilometres off the coast, as they have been doing all along. It has put the last and final nail into the northern gateway project, and every single other potential pipeline project that might go through northern British Columbia.

There are a few points I will raise to add to this debate, including a letter I have from Prasad Panda, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, who is also the member for the provincial riding of Calgary-Foothills. In it, he notes a couple of discrepancies. He notes that Bill C-48 is a flawed piece of legislation, mainly because it contradicts the government's own free trade agreement that it signed.

There are two points that he makes in the letter. He writes that in that free trade agreement, article 301 states, “A Province shall not adopt or maintain any measure that restricts or prevents the movement of goods across provincial or territorial boundaries.” This is what the B.C. NDP is doing to try to kill off Kinder Morgan by harassing it through legal and regulatory means to try to put an end to that project. They are trying to end that and the hundreds of thousands of jobs in the energy sector, both in my hometown of Calgary, which depends on it, and also across Edmonton and a whole bunch of smaller communities across Alberta and Saskatchewan.

With regard to my second point, he writes, “The Government of Canada shall not adopt or maintain any measure that unduly restricts or prevents the movement of goods across provincial or territorial boundaries.” I think we can make a fine argument here that restricting tanker traffic off a coast like the northern British Columbia coast is that type of restriction on the movement through a territory that the British Columbia government claims as its own. It has a certain amount of environmental regulations that it can or it seems to want to apply. It is interesting that it only wants to apply it in the north, not in the south, when 95% of all tanker traffic happens to be in the southern part of British Columbia.

This particular member of the legislative assembly, a fine gentleman, wrote quite a long letter to the chair of the committee that reviewed this piece of legislation. He also brought to the attention of that committee that this ban, this supposed oil tanker moratorium on pipelines, would be like “banning ships from moving through the Welland Canal or using the port at Trois-Rivières”. It would be like “denying rail and truck access to the Michelin Tire factory in Pictou County”, like “detouring all the traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway and driving it down 92 Avenue in Port Kells”, like “taking traffic on Highway 400 and running [it] all down Weston Road in Toronto”, and like “stopping OC Transpo service to Kanata or GO service to Streetsville.” It would be the same principle. It is not science based, not evidence based; it is the random cutting off of the transportation of goods, people, and natural resources for political purposes.

There is absolutely no reason for it. As far as I know, there have been no spills in British Columbia. Members may want to correct me on that, but I do not know of any spills that have happened off the coast of British Columbia that would make it necessary for us to pass this particular piece of legislation.

I also note that in this legislation, the government is giving itself an exemption under clause 6 that basically states,

for the purpose of community or industry resupply or is otherwise in the public interest.

Therefore, if for any reason whatsoever the government believes it should provide an exemption for the import and movement of tanker traffic, it has a complete exemption. There is no real reporting standard there. All it would have to do is make a publication requirement that states,

the Minister must make it accessible to the public on the Internet or by any other means that he or she considers appropriate

I wonder what the minister will think is appropriate when the government provides the exemption. We can imagine how hard the advocates for communities, companies, and tanker companies will push the minister to provide them with particular exemptions and how sought after those will be.

I like Yiddish proverbs, and I have one. It states, “Heaven and hell can both be had in this world.” They can also be had through government policy and legislation. The principle is to protect the environment. That is the window dressing that the Liberals have put on this anti-pipeline bill. However, what they are actually doing when they repeat “the environment, energy, and natural resources”, two sides of the same coin, is only focusing on one part of this. That is their single focus on this point. It is is supposedly the environment, when we know, because of the details of this bill, it will do no such thing. Tanker traffic will simply be moved further to the west. It is not achieving any goals that the government has set for itself. There is no similar ban on any oil tanker traffic anywhere along Canada's other coasts.

Do those environments matter less? Do the beaches in Prince Edward Island matter less than those in northern British Columbia? Do the coasts matter less in Quebec? Do the coasts matter less in Ontario? I do not think that is the case, but I do not see tanker bans being imposed. I do not see pipeline bans being imposed. That is what leads me to say that this particular piece of legislation is all about northern gateway. It is to kill it off, and that is what the government intends to do through this particular piece of legislation.

The tankers that go through the southern part of British Columbia right now are in the 80,000 to 120,000 dead weight tonnage. If this were truly about tanker traffic, and there were worries about how many of these tankers are moving through a particular geographic region, then the regulatory process would be simplified to ensure the maximum size tankers could actually come through different channels as safely as possible.

If the government wanted to do it that way, it would ensure that ultra-large crude carriers, ULCCs, were able to navigate certain regions, doing so safely, with the necessary tugboats to pull them out in case they have security problems. It would not impose a random ban on geographic areas, pushing tankers further out into the ocean. That does not achieve any environmental goal I could easily name. It would also kill off economic jobs that northern gateway and other pipeline projects could provide in the future.

What it actually would do is sterilize an entire region of northern British Columbia from any type of development in the future. It would basically ensure that no company would ever propose a new pipeline project running through any of those communities, regardless of how many indigenous communities support it, regardless of how many of them are onside.

As the member for Lakeland has said, there are many indigenous communities that would depend on these energy and natural resource jobs of the future. Over 500 communities all across Canada depend either on energy or natural resources jobs.

When oil, natural gas, coal, or any type of mineral is extracted, it has to be moved to a market. It does no good to sit on a large pile here at home. It has to be moved to the buyer. That is done through a port, through the rail system, and through tankers. Those are the requirements of ensuring that the economy is looked after, and that is what the government is failing to do with Bill C-48.

This bill would kill off any future pipeline projects. It sends another chilling signal to the business community in Canada that we are not open for business. We have had the largest flight of capital from the natural resources sector over the past two and a half years. We are at the lowest level since 2010, and it just continues.

Energy east was killed off by the government. Northern gateway was killed off by the government. The government neglected Pacific Northwest LNG. It has neglected Alberta's energy sector. It has done everything possible to ensure that every single new piece of red tape would strangle the industry, and it has done a great job at it. This is one thing the government has been quite exceptional at, strangling the industry and putting tens of thousands of Alberta energy workers out of work permanently, with no reasonable expectation to return to work in the field of their speciality, in the field where they have spent years obtaining their education and working professionally.

Back home in Alberta, we have spent a generation trying to convince people to move to Alberta in the first place. British Columbia is beautiful, but we just wanted people to stop in Alberta and have a professional career with us. We spent a generation convincing people to move there, but we also spent a generation convincing young Albertans, men and women, that it was worth getting into the energy sector because there would be jobs well into the future and they could work anywhere internationally. They are not going to have that.

Bill C-48 is a nail in the coffin of every single future pipeline project. Every company that is even thinking about running a pipeline through northern British Columbia, or anywhere in fact, will think twice. All of their money could be lost, or there could be a random moratorium, a ban, or a cancellation of their project.

I cannot support this bill. It is another chilling signal to the business community and to energy workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia that the government is not on their side.

Motions in AmendmentOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 1:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Madam Speaker, today I will address the oil tanker moratorium act, and in particular, its impacts on indigenous peoples and communities that support responsible resource development.

Bill C-48 is not really about the protection of coastlines or marine ecology. It is actually only a ban on Canadian oil development and exports, on the oil sands, and on pipelines. It is an attack on the hundreds of thousands of energy workers across the country, on one industry, and on one product.

Bill C-48 specifically and only prohibits the on- and off-loading of tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude and persistent oils at ports or marine installations along B.C.'s north coast. It does not target any other vessels of comparable capacity carrying any other product, or vessels of any size, which have similar volumes of fuel on board to operate. It does not even enforce the 100-kilometre voluntary exclusion zone, in the region since 1985.

It only applies to one coast, not to any other Canadian coasts or ports where tankers of all products and from all countries travel regularly. Its intent is clearly to permanently prevent vital energy infrastructure in the region, denying any potential for oil exports to the Asia Pacific from there, which could expand market access for Canada and reduce Canada's near complete dependence on the United States as a customer for Canadian oil.

Diversifying Canada's exports is crucial now, as the U.S. ramps up production to secure its own domestic supply and rapidly escalates its own crude oil exports after removing the 40-year ban. It is estimated that the U.S. will supply 80% of the world's growing global demand for oil in the next five years, while the Liberals force Canada's oil to remain mostly landlocked.

Bill C-48 is also all about politics. It was a predetermined and foregone conclusion for partisan purposes entirely. The Prime Minister instructed its imposition in mandate letters to ministers only 24 days after the 2015 election. Despite all the Liberal rhetoric about consultation, science, and evidence-based, objective decision-making founding policy and legislation, that is not enough time to undertake comprehensive community or indigenous consultations. That is not enough time for thorough safety and environmental assessments, with an analysis of best practices, gaps, and opportunities for improvement; comparison, contrast, and benchmarking against other countries; or local, regional, provincial, and national economic impact assessments and the consideration of consequences. That is because the motivation was actually a political calculation to hold NDP, Green, and left-wing votes for the Liberals in B.C, which helped them win in 2015.

However, Bill C-48, while confined to one geographical area, will have profound negative impacts for all of Canada, on confidence in Canadian energy investment and development overall, and on Canada's ability to be a global leader and contributor in energy regulation, production, technology, service, supply, expertise, and exports to the world.

Reaching tidewater in all directions for Canada's oil and gas should be a top priority for the Liberals, but their track record so far has been to eliminate the only two opportunities for stand-alone pipelines to tidewater in recent history in Canada.

One was the energy east pipeline, which was abandoned after a billion dollars invested and years of review before it could even make it out of the regulatory mess the Liberals created because they changed the rules and added a last-minute, double standard condition for downstream emissions that does not apply to foreign oil or to any other infrastructure in any other sector.

The other was the northern gateway pipeline, which was initiated in 2002 and had actually been approved, with 209 conditions, under the previous Conservative government, in 2014. After a Supreme Court ruling that there was insufficient indigenous consultation by the crown, the Liberals could have ordered additional months and scope for expanded consultation, just as they did with the Trans Mountain expansion application, which started in 2013 and was under way when they announced a complete overhaul for major Canadian energy projects in 2016. However, that option was not offered for northern gateway. Instead, the Prime Minister outright vetoed it, even though it was reviewed under the exact same process, with the exact same evidence, as the other projects the Liberals announced were approved the same day, including Trans Mountain and the Line 3 replacement.

The Liberal government's decision to kill the northern gateway was a massive blow for expanded market access for Canadian oil. It was obviously a loss for energy producers in northern Alberta, for workers in the industrial heartland and Bruderheim, which is where the northern gateway would have started, inside the western boundary of Lakeland, as well as for workers who would have constructed and then maintained the pipeline through operations across Alberta and B.C. It was a loss for potential oil terminal, refinery, and deep water port workers near Kitimat, never mind of billions of dollars in investment and revenue for all levels of government.

However, there is another aspect of that veto of the northern gateway that is just as devastating. Thirty-one first nations and Métis communities were partners with mutual benefit agreements, worth more than $2 billion, in northern gateway, including skills and labour development opportunities.

In Lakeland and around Alberta, indigenous peoples are very active in oil and gas across the value chain: in upstream exploration and production; in service, supply, and technology contracting; and in pipeline operations. They support pipelines because that infrastructure is as crucial to the lifeblood of their communities, for jobs, education, and social benefits, as anywhere else.

Elmer Ghostkeeper of the Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement in Lakeland said, “Equity was offered to aboriginal communities, and with the change in government that was all taken away.... We are very disappointed.” Ghostkeeper pointed out that 71% of the communities along the proposed right of way looked forward to taking part in construction and in the long-term benefits. All that was destroyed by the Prime Minister. They were not consulted about it.

Bill C-48 would put a nail in the coffin of the $7.9-billion northern gateway pipeline and all its employment and economic and social benefits for indigenous and all Canadians, now and in the future.

However, it gets even worse. The $16-billion Eagle Spirit pipeline project could be one of the biggest private infrastructure investments in Canadian history, with meaningful revenue generation, business, employment, education, training, capacity-building opportunities, and long-term economic self-sufficiency for indigenous communities. From Bruderheim to Grassy Point, the Eagle Spirit pipeline project is supported by 35 indigenous communities, every single one along the corridor. Its proponents have been working for six years to secure that support, even from communities that opposed northern gateway, and to exceed regulatory requirements, including exceptional environmental protection, land and marine management, and spill prevention and response.

In 2015, community leaders said what the project meant to them. On behalf of elders, Jack White said, “We like the fact that the Eagle Spirit project put the environment first. Many of our elders are in need and we want our legacy to our children to offer something more that gives them opportunities.”

Youth representative Corey Wesley said, “There are no opportunities for young people in our community. We want a better way of life with real jobs and business prospects so we too can offer our future kids more hope.”

Deputy mayor of the Lax Kw'alaams band and matriarch Helen Johnson said, “Eagle Spirit has widespread support in our community because it shows a real way forward for our members.”

Eagle Spirit's chiefs council says the tanker ban is a government action that would “harm our communities and deny our leaders the opportunity to create hope and a brighter future for their members“, which all Canadians take for granted. The Premier of Northwest Territories said almost the exact same thing about the impact on the people he represents of the Liberals' five-year ban on northern offshore oil and gas drilling.

The Prime Minister often says that the relationship with Canada's indigenous people is the most important to him. He says he wants “an opportunity to deliver true, meaningful and lasting reconciliation between Canada and First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit peoples”. However, for the second time, on a pipeline to tidewater, he is actively denying opportunities for dozens of indigenous communities. They say he did not consult them before he ordered the tanker ban.

The Eagle Spirit chiefs council says that the tanker ban and the creation of the concept of the Great Bear Rainforest were “promoted largely through the lobbying of foreign-financed ENGOs”. The Eagle Spirit chairman says, “they know nothing about our area, they know nothing about our regions. And they're telling us what we've got to do because it's in their financial interest to do so.” It is “without the consultation and consent of First Nations,” which are “opposed to government policy being made by foreigners when it impacts their ability to help out their own people”.

He says, “We don't need trust fund babies coming into our community...creating parks in our backyard when our people are literally starving”, with 90% unemployment.

I suggest that actual reconciliation involves employment and business opportunities, social welfare, and benefits through economic prosperity, like what is offered by Eagle Spirit, which would ensure environmental protection and benefits for all of Canada.

Eagle Spirit's chairman says, “This is an important issue for Canadians. If you look at what's happening with the oil industry, Canadians are losing $50 million a day. It's about $40 a barrel over four years in margin to the refineries in the U.S. What other country in the world would give away the value of these resources like that? It makes no sense, and it's harming people in northern Alberta and northern B.C. and the chiefs are going to do something about it.”

He is echoed by B.C. MLA and former Haisla chief councillor Ellis Ross, who says, “The more sickening thing for me is that these people who oppose development in Canada truly believe they win when they defeat a project.... Actually, you don't win. It's just that the United States buys the Canadian product at a discount and sells it on the international market.”

The tanker ban is a deliberate and dangerous roadblock to Canadian oil exports. It is detrimental to the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere. It would put very real limits on Canada's future and standard of living, with disproportionately harmful outcomes for certain communities and regions. The Liberals should withdraw it.

Motions in AmendmentOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to support Bill C-48, a bill to legislate a permanent tanker ban along British Columbia's north coast. I also have amendments that I hope will still pass, which I brought before the committee.

I find the debate about this tanker ban to take place, as often happens, in sort of a miasma of amnesia. It is important for Canadians to know that we are now legislating a tanker ban that was honoured and in effect from 1972 until Stephen Harper chose to imagine it away. From 1972 until at least 2012, every federal and provincial government had accepted, as did our courts, that there was a moratorium against crude oil tankers along B.C.'s north coast, particularly in Hecate Strait, Dixon Entrance, and Queen Charlotte Sound.

Just for the purpose of giving us our bearings, I want to revisit how that tanker ban came to be in effect and the implications today when we look at data about the safety of transiting B.C.'s north coast and the importance of recognizing that the tanker ban was in place from 1972 until, as I said, Stephen Harper chose to ignore it.

That tanker ban was put in place in 1972 by former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. It was as a result of an immediate threat to the B.C. north coast, primarily from a proposed expansion of oil tanker traffic from Alaska to the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Now, there was a backbencher in the Liberal ranks who went on to become the minister of fisheries, the minister of environment, and so on. At that point, Dave Anderson was a backbencher from a riding that was not yet called Victoria, but that is where he was. I think it was called Esquimalt—Saanich at the time. In any case, Dave Anderson was a backbencher MLA who was also simultaneously involved with environmental groups in a lawsuit in the U.S. to try to get the newly minted National Environmental Policy Act on the U.S. side of the border to have a mandatory, thorough environmental review of the threat of Alaska oil tanker traffic bound for Juan de Fuca and what that would mean for the B.C. north coast.

David Anderson, Liberal MLA, went to Pierre Trudeau, Liberal prime minister, and put it to him that the case to protect the north coast of B.C. depended quite a lot on Canada federally exerting a policy that it would not put its tankers through there either. It was important for the legal case south of the border and it was important in principle.

I would like to see a tanker ban on any tanker carrying dilbit because, as my other hon. colleagues have already pointed out, there is no technology to clean up dilbit, but I want to hold our attention for a moment on what was happening in 1972.

I know a lot of hon. members are not from the B.C. coast, but if they look at a map, they will see why it is particularly important not to have any oil tanker traffic this area. Being originally from Cape Breton, I am often asked why there is no tanker ban on the Atlantic coast and why it only happened on the B.C. coast. It is all about the specifics of an extremely turbulent, active ocean in those places and the presence offshore of a land mass. Therefore, any spill that occurred along the Hecate Strait, Dixon Entrance, and Queen Charlotte Sound would create an oil spill that not only would not float out to sea but would go back and forth, between striking the coasts of Haida Gwaii, which we then called the Queen Charlotte Islands, and backing up to hit the coast of British Columbia. It was a specific geographical threat that continues to this day. I think it is the second most active ocean current on the planet, according to Environment Canada data from the time.

David Anderson was able to convince Pierre Trudeau to put in place a tanker ban. It stayed in place from 1972 until 2012.

What is the significance of that? It means that every time people proposing oil tanker traffic along our coast point to the safety and the safety record, the safety record has something to do with the fact that we have not allowed crude oil tankers through those waters since 1972. That has something to do with the great record of not having had oil spills: it's because we do not allow the oil tankers there. We have not since 1972.

This piece of legislation does what the Liberals promised. I heard my hon. colleague from Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek making the suggestion that they break so many promises, why not break this one too. I do not want to go in that direction. I want to thank them and approve and applaud when the Liberals keep a promise. This is an important promise. It is a legislated tanker ban that meets the goals of decades of commitments to protect those northern waters. What particularly important nation are we also protecting? It is the Haida Nation.

The member talked about how first nations were consulted. There were extensive consultations before the 1972 tanker moratorium. The Haida Nation particularly, which has the most at stake, as well as coastal nations on the other side, along the mainland of Canada, has been consistent for decades that it does not not want tankers in its territorial waters. The Haida Nation is right. The threat is far too dangerous. Crude oil along that coastline would despoil traditional fishing, not to mention tourism and other economic benefits.

This is not a tanker ban that came out of the blue. That is my main point so far. This is not something the current Prime Minister invented for an election platform. This would fulfill a commitment made in 1972 and finally give it legal teeth.

It could be better. There is no question about that. For instance, we have had spills that were devastating from much smaller vessels that would still be allowed under this ban. Everyone knows about the really disastrous spill from the Nathan E. Stewart running aground off Bella Bella. It was certainly well below the limit that would be allowed under this bill. It had a huge impact on the Heiltsuk Nation. Chief Marilyn Slett has described it as a complete disaster for that nation, that community, those waters, and those species. That was well below the 12,500 metric tons that would be permissible under this bill. I would really prefer to see a 2,000-metric-ton threshold, which was actually initially in the Transport Canada discussion paper put forward. It was widely supported to hold it to a 2,000-metric-ton threshold.

It is true that in the outer waters, those U.S. tankers could still move, but that is the point. We are protecting the historically significant internal waters of Canada that have been protected since 1972.

Having had this moratorium for so long, the waters there have been protected from crude oil. However, in the intervening time since 1972, we have had an entirely different product proposed for shipment. The different product is bitumen mixed with diluent, which cannot be cleaned up. That is the best scientific advice we have in Canada from numerous studies that have been peer reviewed. Bitumen, which is a solid, is only mixed with diluent to make it flow through a pipeline. It is a unique carrying mechanism. It is not a product. Bitumen is the product; diluent is added only to make it flow through a pipeline.

It really cannot be overstated in this place, for members who are not as deeply immersed as many of us in British Columbia are in the multitude of reasons the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion is not a good idea for Canada, that bitumen mixed with diluent cannot be cleaned up. The diluent, which is a fossil fuel condensate like naphtha, butane, and benzene, is added just to make the solid material, bitumen, flow through a pipeline. At the other end, it gets loaded onto a tanker. Wherever the tanker goes, maybe to a refinery in some other country, taking Canadian jobs with it and away from refineries in Canada, the diluent then needs to be pulled out of the material, because it is not commercially valuable at that point. The product then goes back to solid bitumen, and they have to upgrade the solid bitumen and put it through a refinery.

The oceans protection plan is still not a plan. One of my constituents, the Hon. Pat Carney, who is the former minister of energy, says that it is an oceans protection wish list. We would like to see a plan. We know it is a $1.5-billion promise. We do not know how many millions are supposed to be spent on the Pacific, how many millions on the Arctic Ocean, and how many millions on B.C. oceans. We do not know.

As we look at Bill C-48, I still hope to see amendments so we can be more protective of our coastlines. I will vote for Bill C-48 and I will defend it as the continuation of a tanker ban we have had in place since 1972.

Motions in AmendmentOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 12:35 p.m.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to support Bill C-48, the north coast tanker ban. It has been a legislative priority of Canada's NDP for over a decade, and we welcome the Liberals finally taking action on this pressing issue. The NDP is pleased that the Liberal government is finally taking action to protect the north coast 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 and define what fuels are covered under the act. We hope the government will implement constructive amendments to limit ministerial power and increase spill response resources. We were also very concerned about the lack of consultation with first nations.

I want to give a little background about the moratorium. It is part of the government's oceans protection plan that was announced in November 2016. I have already brought up some of my concerns with the OPP. For example, the technology to clean up dilbit has not been identified and does not exist, yet we are still pursuing projects that would carry dilbit to our coast. If that were spilled in our oceans, that would have very devastating consequences. Bill C-48 proposes an oil tanker moratorium that extends from the Canada–U.S. border in the north, to the point of B.C.'s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, including Haida Gwaii.

Oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil or persistent oil as cargo would be prohibited from mooring, anchoring, or loading or unloading any of the oil at a port or marine installation in the moratorium area. The bill would also prohibit vessels and persons from transporting crude oil or persistent oil from an oil tanker to a port or marine installation within the moratorium area to circumvent the prohibition.

In order to allow for community and industry supply, Bill C-48 would permit the shipment of amounts below 12,500 tonnes. This is still a huge amount of oil that could be transported on that coast. However, the bill would prevent large oil tanker ships from traversing the waters. The bill includes in its administration enforcement regime, reporting requirements, marine inspection powers, and penalties up to $5 million. That is a very insignificant amount, but it is a penalty nonetheless. Multiple private members' bills have been proposed in the past to protect the north coast, including mine. Back in 2011, there was Bill C-211.

Here are some facts about other impacts that the coast has had. Obviously, the most known is the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill on the coast, which was a catastrophic spill. The spill cleanup and coastal recovery cost $9.5 billion, of which Exxon paid only $3.5 billion. Twenty years after the spill, fish habitat and stock still have not fully recovered. An oil spill of this sort would be devastating to wild salmon, marine mammals, birds, and coastal forest, including the Great Bear Rainforest. It would devastate coastal economies by jeopardizing tourism, commercial fishing, and first nations fishing.

We also know about the recent sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart fuel barge, which shows that navigation in these waters can be extremely hazardous and dangerous, and what damage can be caused by even a minor spill. The Nathan E. Stewart ran aground in the early hours of October 13, 2016 near Bella Bella, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. The vessel eventually sank, spilling as much as 110,000 litres of diesel into the marine environment. Cleanup efforts were repeatedly hampered by bad weather, and the vessel was not recovered until a month after it sank. We were lucky that the vessel was not full to its maximum capacity, which likely prevented more extensive damage.

A north coast tanker ban is popular in British Columbia. Polls show that 79% of people in the province support a ban on oil tanker traffic in B.C.'s inside coastal waters. That was back in 2011, but if anything, it has gained strength since then.

The ban prevents the creation of disastrous pipelines like the Enbridge northern gateway, which would have run 1,177 kilometres from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C., at the head of the Douglas Channel. The westbound pipeline was to carry up to 525,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day, meaning that up 220 oil tankers a year would have to navigate the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest to export the diluted bitumen to foreign markets.

The waters off the B.C. north coast are a significant salmon migration route. Millions of salmon come from the more than 650 streams and rivers along the coast. The impact of a simple oil spill would be catastrophic. The commercial fishery on the north coast catches over $100 million worth of fish per year, more than 2,500 residents along B.C.'s north coast work in the commercial fishery, and the fish processing industry employs thousands more.

The beauty of this region and the abundance of the salmon, whales, and other marine mammals have made it a world-renowned destination for ecotourism. The tourism industry has played a major role for employment, economic growth, and opportunity in B.C.'s coastal communities. Business in this region has worked hard to promote its location as a major tourist destination.

The west coast wilderness tourism industry is now estimated to be worth over $782 million annually, employing 26,000 people full time and roughly 40,000 in total. B.C.'s north shoreline is dotted with sport fishing lodges, as fishing enthusiasts take part in the world-famous fishery. People are amazed after spending even a day kayaking, bear watching, or enjoying a guided tour on B.C.'s northwest coast.

We know the importance of the coastline on the north coast. I want to turn now to the south coast, and how the people in the south of British Columbia on Canada's west coast find the amazing ocean economy and potential of the marine ecosystem just as important as that of the north coast. They are concerned about a similar project, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion.

To give a little background information, this expansion project would include building a new pipeline and constructing 12 new pump stations, 19 new storage tanks, and three new marine berths at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burrard Inlet, which is near my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam and Anmore and Belcarra. Most of the pipeline oil would be destined for the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, where it would be loaded onto oil tankers that would navigate past Vancouver, the Gulf Islands, and through the Juan de Fuca Strait before reaching open ocean. The expansion would mean a sevenfold increase in oil tanker traffic from the Westridge terminal, from around 60 oil tankers to more than 400 per year.

I will give a quick update on that proposal, because it is very much a concern to many in British Columbia and in Canada.

Kinder Morgan has met less than half of the 157 required National Energy Board conditions. One-third of the final route has not been approved. Now the company is begging for relief on many conditions and wants to delay detailed route hearings. What this tells us in Parliament is that they are very concerned about what is happening on our coast.

Our coastal economy, community, and marine environment are very important. Salmon and whales are critical to our way of life, to west coast Canada, and to British Columbia. People are speaking out. They are very concerned. Yes, they want to find an economy that works, but one that works in tune with keeping our salmon, whales, and marine environment as intact as possible. Projects such as the northern gateway proposal and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain proposal would have a direct impact on that economy and on those features that make us British Columbians and keep us Canadian.

In conclusion, we welcome the Liberal government finally taking action to defend the north coast from oil tanker traffic. However, we are concerned that the loopholes in the legislation might be enough to drive an oil tanker through. Therefore, the government must adopt the amendments. The bill does nothing to protect the coast from spills of refined oil, and the government needs to work on that.

Motions in AmendmentOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 12:30 p.m.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, we certainly will be supporting Bill C-48. We have some concerns, and we have spoken about those concerns. However, the minister speaks of safety and protection of B.C.'s north coast. The minister mentioned the oceans protection plan in his speech. We have concern with this plan, in that there is no way to clean up toxic dilbit. I am wondering if the minister could elaborate on his oceans protection plan as to what technology exists to clean up toxic dilbit.

Motions in AmendmentOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 12:15 p.m.
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Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Madam Speaker, Canadians are blessed with some of the most spectacular coastlines on the planet. Canada boasts the world's longest coastline, over 243,000 kilometres from the Pacific to the Arctic to the Atlantic. In addition to offering exceptional economic development, tourism, and recreational opportunities, Canada's vast coastal waters are home to rare species and precious ecosystems. Our coasts are very special places, particularly for indigenous peoples who have occupied these areas since time immemorial.

Bill C-48 recognizes that with these gifts provided by our natural coastal spaces, we also assume tremendous responsibility. We have a duty to protect our marine heritage for present and future generations. That responsibility includes safe and clean marine shipping, which is essential to our country's economic growth. Make no mistake, marine transportation is fundamental to Canada's economic well-being. Delivering our products to global markets and receiving goods from other countries is vital to the livelihood of Canadians.

The environmental and social aspects of marine transportation are also very important. Freight transportation in these sensitive waters must be done in an environmentally sustainable manner. Canadians expect us to strike a balance between economic growth and environmental protection.

This is why the oil tanker moratorium act is so important to Canadians and to this government. Once in effect, this legislation would help protect the pristine waters off British Columbia's northern coast. Let me briefly summarize the key components of this bill, one of the many progressive steps we are talking under the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan.

The oil tanker moratorium would prohibit oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of crude or persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading, or unloading any of these oils at ports or marine installations in northern British Columbia. I am referring to products such as partially upgraded bitumen, synthetic crude oil, petroleum pitch, and bunker C fuel oil.

Vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tons of crude or persistent oil as cargo would also be permitted to stop, load, or unload in the moratorium area. This would allow northern communities to receive critical shipments of heating oils and other products they require. For many communities without road or rail access, the only way to receive products, like liquefied natural gas, propane, gasoline, or jet fuel, is by ship.

The proposed moratorium area extends from the Alaskan border in the north down to the point on B.C’s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, including Haida Gwaii. This moratorium will complement the existing voluntary tanker exclusion zone, which has been in place since 1985.

A key concern is the transfer of crude oil or persistent oil from larger vessels to smaller ones. This bill would prohibit ship-to-ship transfers.

Anyone caught trying to elude the moratorium would face stiff fines. The legislation includes strong penalties reaching up to $5 million.

Equally important, the bill includes flexibility for amendments. For example, products could be added to or removed from the list of banned persistent oils based on science and environmental safety. Environmental safety would be the main consideration for any additions or deletions to the product list through the regulatory process. Once adopted, this legislation would provide a high level of protection for the Canadian coastline around Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound.

Transport Canada officials and I have been working with marine stakeholders, as well as indigenous and coastal communities to make sure this happens. We have consulted extensively with a wide cross-section of Canadians on how to improve marine safety in Canada and successfully implement the proposed moratorium.

Since January 2016, we have held roughly 75 engagement sessions to discuss the moratorium, including 21 round tables. Over the same time, my department has also received more than 80 letters and other submissions on the moratorium. In addition, approximately 330 people have provided submissions or comments on Transport Canada's online engagement portal.

As parliamentarians know, the oceans protection plan includes more than just new measures to improve marine safety and responsible shipping, and to protect Canada's marine environment. It also includes a commitment to create new partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities. Indigenous peoples must have meaningful participation in the marine shipping regime. They must have a seat at the table.

This makes practical sense. Indigenous peoples along the coast have valuable traditional and local knowledge. They are also often best placed to respond to emergencies. Recognizing this, I held round table and bilateral meetings with first nations on the north and cental coasts of British Columbia to understand their perspectives on the moratorium.

As my hon. colleagues are undoubtedly aware, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities also held public hearings on the legislation. I was particularly encouraged by the level of support for the bill at the committee hearings by witnesses representing indigenous peoples, and I would like to thank the various groups that took the time to meet or write and express their views with either me or members of the committee.

I think it is important to note that there were some groups who would have liked the moratorium to be implemented in a different way or who spoke out against certain elements. We listened to their views and concerns, and we have determined that the right balance is achieved by the proposed legislation which takes a precautionary approach.

We also met with environmental non-governmental organizations, and they had the opportunity to express themselves. We also met with industry representatives, as the industrial sector has a direct stake in these issues. Representatives of the shipping sector participated in a number of meetings, and provided letters to me. I received correspondence from the Business Council of British Columbia as well. In addition to the participation in round table meetings, representatives from the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta took part in regular bilateral discussions on the moratorium and marine safety.

We listened carefully. We listened to stakeholders and Canadians, and their comments formed the basis of this bill. We took careful note of the opinions of Canadians who are directly affected by the proposed moratorium. We are aware that some groups or individuals will think that their concerns were not taken into account, but we believe that this bill strikes a fair balance.

The moratorium's parameters are also informed by and based on science. For instance, the moratorium would apply to products known to be the heaviest and that persist the longest when spilled. Crude oils and a range of persistent oils pose the greatest threats to vulnerable marine mammals and ecosystems.

One does not need to live on Canada's west coast to appreciate the need for a new approach to securing prosperity for Canadians, an approach that protects and preserves the bounty that nature has bestowed upon us. The legislation before us does more than address the needs and concerns of Canadians living in B.C.'s coastal communities; it advances the interests of the entire country.

The oil tanker moratorium act would mean much tougher laws for shipping and marine transportation, to reduce the adverse impacts of vessel operations on our environment and to better protect Canadians. As importantly, this legislation clearly demonstrates that we can make meaningful progress on both economic and environmental fronts for the betterment of all Canadians. We can ensure the safe, efficient, and secure transportation of goods that create jobs and prosperity while safeguarding the waters that are the very source of life.

I encourage my hon. colleagues to make the oil tanker moratorium a reality, something that has been proposed and discussed by the Canadian public and in the House of Commons by all parties for years. It is long past time for this necessary and worthy legislation.

Motions in AmendmentOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 12:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, I would suggest that Bill C-48 would do absolutely nothing for the preservation of British Columbia's environment. This is a symbolic bill. Ships, including U.S. tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington state, would continue to be able to travel up and down the coast just outside the 100-kilometre limit.

Further, when we talk about Canadian oil production, Canadian oil is extracted and transported under some of the safest and most environmentally strict regulations in the world. I truly believe preventing our Canadian oil resources from reaching customers in other countries only serves to proliferate the use of oil products extracted and transported in a less safe and less environmentally friendly way.

This is a strange contradiction we see, and I really believe the NDP's view on Canadian oil is that the NDP's opposition to its defeat is the supposed greater goal of protecting the world's environment.

Motions in AmendmentOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / 12:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-48 at report stage, which the government has called the “oil tanker moratorium act”. I would assert that this title is misleading, as is the bill to which it is attached.

In my previous speech in regard to Bill C-48, I made clear how this not about banning the currently non-existent oil tanker traffic in the Dixon Entrance, nor will it affect the tanker traffic that is currently traversing only 100 kilometres off the northwestern coast of British Columbia. Furthermore, nowhere else in Canada is there a ban of this sort.

The Canada West Foundation, in its submission to the committee studying this proposed act, put it succinctly. It said:

There are no restrictions on tankers carrying crude and persistent oils from stopping, loading and unloading at ports along any of Canada’s other coastlines, particularly the East Coast or internal waterways, like the St. Lawrence River, where oil tankers regularly travel. Implementing Bill C-48 will send a clear message that it is okay to have oil tanker traffic when it supports refinery jobs in Montreal, Sarnia, Quebec City and Saint John, but not when it supports jobs in Alberta and Saskatchewan tied to the export of western Canadian oil to Asia.

The Conservatives will not participate in the fantasy that the bill has anything to do with transportation, of which I am the shadow minister. This is precisely why my colleague for Lakeland, who is our shadow minister for natural resources, has taken point and led the discussion surrounding the bill before us.

Despite objections, it is clear that Bill C-48 is about banning pipelines to tidewater in northern B.C. Of course, the Prime Minister cannot very well pass a bill in Parliament that bans pipelines in one part of British Columbia while supposedly championing another pipeline in the south—thus the charade.

The government should be forthright with Canadians by bringing forward the bill that the Liberals actually want, which is one banning pipelines in northern British Columbia. That way, they would find out what Canadians really think about their ideological opposition to Canadian oil. Of course, they will never do that. The government does not have the courage to take this to Canadians with the facts laid clear, because they know that their ill-conceived ideas would be absolutely rejected. In fact, I know of one group of Canadians in particular who do not support the government's de facto ban on pipelines in northern British Columbia, and that is the over 30 first nations who supported and stood to benefit from northern gateway.

When the Prime Minister intervened in the arm's-length, non-political review process and cancelled the northern gateway project, these first nations were taken completely by surprise. In committee we were told that they were excited to hold a significant stake in this important project and secure a better economic future for the members of their bands through the jobs and the financial strength that comes with natural resource development.

It was estimated that over two dozen first nations invested millions in legal fees to reach agreements with Enbridge to share in the prosperity that northern gateway would bring. However, instead of a generational wealth-generating project, these bands were left empty-handed because of the Prime Minister's political decision.

The Prime Minister claims that consultation with first nation stakeholders is a priority. However, the underhanded cancellation of northern gateway shows that the government's claim is demonstrably false.

Many first nation groups do support our oil and gas sector. Eagle Spirit Holdings, for example, is led by the Chiefs Council, which is composed of over 30 first nation communities. We also heard in committee that their goal is to create an energy corridor in northern Alberta and British Columbia that would change the lives of thousands of their band members.

Eagle Spirit was proposed as an alternative to northern gateway a pipeline that would be owned and managed directly by first nations, with stricter environmental standards than even the highest government recommendations. This project would be the greatest boon to communities along its route.

In addition to the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars that the project would generate on a continuing basis, Eagle Spirit would run power lines and fibre optic cable along its path, increasing the quality of life for everyone in the area.

However, now there is a significant stumbling block for Eagle Spirit, and it is this very bill. That is why the Chiefs Council has taken it upon itself to challenge the oil tanker moratorium bill. I will quote from an article:

The Chiefs Council represents over 30 communities engaged in the First Nations-led Eagle Spirit energy corridor proposed from Bruderheim, Alberta to tidewater in northern British Columbia. Its members have unextinguished Aboriginal rights and title from time immemorial and continuing into the present, or have treaties over the land and ocean of their traditional territories. Having protected the environment as first-stewards of their traditional territories for millennia, the Chiefs Council is vehemently opposed to American ENGOs dictating government policy in their traditional territories—particularly the illegal imposition of the Great Bear Rainforest and the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act proposed by the Liberal Government.

Further on the article states:

We have, and will always, put the protection of the environment first, however, this must be holistically balanced with social welfare, employment, and business opportunities. These government actions harm our communities and deny our leaders the opportunity to create hope and a brighter future for their members.

The Chiefs Council is challenging this bill because it takes away their ability to create, in their own words, as I quoted earlier, “hope and a brighter future” for those they represent.

Energy projects are a path to self-sustainability and a better future for many of these bands. Unfortunately, the Liberal government does not agree. There is abundant evidence that the government disapproves of our oil and gas sector. There is the recent revelation that the government is funding protesters against the Trans Mountain pipeline. As well, the government has refused to use its full power to get Trans Mountain built, and the Prime Minister made comments to the French media recently, bemoaning his inability to phase out the industry faster.

It is clear that the government cares more about signalling its progressiveness, and I used that term loosely, to the rest of the world than it does about results. I say that because if the Liberals cared about reducing carbon emissions worldwide and pursuing policy that is best for the environment, best for women, and best for minorities, they would be championing Canadian oil and gas worldwide whenever possible. No country has the environmental record that Canada has. No country has our commitment to clean production. Of the large oil-producing nations in the world, only the United States and Norway can touch our record on human rights.

Our oil is ethical, safe to transport, and it can change the lives of thousands of first nations band members who want to pursue that hope and a brighter future. Instead of championing Canada, the Liberal government is allowing the industry to be strangled by a lack of transportation, over-regulation, and overtaxation.

It may come as no surprise that I will not be supporting this bill. I urge all those in this place to join me in voting against this bill to support the rights of economic self-determination for first nations groups like Eagle Spirit.

Speaker's RulingOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2018 / noon
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NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

There are two motions in amendment standing on the Notice Paper for the report stage of Bill C-48. Motions numbers 1 and 2 will be grouped for debate and voted upon according to the voting pattern available at the table.

I will now put Motions Nos. 1 and 2 to the House.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

April 26th, 2018 / 3:15 p.m.
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Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, today we will continue with debate on the NDP opposition motion.

Tomorrow, we will take up report stage and third reading debate of Bill S-5, the tobacco and vaping products act.

On Monday, we will commence report stage debate of Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act.

Next Tuesday will be an allotted day.

On Wednesday, we will consider report stage and third reading of Bill C-21, an act to amend the Customs Act.

Last, discussions have taken place between the parties, and if you seek it, I think you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, following Question Period on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole in order to welcome the athletes of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Games; a) that the Speaker be permitted to preside over the Committee of the Whole from the Speaker's chair and make welcoming remarks on behalf of the House; b) that the names of the athletes present be deemed read and printed in the House of Commons Debates for that day; c) only authorized photographers be permitted to take photos during the proceedings of the Committee; and, d) when the proceedings of the Committee have concluded, the Committee shall rise.

Trans Mountain Expansion ProjectEmergency Debate

April 16th, 2018 / 11:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to be able to participate in this important debate about pipelines. I will be sharing my time with the excellent member for Calgary Midnapore, who I know will have a lot to say with respect to her riding as well.

This is a subject on which Conservatives have been relentless in this Parliament. I want to salute the work of my colleague and neighbour from Lakeland, our shadow minister for natural resources, who is leading the charge tonight and always, as well as the members for Chilliwack—Hope and for Portage—Lisgar who served in the role of shadow minister for natural resources earlier in this Parliament.

In addition to this emergency debate, we have moved and forced votes on two opposition motions which specifically dealt with the subject of pipelines. The first one dealt with energy east and said the following:

That, given this time of economic uncertainty, the House: (a) recognize the importance of the energy sector to the Canadian economy and support its development in an environmentally sustainable way; (b) agree that pipelines are the safest way to transport oil; (c) acknowledge the desire for the Energy East pipeline expressed by the provincial governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick; and (d) express its support for the Energy East pipeline currently under consideration.

That was an opposition motion put forward by the Conservatives, and I was pleased to join every single one of my Conservative colleagues in supporting that motion. However, 100% of members of other parties, including every single member of the government, opposed that motion, including Liberal members from Alberta who had just claimed that they would fight for pipelines, but when it counted, they stood up and voted against energy east.

More recently, we put forward another motion. We thought we would give them another chance. Here is what we said:

That, given the Trans Mountain expansion project is in the national interest, will create jobs and provide provinces with access to global markets, the House call on the Prime Minister to prioritize the construction of the federally-approved Trans Mountain Expansion Project by taking immediate action, using all tools available; to establish certainty for the project, and to mitigate damage from the current interprovincial trade dispute, tabling his plan in the House no later than noon on Thursday, February 15, 2018.

What a statement of confidence in the pipeline process that would have been from this House of Commons. Again, every single Conservative voted in favour of this motion, but every Liberal and every New Democrat opposed that proposal. They had a chance to vote for action on Trans Mountain. Every single one of them voted against.

We have not only had pro-pipeline proposals debated in this House, but Bill C-48 was the government bill to make the export of our energy resources from northern B.C. impossible. That is further blocking the northern gateway pipeline. Every single Conservative voted against Bill C-48, but every single Liberal and New Democrat voted in favour. As much as a few members tonight want to wrap themselves in bitumen, something as simple and fundamental as their voting record paints a different picture.

All of the Liberals voted against energy east, in favour of blocking the northern gateway, and against a motion to force action on Trans Mountain. All the MPs across the way should not tell us what they believe. They should cast their votes and then we will know what they believe.

The member for Edmonton Centre recently said in this place, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” Clearly, he never does.

If the government is sincere about pipelines, then it should start voting for them. Our commitment to pipelines did not just start in this Parliament. The Stephen Harper government oversaw the building of Trans Mountain's Keystone pipeline, of Enbridge's Alberta Clipper, of Kinder Morgan's Anchor Loop pipeline, and of Enbridge's Line 9 reversal. We also approved the construction of the northern gateway pipeline.

Now let us be clear. Up until now at least, it has not been the government building pipelines. It has been up to the government, partially through the NEB, to review applications approving or rejecting them, and to establish the conditions that allow them and other commercial activity to succeed. When they were in government, the Conservatives approved every single pipeline that came forward. We established the conditions in which the private sector put forward proposals and we approved those proposals after appropriate review, but we also made sure that that review was appropriate and it was not just a review process that simply bogged these things down in sort of eternal consultations.

Some critics wish that more pipelines had been built, but they have a hard time demonstrating how we could have built pipelines that were never proposed. If the infrastructure minister and others who are making this point are available to pose the question, I ask them to say how they propose we would build pipelines that had not been proposed.

Again, Conservatives approved every single pipeline proposal that came forward. We built four. We approved a fifth. We ensured that every project that was proposed succeeded. I am very proud of that record.

Conservatives have voted for pipelines. We have approved pipelines. We established the conditions under which pipelines were built. We got it done.

What about the Liberal government? It killed one pipeline, the northern gateway pipeline, directly. It killed the energy east pipeline indirectly by piling conditions on it that were designed to make it fail. Let us be very clear. These were conditions that were built to fail. They were put in place and left in place and were clearly designed to make future pipeline construction impossible.

At the same time, for political reasons, the government wants to try to have its cake and eat it, too. It wants to oppose pipelines but to be seen as supporting them at the same time, at least in some political markets.

The government approved the expansion of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline on the basis of interim principles. However, it is clear that the government has a dangerous agenda when it comes to pipelines, and that is to stop as many as possible. If this pipeline is built, it wants to make sure that it is the last one. If the government refuses to take the steps necessary to allow the pipeline to proceed on its own and resorts to either letting it die or nationalizing it, the government will have created conditions in which it will be very hard to imagine this type of critical, nation-building infrastructure being built in the future. That is the Liberal government policy.

Whoever would invest in an industry where projects were blocked by lawless protestors, in some cases lawless protestors who are members of Parliament, and some national governments block them outside of their jurisdiction and then projects are ultimately nationalized? Do these sound like the kinds of conditions that you, Madam Speaker, as a private sector investor, would find attractive?

We need to establish attractive conditions for those investments, which the government is not doing. The government must establish conditions in which vital projects, and not just this one, can be built with private dollars. It should defend all pipelines. It should vote for them. It should make the clear and obvious case for them, which is that pipelines transport vital energy resources efficiently and with a lower energy impact than the alternatives.

The government should stop talking out of both sides of its mouth. It should stop voting against pipelines, and it should start proceeding.

I would like to make a separate point, as well, about energy policy. That is that the crisis we face at this point is the result of a failed strategy by the government and by some other governments. Again, perhaps it is a strategy that is failing by design. The strategy invites us to look at energy policy as if it were some sort of hostage situation. If energy-producing jurisdictions make concessions, the argument goes, they will be able to move forward with energy development. Just pay the carbon tax, and that will buy the necessary goodwill to get progress on pipelines. Just a little more carbon tax, a little more sacrifice, and then John Horgan and Denis Coderre will release the hostages and support pipeline construction.

One does not need a Nobel Prize, even a fake one, to know that this strategy has failed. We do not want to negotiate with hostage takers anymore. The carbon tax is unaffordable to many Albertans and to people across this country. The federal government is trying to impose it even beyond its jurisdiction. Subnational governments are showing a lack of respect for the constitutional division of powers by trying to stop pipelines, and our national government is showing a lack of respect for the constitutional division of powers by trying to impose the carbon tax.

Objectively, it has not worked. It has not delivered social licence, that nebulous and immeasurable thing. The carbon tax has delivered poverty and misery. It has not delivered social licence, and it has not delivered a pipeline.

The bizarre thing about the government is that its rhetoric actually plays the hostage scenario both ways. It tells those on the right and in the centre that they have to accept the carbon tax to get a pipeline, then it tells those on the left that they have to accept the pipeline to get a carbon tax. If it is going to play this out, then it at least has to decide which is the hostage and which is the ransom.

This is all obviously ridiculous. We should build pipelines because they are in the national interest. We should oppose the carbon tax because it is not. The two are not linked in anyone's mind but the government's, as the current crisis demonstrates.

Our history shows us, right back to John A. Macdonald, that nation-building infrastructure is vital for our success, that every country needs the ability to access and engage in commerce with others. The government does not understand the importance of vital nation-building infrastructure. It is building walls instead of pipelines between provinces. That has to stop.

Under Sir John A. Macdonald, it took a Conservative to build nation-building infrastructure. It may well take a Conservative government again before we can finally build the nation-building infrastructure that will allow our energy sector to succeed.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

November 29th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the18th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, in relation to Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with an amendment.

November 28th, 2017 / 5:15 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

If I may say so, our new access to information law, Bill C-58, does move towards proactive disclosure of certain things but doesn't touch on this at all.

My effort was to ensure that since we have the regulation-making powers of the Governor in Council under this particular bill in clause 24.... At this point the only thing the Governor in Council is empowered to do by regulation is to amend the schedule by adding or deleting any oil or class of oils. Expanding that to ensure that the Governor in Council can make regulations to facilitate public access to information, I think this is very helpful.

I know we're looking at Bill C-48 and not Bill C-58, but I am of the view of the Information Commissioner that Bill C-58 is legislation that takes us backwards and that will make it harder to access information. Anything we can do under this bill to make it easier for the public and first nations communities to have access to that information proactively....

Certainly there's no harm in this amendment, and I think you could ask your officials whether it does any damage. You can keep your fingers crossed and hope the public's going to be able to get at it, but I've said for years—it's a good line, so I'll say it again—that Canada's freedom of information acts have tended to, for years, be freedom from information. I don't think they're getting better, so anything we can do in this bill to create more access to the information that first nations have wanted on a timely basis and that environmental law groups have wanted on a timely basis....

Maybe the officials could tell me how it does any harm. The most I've heard them say so far is that we don't need it because it's redundant, and that's not something I believe.

Thank you.

November 28th, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Thank you very much, Ms. May. It's always a pleasure to have you here with us.

It is inadmissible, and I'll read out the rationale, as you've just said. Bill C-48 formalizes a crude oil tanker moratorium on the north coast of British Columbia. The amendment seeks to extend the application of the bill to the entire coast of British Columbia. It is my opinion, as chair, that the scope of the bill as agreed at second reading is limited to British Columbia's north coast. Therefore, the amendment is out of order. Consequential amendment PV-6 is also inadmissible.

(Clause 4 agreed to)

(Clause 5 agreed to)

(On clause 6)

We have amendment NDP-5. Mr. Cullen.

November 28th, 2017 / 4:30 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Forgive me, but I need to put on the record an objection to the process, to the fact that this committee passed a motion that deprives me of the right I would ordinarily have to present these amendments at report stage. I know that you individually did not intend to increase my workload, deprive me of my rights, and pass a motion that essentially requires me to be here, rather than giving me an opportunity, but I place my objection on the record and move to put forward the amendment, which is deemed to have been moved because I have no rights here, except for the motion you passed that makes me be here. I apologize for complaining about the nature of the manipulation.

The amendment I'm putting forward deals with the issue of the size of the vessel. You've certainly heard testimony from West Coast Environmental Law, Pacific Wild, the Sierra Club of British Columbia, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, and the Haida and the Heiltsuk nations, which have questioned the 12,500 metric ton threshold.

As you've just heard from our colleague, Nathan Cullen, that threshold is far larger than the spill that caused so much damage just recently, within the last year, the Nathan E. Stewart spill, which was a real threat to the Heiltsuk community and nation. Here, we're looking at the evidence of Transport Canada's report that in order for vessels to provide resupply shipments to the north coast, 3,200 metric tons is an appropriate limit on the size of the vessel.

I do want to say, by the way, that overall, I welcome Bill C-48. To give just a tiny bit of history, this bill essentially does what we had in place since 1972 through a voluntary moratorium on the shipment on the north coast of B.C., which the federal government and the British Columbia government had accepted—until the recent Conservative government.

Legislating the north coast tanker ban is welcome. I'll make other efforts to expand it, but overall, I certainly welcome this piece of legislation. I would much prefer, as would the communities along the coast, to ensure that the allowable shipments are held to 3,200 metric tons in bulk. My amendment goes to every place where you see 12,500 metric tons and changes it in each location to 3,200 metric tons.

Thank you.

November 28th, 2017 / 4:30 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Can I have some clarification, Chair, through you to the legislative clerk? It's more for my own edification and an understanding of why amendment NDP-1 was admissible but NDP-3 is not. They both deal with the notion of refined oil products that are not included in Bill C-48. We had deemed these both admissible simply because they were adding a category of products that were contemplated but were simply omitted from the bill.

November 28th, 2017 / 4:30 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

While understanding my colleague's point, this bill is explicitly and nominally to protect the coastal waters of British Columbia. That's the idea. You wouldn't invoke a moratorium on a certain transport of goods.... Well, you could, for other reasons, but my assumption all along has been that the reason we're banning and seeking to have a moratorium on these products moving in this way on the coast is the risk that's posed. This is the Prime Minister's declaration. This is the statement that I take at virtue.

If colleagues will also cast forward, we have some amendments that would lower the threshold of certain sizes of vessels that are also going to be permitted under this. This hangs with the idea of why we're doing this in the first place. Oil spills will continue to happen even with the passage of Bill C-48. I feel pretty confident in saying that, because whatever size of vessel is going to be allowed to go through.... We've seen it just this weekend. We saw it almost a year ago to the day this weekend. Spills will continue.

Even if Bill C-48 had been in place, these tankers—smaller tankers, barges—that move through the area will continue, so again, having spill response, it seems to me, is not harmful to the prospects of this legislation. It can do no harm, so why vote against it? That's essentially my argument.

November 28th, 2017 / 4:25 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Here's what I'm understanding. If a clause like this proposed new clause 2.1 says it's “to encourage and improve oil spill prevention and response on the north coast of British Columbia”, does that contravene the intention of Bill C-48? Does it work against the act as a moratorium on the usage and passage of large marine vessels?

Essentially, Chair, I'm wondering if it's harmful. Sometimes we have additive amendments, and this is deemed in order, so it's not outside the scope of the bill. I understand the central intent of the bill, but if new clause 2.1 doesn't work against that intent and only enhances, then I'm wondering what the specific concern might be from our officials or from government members, if they're planning, as I suspect, to vote against it.

November 28th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Thank you, Chair.

We only have a certain number of amendments that we deem to be important on Bill C-48. I know that my colleague, Madam May, has some, and I think there might be one from the Liberals as well.

First of all, part of our amendments came directly from witness testimony that we heard at committee in reviewing Bill C-48, the north coast tanker ban. Part of it is also informed by the more than 10-year-long campaign that has been sought in the riding I represent in northwestern British Columbia, where most of this bill applies, in consultation with first nations leaders, environmental organizers and everyday citizens who have been concerned about the threat of tanker traffic on the north coast.

Amendment NDP-1 adds refined oil products to the ban. The nature of what can and cannot be shipped is at the heart of what any tanker moratorium would be. When you get into the specifics over the various materials that are shipped around the world today, you can get into the weeds a bit, if you will, Madam Chair, but we wanted to prevent refined oil spills because we have seen what those incidents can look like.

If you'll recall, colleagues, there was the Nathan E. Stewart incident, the tugboat that ran aground and sank near Bella Bella just about a year ago. There was a recent incident just in the news this weekend. The spills of those refined products, according to many experts who work in the field, can be just as bad or even sometimes worse than what's contemplated under Bill C-48.

We have other subsequent amendments to include this that would make the bill whole if amendment NDP-1 were to pass.

I look forward to my colleagues' interventions and support on the amendment.

November 28th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)) Liberal Judy Sgro

I call to order the 84th meeting of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities of the 42nd Parliament.

We have before us, pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 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 witnesses today, from the Department of Transport, we have Natasha Rascanin, Jennifer Saxe, Emilie Gelinas and Joseph Melaschenko.

We will do clause-by-clause consideration.

Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of clause 1, the short title, is postponed.

(On clause 2)

We have amendment NDP-1.

Mr. Cullen.

November 23rd, 2017 / 5:15 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Thank you very much to all of our witnesses. I think that was very valuable information. We appreciate your taking the time to come and visit us today.

Before I adjourn the meeting, just for the information of colleagues, Tuesday we will do clause-by-clause consideration on Bill C-48. We will start immediately following the speeches. Hopefully, the clerk will have us in a meeting room on the Hill so that we won't have to lose too much time. We will continue until we have it finished. Hopefully, we'll have it finished on Tuesday.

Thank you again to the witnesses.

The meeting is adjourned.

November 21st, 2017 / 4:40 p.m.
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Marina Spahlinger Manager, Regulatory and Stakeholder Relations, Canada, Royal Vopak

Thank you, Madam Chair.

On behalf of Royal Vopak, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to provide comments regarding Bill C-48.

We are an international tank storage company with a 400-year history and a strong focus on safety and sustainability.

As an infrastructure and service provider, we ensure efficient, safe, and clean storage in the handling of bulk liquid products and gases for our customers around the world. Our purpose is to store vital products with care. We currently operate 66 terminals in 25 countries, with a combined storage capacity of 35.9 million cubic metres. Four of these terminals are located in Ontario and Quebec, and we recently expanded our business to British Columbia, where we have a 30% interest in a new propane export terminal that is currently being built. Including our joint ventures and associates, we employ a work force of over 5,500 people globally.

Canada is a beautiful country, and we feel privileged to be doing business here. We appreciate Canada not only for the business opportunities it presents but also for continuously striving to be an environmental leader. We certainly enjoy Canada's pristine environment and we perfectly understand why you want to protect it.

That said, many of our terminals around the world are located in or near pristine natural environments, and our experience has shown that economic development and environmental protection can go hand in hand.

Let's consider the economic context of this moratorium. According to Natural Resources Canada, Canada was the sixth-largest energy producer in the world in 2016, yet 97% of oil and gas exports from Canada were sent to the U.S. The National Energy Board projects that net exports of Canadian energy will continuously increase until 2040. However, domestic petroleum consumption in the U.S. is expected to remain relatively flat over that same time frame.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that China and India will drive a 39% growth in liquid fuels consumption in non-OECD countries from 2015 to 2040, and that's due to rapid industrial growth and increased demand for transportation.

The moratorium as it is currently proposed would cut off a direct route to take advantage of this Asian market. This will continue to expose Canada to steep discounts on energy products that it can only sell to the American market. This raises the question of why Canada would expose itself to such a serious economic risk, particularly when you look at other economic consequences of such a decision, such as forgone tax revenues or employment opportunities.

As it stands, the moratorium is not supported by an independent scientific risk assessment that justifies why crude oil or persistent oils are included in it. This creates uncertainty for us and leads us to wonder what other items could be included in the future.

Additionally, there is no end in sight for the proposed legislation, as it does not include an end date. It is safe to say that this moratorium, if implemented, would set a worrying precedent that could make it riskier to conduct business in Canada.

Seven initiatives are currently being conducted by the Government of Canada to increase marine safety that we hope are being considered as part of the development of this legislation. These include, for example, the creation of lower-impact shipping corridors in the Arctic and aerial response planning pilot projects to help Canada adopt a regional risk-based marine preparedness and response system.

At the very least, we respectfully ask that Bill C-48 be amended to include an end date to the moratorium, as well as the process and the criteria for the inclusion and removal of items from the list of persistent oils.

Madam Chair, Vopak is keen to contribute to both economic growth and environmental protection. We would therefore be happy to engage in further discussions and share our expertise, should that be of any use.

Thank you again for the opportunity to talk to the committee.

November 21st, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
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Peter Xotta Vice-President, Planning and Operations, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Thank you very much, Madam Chairman.

Thank you for the invitation to make some comments. While the oil tanker moratorium act does not directly impact Canada's largest port from an operational perspective in Vancouver's Lower Mainland, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is pleased to provide our perspective and to respond to any questions the committee may have.

For context, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, like other Canadian port authorities, is established by the Government of Canada pursuant to the Canada Marine Act and is accountable to the federal Minister of Transport. Our mandate is to facilitate Canada's trade objectives by ensuring that goods move safely while protecting the environment and considering local communities.

With regard to Bill C-48, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority assumes that government understands the potential economic impact for such a moratorium, given that there are very few suitable locations, particularly on the west coast, for movement of petroleum products, as was articulated by my associate from Prince Rupert.

Notwithstanding the fact that any future proposals would be subject to government's rigorous environmental and regulatory review process, this moratorium could create pressure on the southwest coast of British Columbia to develop capacity for future energy projects. In turn, that pressure could constrain capacity for other commodities that must travel through the lower gateway of the port of Vancouver, such as grain, coal, and containerized consumer and manufactured goods. Supply chains are complex, with multiple participants, and it's important to understand that other ports could not necessarily easily pick up the slack for one commodity or another.

Turning to the matter of tanker safety, I want to point out that tankers have moved safely into and out of the port of Vancouver for decades. Our related procedures go above and beyond the baseline requirements, and we revisit them regularly and update them. I'd be happy to go into more detail on that.

Even with the moratorium, the risk of spills from vessels with less than 12,500 metric tonnes of oil requires excellence in spill response. The port authority echoes its submission to the tanker safety panel of 2013, noting that the government has taken significant strides to address recommendations raised by that panel and by contributors like the port of Vancouver.

The oceans protection plan goes a long way to addressing our concerns. We're aware that the government is aggressively moving to ensure the Canadian Coast Guard is adequately funded to respond to and manage spills in local waters, including being trained and resourced to provide comprehensive leadership.

We also recommended that local communities and individuals, including aboriginal peoples, must be involved in spill response plan development, oversight, and response, and fisher personnel and their vessels must be incorporated into a response strategy, particularly in remote locations, to provide an additional level of support. We're certainly pleased to see government acting in this regard also, through the oceans protection plan.

We reiterate the need for strategic placement of appropriate spill response equipment in locations of higher risk, which would lessen response times and improve response capabilities. The announcement of new Coast Guard stations on the west coast is an important step in the right direction, if they are in a position to provide such response.

The port is also optimistic that government will continue to implement the recommendations of the tanker safety panel. We believe there is a good level of understanding that the moratorium is only part of the puzzle in protecting our precious coastlines.

Lastly, the port authority encourages the committee to consider the work of unbiased voices, such as the Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping, an independent research centre that promotes safe and sustainable marine shipping in Canada. Clear Seas has now been established for over two years and is well positioned to provide support to government in the event that it may need to consider future policy changes with regard to Bill C-48.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to comment. I look forward to your questions.

November 21st, 2017 / 4:33 p.m.
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Ken Veldman Director, Public Affairs, Prince Rupert Port Authority

I'm happy to. Thank you for inviting me here today.

I'll be focusing on the legislation's potential impacts on both current and future port operations and Canadian trade.

Measured by the value of trade that it facilitates, the Port of Prince Rupert is the third-largest port of Canada, and its volumes employ over 3,000 women and men in northern B.C. Competitive Canadian trade gateways not only add value to the industries, which use them for market access, but are significant economic generators themselves.

With respect to creating a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on B.C.'s north coast, we understand that protection of the marine environment is of paramount importance to Canadians. The environmental, cultural, and economic values associated with it are enormous. PRPA shares those values and considers environmental protection of lands and waters within the port to be a key element of its mandate.

It should be noted that the navigational approaches to and from the port are among the safest in Canada. This is a result of several factors, including relatively low marine traffic volume, uncongested and unrestricted marine approaches, a deep natural harbour, and short inland water transit times from the Triple Island pilot station. The low level of navigational risk has been quantified and validated by third parties.

Navigational risk is further mitigated by positive steps taken by PRPA, including investment in shore-based radar, navigational aids, real-time navigational data, and best-in-class practices and procedures that clearly describe rules to marine carriers for safe access to and from the port.

With that as context, I'd like to focus on the proposed schedule of products found in Bill C-48.

The list found in the schedule is very broad and has not been accompanied by demonstrable evidence as to why items have been selected for inclusion. There are potentially several trade opportunities that may be negatively impacted beyond the core objective of bitumen. In fact, the legislation has the potential to eliminate existing supply chains and proposed marine services, as well as unintentionally impact future Canadian imports and exports through Prince Rupert, which would have significant economic consequences for the country.

For example, the inclusion of slack wax, a feedstock that's used to create petroleum wax products for Canadian manufacturing, impacts a service and existing capital plant and equipment that has been successfully operating in the Prince Rupert harbour for decades without incident. A vessel that transports slack wax only discharges a portion of its cargo in Prince Rupert, usually below the 12,500-tonne threshold being proposed. However, the total volume carried by that vessel would be impacted by the moratorium, and this could eliminate the service from the port.

The legislation also does not recognize the potential for port services that handle, but are not exporting, heavy oil. For example, a proposed marine fuelling service that includes a 12,500-tonne bunker fuel storage barge in the harbour is currently undergoing an environmental assessment. The capability to fuel large marine vessels at anchor in the port is a critical strategic service that the port needs as it strives to grow Canadian trade. An arbitrary storage limit is a potential hindrance to the development of these kinds of services.

The committee should also be aware that the production of refined petroleum and natural gas liquids is forecast to expand in Canada. In the case of refined petroleum products, while the bill's schedule omits several refined products, it also includes many of the products of the same production process, such as heavier oils and lubricants. The inability to market and maximize value for those heavier products would negatively impact the total economics of the refinery. Similarly, the inability for a future liquid bulk terminal to offer a full slate of refined and natural gas liquids would negatively impact its investment case as well.

Lastly, Transport Canada also notes that amendments to the schedule could be considered, following a regulatory review that would primarily assess whether the ability to clean up a spill has improved. While these criteria are rational to include, the exclusion of criteria specifically related to the empirical risk of an incident spill is a significant oversight. In an extreme example, conditions could be created that eliminated all risk of an incident, yet a product would still be banned under the moratorium because of the challenges of cleanup. Given the strategic attributes of Prince Rupert and our advantage of being arguably the safest port on the west coast of North America, this is a significant oversight in the legislation.

We have the recommendations that follow for amendments to Bill C-48.

Number one, the legislation's schedule of commodities should be reviewed to ensure a full understanding of the trade, economic, and operational impacts of their inclusion.

Number two, the review should be based on demonstrable evidence for their inclusion and include robust consultation with industry and marine transportation experts.

Lastly, number three, the legislation should contain language that requires periodic quantified assessments of the risk of marine incidents in order to provide an improved context for the regulatory process of reviewing the schedule on an ongoing basis.

Thank you.

November 21st, 2017 / 3:35 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)) Liberal Judy Sgro

I'm calling to order meeting number 82 of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, October 4, 2017, on 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.

I'm very happy to welcome the officials here today to help provide the committee members with some very valuable information. From the Department of the Environment, we have Heather McCready, director general, environmental enforcement; Michael Enns, executive director, environmental enforcement; Marc Bernier, director, environmental science and technology laboratories; and Carl Brown, manager of emergencies science and technology section.

We also have, from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Gregory Lick, director general, operations. I have to acknowledge, since we're celebrating Navy Day and the Coast Guard, that Mr. Lick has received an award for his long-standing career and achievements and dedicated service to the Coast Guard. Congratulations, and thank you for your service.

We also have, from the Department of Natural Resources, Christine Siminowski, director of the Canadian oil, refining and energy security division, energy sector, and Kim Kasperski, director, environmental impacts, at CanmetENERGY.

Thank you all very much for being here today.

Ms. McCready, who would like to go first?

November 7th, 2017 / 5:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Thank you to our witnesses for their testimony. It's been very interesting in the last couple of meetings to hear from aboriginal groups about their concerns and support, or non-support, for this particular legislation.

I want to clarify, Madam Chair, that I do not consider these to be consultations, in the sense of consultations and accommodation required under section 35 of the Constitution and under decisions of the Supreme Court and other courts of this land. This is a legislative committee made up of members of Parliament who are not part of the government. We are not part of the executive branch of government, and we certainly do not represent the crown here. The duty to consult and accommodate with aboriginal peoples rests with the crown, in particular the Governor in Council, the cabinet, the Prime Minister, and the Government of Canada. Since we do not represent the Government of Canada or the crown, I don't see these as consultations as required under Canadian law.

I wanted to clarify that, to make sure that the government understands that they can't hijack this process because they have avoided their responsibility to consult and accommodate with aboriginal peoples as part of Bill C-48. I make that point before I ask the witnesses further questions.

It was interesting to hear the testimony in the last two meetings. We had first nations witnesses who came before us at the last meeting indicating that they were against Bill C-48, and our witnesses today are clearly in favour of it.

I want to take a step back from your particular positions on Bill C-48, and talk instead about the process that led to Bill C-48. I think that's where I and others have concerns. That concern centres around the duty on the part of the government, the crown, the cabinet, and the Government of Canada, to consult and accommodate with first nations bands up and down the B.C. coast, as well as those first nations bands that would be affected along the interior corridors where oil pipelines might be built.

I want to know what consultations, specific meetings, the government held before it introduced Bill C-48 on May 12, with each of your groups that were specific to federal legislation introducing this tanker ban?

November 7th, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
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President, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

I indicated in my previous remarks about the long ongoing battle to protect our communities from, as I described it, predations of the fossil fuel industry vis-à-vis pipeline ruptures and tanker spills. That's why we so readily supported Bill C-48 offering that measure of protection to the northern communities, but it's a no-brainer that there's a denser population along the south coast. The Juan de Fuca Strait, the Burrard Inlet, and the Fraser River Estuary, and certainly all of the people, deserve a similar measure of protection.

The thought of moving tankers through Burrard Inlet that is incredibly heavily congested just doesn't make any sense. We're expected to undertake all the risks for very little benefit, if any at all. The governments have to be willing to take on the responsibilities for making these hard decisions. That's why the vast majority of British Columbians are opposed to these heavy oil projects and the risks attached to them.

November 7th, 2017 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Thank you, Chair.

I'll probably be splitting my time with Mr. Donnelly who has smarter and better questions than I do.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Mr. Hill, it's good to see you. I hope your families are well.

Let me start with you, Mr. Hill. In Gitga'at territory there has been some conversation with some of your neighbours about the exemptions that exist within this bill and some concerns that have been raised. There has also been the suggestion that if we could implement this tanker ban in such a way that first nations would play a joint decision-making role, a joint implementation role with the federal government.... Words like reconciliation are thrown around a lot in this town. Do you think this would be a helpful aspect if the committee changed Bill C-48 to allow for that, to imagine that, to give first nations a seat at the table in implementing the tanker ban in a meaningful way?

November 7th, 2017 / 5 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

You mentioned, I think, that 118 different groups make up the union. On an issue like Bill C-48 is there dissent amongst the groups and, if so, how do you reach a position as a union? Is it a majority vote? Is it a consensus that emerges after discussion or what's the process?

November 7th, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
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President, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

My response to that is, as Mr. Hill has pointed out, we've been involved in the ongoing struggle to protect our territories from the industrialization, the predations, of the fossil fuel industry for a very long time. These are not new issues.

The Enbridge northern gateway battle was a decade. It attracted 19 lawsuits, similar to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project, which also is facing 19 lawsuits.

These are deeply emotional, very volatile issues, and we've been very clear in our right, our fundamental right, our fundamental human right, to be able to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our indigenous peoples. That's what we've been doing for a very long time.

We were quite happy with the announcement that Bill C-48 was forthcoming, but again I point out that there are millions and millions of people along the southern coast—the Juan de Fuca Strait, Burrard Inlet, the Fraser River Estuary—who would be absolutely devastated by a catastrophic tanker spill or pipeline rupture.

November 7th, 2017 / 4:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I would like to thank all of our witnesses for joining us today. I think it's a very important conversation we're having with you folks, and, indeed, all of the witnesses we've heard from over the past number of weeks.

In testimony last week, we heard that the government did not properly consult as per section 35 of the Canadian Constitution with those first nations communities that were here last week.

I will throw this out to both of the gentlemen who have given opening remarks to find out if your communities or the communities you represent, Mr. Phillip, were properly consulted before Bill C-48 was tabled in the House.

November 7th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
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Grand Chief Stewart Phillip President, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Good afternoon to members of the committee.

On behalf of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, I'd like to read a brief statement.

Heavy crude oil pipeline and tanker projects pose an unacceptable risk to the health, safety, and livelihoods of indigenous nations throughout British Columbia and contribute to the negative environmental and health impacts experienced by indigenous peoples downstream of the tar sands, and of all people throughout the world, as a result of accelerating global climate change.

The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the crown's legislative power can and should be used to uphold the duties to indigenous peoples, and that both the federal and provincial governments have an obligation to uphold the honour of the crown.

My recommendations are as follows.

One, the UBCIC, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, has stated its strong support for the passage of Bill C-48, oil tanker moratorium act.

Two, the UBCIC supports the proposed amendments from West Coast Environmental Law concerning clause 6, ministerial exemption. It is the position of the UBCIC that the provision allowing exemption orders should be removed from Bill C-48, or at the very least circumscribed, for example, through engagement with indigenous peoples that satisfies the minimum standards laid out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on time limits, public notice requirement, and opportunities for public comment.

Three, the UBCIC recommends that the committee seek further information from Transport Canada regarding the rationale for the 12,500-tonne threshold for the bill's prohibitions and consider whether the threshold ought to be lowered.

Four, the UBCIC recommends that the committee expand the moratorium area to include all sensitive marine habitats, especially where increased tanker traffic will bring increased threats to killer whales, in the form of noise pollution and declining marine environment, impacting the survival and well-being of killer whales and other vital aquatic species, including wild salmon.

As part of our package, we have a number of supportive Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs' resolutions that were passed by our chiefs and assembly: resolution 2017-15: protection of water, salmon, and health from diluted bitumen; resolution 2017-04: protection of orca whales and habitat; resolution 2011-54: support for the save the Fraser declaration, the coastal first nations tanker ban, and the indigenous laws banning crude oil pipeline and tanker shipments through B.C.; resolution 2010-11: opposition to the Enbridge pipeline project.

In conclusion, as an editorial comment, again we strongly support Bill C-48, but would suggest that the same level of protection be afforded to the more densely populated southern coast of British Columbia with respect to the same threats, for example, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project and the Burrard Inlet and Fraser River Estuary.

Thank you.

November 7th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Fair enough. You can be for or against Bill C-48 and still have some legitimate comments about the consultation regarding when it should take place.

It seems to me that further consultation might have taken place on the schedule itself. You mentioned in your comments that diesel fuel, gasoline, jet fuel, and so on will be allowed. If I know industry, the tankers that will carry diesel fuel, for example, are going to start to get a whole lot bigger.

I understand that you want to have comments and consultation on the regulation of it all, but shouldn't that all be put in the bill itself? When it's presented in an upfront way, a transparent way, you can have your comments beforehand on diesel and the fact that it's going to be unlimited. What are your thoughts on that?

November 7th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Thank you very much.

For a bill such as C-48 to even reach the floor of the House of Commons, does consultation need to take place with affected communities such as yours, or can the government of the day bypass true consultation on a bill like this? What are your beliefs?

Either one of you can go ahead.

November 7th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair. I have to say that from the past few sessions we've held on Bill C-48, one of the biggest concerns that has been brought to my attention is the impact on economic development for individual areas. I'm going to try to concentrate on those areas.

As evidence was presented to the committee, witnesses from Aboriginal Equity Partners and the Eagle Spirit Energy Chiefs Council expressed great concern about the high rates of poverty in many first nations communities. In their view, the proposed moratorium would deprive their communities of the economic benefit offered by the oil transportation projects, and undermine their efforts to become more prosperous and less dependent on federal government, or any level of government support for that matter.

My question to the folks here today presenting is, one, what are the main barriers to economic development in your community? What are you facing presently? Two, what role, if any, do you consider economic diversification to play in securing the future economic well-being of British Columbia's first nations communities?

November 7th, 2017 / 4:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

One of the other issues that you mentioned was that you think Bill C-48 should extend to a transport ban and not just the loading and unloading at ports. One of the issues that was raised by a witness we heard previously was that there's a certain legal difficulty because there are disputed waters between Canada and the United States. Certainly, the U.S. would take the view that we wouldn't have jurisdiction to regulate in this area where there is currently the voluntary ban. Is there a workaround that you see around this potential difficulty of legislating in disputed waters that another nation lays claim to?

November 7th, 2017 / 4:05 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

If I could return back to you for a moment, Peter, and this may apply to you as well, Marilyn, the Haida have set up joint decision-making tables with the federal government around Gwaii Haanas and some other initiatives. It would be helpful, as an amendment to Bill C-48, to have joint decision-making or joint management over something like the tanker ban because you've talked about exemptions and the power of the minister to deem certain traffic admissible and go through the ban. If we amended this bill to allow for joint decision-making between the north coast nations and the federal government, would it provide any assurance about how such a tanker ban would actually be implemented?

November 7th, 2017 / 4:05 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Why is it so important for the feds to come in as a partner on that impact assessment? Why is that so critical? Aside from the immediate costs, why do the assessment? Why is it so critical?

As well, should things like that be included in Bill C-48 if we're amending this bill?

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Chief, Heiltsuk Nation

Chief Marilyn Slett

We would like to see Bill C-48 pass. We support the bill. We propose—and we said it in our five minutes here—that there be some consultation on the regulations, and we would like the opportunity to go through that consultation with the crown. For things like financial obligations, paying for impact assessments, traversing through our waters, and when and where, we believe further consultation is required on the regulations.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Okay.

Is that true of the Heiltsuk Nation as well, that you're entirely in support of Bill C-48?

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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President, Council of the Haida Nation

Peter Lantin

Yes, I think we said generally speaking we support Bill C-48. Getting into the details for us is the concern around the definition of “refined oil”. There has been a lot of discussion in this area around, never mind crude oil, let's talk about refined oil. For the Haida Nation, those two things we look at in the same light. As they transit into our territory, if it's refined oil or crude oil, either-or is going to be devastating to Haida Gwaii. In our opinion, we support the moratorium generally, but we believe that it could go further and include refined oil, large quantities of refined oil.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Okay.

I think one of the witnesses told us, Madam Chair, they were in support of Bill C-48, but I thought I heard there were some concerns you had with it, or some conditions on that support.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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President, Council of the Haida Nation

Peter Lantin

No. Like I said, he came to Haida Gwaii also in the summer of 2016, and then we had another video conference with the minister I think a few months ago. Again, it was all in generalities, it was never in regard to Bill C-48 specifically.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Thank you, Mr. Lantin.

Was that the only meeting you held with the federal government, the minister, before the introduction of Bill C-48? Was that January 2016 meeting the only meeting that you had with the government before the government introduced that bill in the House of Commons?

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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President, Council of the Haida Nation

Peter Lantin

Not specifically to the actual bill itself. Back in January 2016, Minister Garneau convened a meeting in Prince Rupert of all of the coastal nations. Right after the Liberal government was elected he fulfilled that promise to come to the north and engage us on shipping in general, but the moratorium was conceptually alive at that time. There have been a few more visits from Minister Garneau into Haida Gwaii, where everything I've laid out in terms of our position was also articulated to the minister as well. In general, yes, there's been consultation, but not specifically in regard to Bill C-48, although we have had quite a bit of discussion with the minister.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Thank you. I appreciate that answer.

For the Haida Nation, I'm wondering if there were consultations or meetings between the federal government and the Haida Nation with respect to Bill C-48 before it was introduced by a minister of the crown in the House of Commons.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

I understand that. Thank you.

So there were no meetings or consultations on Bill C-48 before its introduction in the House of Commons earlier this year. Is that correct?

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Chief, Heiltsuk Nation

Chief Marilyn Slett

We're not aware of consultations specifically with the Heiltsuk on Bill C-48, but we do want to express that we have supported the moratorium.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair.

I'd like to ask questions of both the Haida Nation and the Heiltsuk Nation regarding the consultations that led to the introduction by the government, by the minister of the crown, of Bill C-48 in the House of Commons.

Maybe I'll focus first on the Heiltsuk Nation.

I'd like to know if the government consulted you, had meetings with you, before Bill C-48's introduction in the House of Commons.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Peter Lantin President, Council of the Haida Nation

Good afternoon to everybody back east, and greetings from Haida Gwaii. My name is kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin. I am the president and official spokesperson for the Haida Nation.

Generally, the Haida Nation supports Bill C-48, but we propose changes to strengthen the bill to protect Haida interests and rights. I'll begin by providing some context to our submissions.

In the Haida language, Haida Gwaii means “the islands of the people”. Haida oral traditions tell the origins of these islands and our origin from the oceans of Haida Gwaii.

Our territory includes the islands and the surrounding waters, which include the entire Dixon Entrance; half of Hecate Strait, north and south; Queen Charlotte Sound halfway to Vancouver Island; and westward into the abyssal ocean depths, including the 200-nautical mile limit of the exclusive economic zone.

The Haida Nation has worked with Canada and the Province of B.C. to protect sensitive areas within the Haida territory. This includes the Gwaii Haanas marine area, which has been called and “one of the world's great ecological and cultural treasures.” Other protected areas include Sgaan Kinghlas - Bowie Seamount marine protected area, jointly designated with the Government of Canada. As well, we manage marine areas with the Province of B.C. under both the Haida Gwaii marine plan and land use plans.

The Haida protected areas protect a diversity of habitats and numerous species, including marine mammals, seabirds, fish, invertebrates, and microalgae. These areas are essential for the health and well-being of Haida citizens and Haida culture and are vulnerable to shipping, underwater noise, and the introduction of aquatic invasive species and oil spills. The Haida territory and Haida protected areas are well-known to the Government of Canada.

For those reasons, the Haida Nation joined other indigenous nations and environmental organizations to oppose the Enbridge northern gateway pipeline project that would have seen the transport of crude oil through Haida territorial waters. Together we overturned the federal approval of the project.

The proposed moratorium is an important first step towards achieving long-term protection from the risks of oil tankers and oil spills. We propose the following changes that could help strengthen the proposed bill. I will provide some proposed amendments from the Haida perspective.

First, there are plans to construct oil refineries and to transport refined oil products on the north coast. In the event of a spill, these projects carry great risk to ecosystems, communities, and the economy. The moratorium must be expanded to also ban the transport of large quantities of refined oils, such as gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel oil.

Second, further measures are required to keep large vessels at a safe and sufficient distance offshore from the west coast of Haida Gwaii. At a minimum, the area of the moratorium must apply to the current voluntary tanker exclusion zone.

The risk of harm to Haida Gwaii is largely driven by the absence of emergency towing vessels. A dedicated tug located in Haida Gwaii to provide emergency towing to vessel traffic transiting Haida territorial waters is therefore our third proposal.

Fourth, we urge the federal government to pursue international marine organization sensitive area designations to apply to all shipping to complement regulatory measures.

Fifth, the Haida Nation and Transport Canada must prioritize and complete our work of updating the Pacific places of refuge contingency plan.

Sixth, we have negotiated with Canada and B.C. collaborative management agreements covering the entire terrestrial and portions of the marine areas of Haida Gwaii. These agreements, upheld by the Federal Court of Canada, provide the federal government the unique and powerful opportunity to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a way that genuinely respects and implements reconciliation.

Seventh, a broad power to set limits or conditions on tankers, coupled with timely and sufficient access to information, will allow the management bodies under the Haida agreements to regulate the transport of essential oil products for communities through Haida territorial waters. The Heiltsuk Nation will speak further about this amendment.

We support West Coast Environmental Law in requesting an amendment to limit ministerial exemptions to the moratorium in case of emergencies. We also support the submissions of the Sierra Club of B.C. regarding expanding the moratorium to include decreased tonnage thresholds and to ban the transport of oil products, not just the loading and unloading.

In conclusion, the Haida Nation understood that the federal government had committed to ban crude oil tankers transiting and transporting oil products through the north coast. As drafted, the bill does not go nearly far enough to protect the Haida and other communities of the north coast from the devastating impacts of an oil spill. Our proposed amendments will help strengthen the moratorium to provide real protection to Haida Gwaii and the north coast.

Hawaa.

Thank you.

November 7th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)) Liberal Judy Sgro

I call to order this meeting of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, October 4, 2017, we are examining 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.

Good afternoon. Welcome, invited guests. I would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.

For witnesses on this panel, we have from the Council of the Haida Nation, Peter Lantin. From the Heiltsuk Nation, we have Marilyn Slett and Reg Moody-Humchitt. We have two by teleconference. We will start with Mr. Lantin.

Go ahead, sir.

November 2nd, 2017 / 4:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair.

This testimony today is pretty explosive. I was not aware that there was such a lack of consultation and accommodation on the part of the Government of Canada and the crown in advance of the introduction of Bill C-48. The testimony today that we've heard from this panel and the previous one is very important and valuable to members of this committee, and hopefully to the House of Commons as a whole.

My understanding on the duty to consult and accommodate is that there's a three-part test that the crown goes through to determine whether there's a duty. The first is whether the government knows that there's a right that exists. It's clear that there are treaty rights that exist here. The Nisga'a Nation has a right over its territory, clearly defined in a negotiated settlement and in legislation that was passed some 15 years ago by the Parliament of Canada. The second test is whether the government's decision has an impact on the traditional territory of the band, which includes traditional hunting, fishing, and trapping territories, but also includes directly held reserve lands. The third is whether the government's decision has a potential to impact on the treaty rights and constitutional rights of the aboriginal peoples in the area.

It seems to me that, clearly, Bill C-48 does have that impact because it prevents the Nisga'a Nation and other first nations in the area from developing those economic projects on their own directly held reserve territories in the way that they had planned to. It also seems to me that the scope of the government's duty to consult and accommodate with respect to Bill C-48 is huge. We're not talking here about building a minor road. We're talking about billions of dollars in economic development that could accrue to aboriginal bands along the route and aboriginal bands on the coast.

I don't think this is a small matter. This is a huge issue. One of the questions that's rattling around in my head as I hear this explosive testimony is whether there's going to be court action here because of the government's failure to consult and accommodate in advance of the introduction of this Bill C-48.

November 2nd, 2017 / 4:45 p.m.
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Deputy Chief, Chiefs Council, Eagle Spirit Energy

Gary Alexcee

Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you, Calvin.

I come here today to support Lax Kw'alaams in the Tsimshian first nation against having this tanker ban.

I'll give you a few dates of why we're so against this tanker ban. In 1763 a royal proclamation was signed by King George III that gave recognition of the first nations lands and their right to plan what should be there. In 1960 the right to vote for first nations was very joyous among all the first nations. In 1968 we had the Davis plan, which completely changed the fishing industry of that day as we knew of it.

Today, without the meaningful consultation that has not been carried out with the first nations and with the B.C. Council of First Nations and Alberta, this is totally against what we want. There is no scientific reason for stopping the north coast projects. If there is, we haven't seen it. Therefore, we say that the Vancouver project of Kinder Morgan must be stopped also if you're going to force this Bill C-48 upon us.

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.

I further support the Tsimshian Lax Kw'alaams community to have this bill taken away so they, too, among the other 120 first nations in British Columbia, can sit down and have a way of life where they can at least govern themselves and be responsible for what they have in their lives.

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.

Thank you.

November 2nd, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
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President, Nisga'a Lisims Government

Eva Clayton

Thank you, Madam Chair.

First of all, before I begin, I would like to acknowledge the traditional territories of the Algonquin first nations.

We appreciate the committee inviting us to speak with you today about the Nisga'a Nation's position on Bill C-48. You've heard my team's introductions.

As you are all no doubt aware, the Nisga'a treaty was the first treaty with indigenous peoples in Canada, and perhaps in the world, to fully set out and constitutionally protect our right to self-government and the authority to make laws. Our treaty area covers 26,000 square kilometres of our traditional territory, the Nass area in northwestern British Columbia and we own approximately 2,000 square kilometres of land in fee simple, known as Nisga'a Lands, shown in purple on the Nass area map that you have before you.

When our treaty came into force on May 11, 2000, after more than 113 years of struggle, the Indian Act ceased to apply to us, and for the first time our nation had the recognized legal and constitutional authority to conduct our own affairs. Our treaty includes detailed environmental assessment and protection provisions applying to the entire Nass area, which has opened the door for the joint economic initiatives in the development of our natural resources. It is in the context of seeking respect for our modern treaty that we come before you today to express our concern about Bill C-48.

The details of the proposed moratorium were announced late last November after what can only be described as a general overview of various options for the geographic content, geographic extent of a potential ban on oil tanker traffic, the type of product and vessel that may be covered by the ban, and potential opportunities for enhanced ocean protection initiatives.

In the weeks that preceded the introduction of Bill C-48, we urged that the moratorium not be enforced before further consultation took place and that the moratorium should not cover our treaty area.

Much to our surprise, Bill C-48 was introduced before we had been offered an opportunity to review the detailed approach that the government decided to take, nor were we able to comment on the implications of the proposed legislation on the terms and shared objectives of our treaty even though the area subject to the moratorium includes all of Nisga'a Lands, all of the Nass area, and all coastal areas of our treaty. This lack of engagement with us and the failure to assess the implications of our treaty is contrary to the expectations of the assessment of modern treaty implications, a process set out in the 2015 cabinet directive on the federal approach to modern treaty implementation.

Clearly, engagement on this issue fell well short of what would be expected between treaty partners. The Nisga'a Nation does not support the imposition of a moratorium that would apply to areas subject to our treaty, because Bill C-48 flies in the face of the principles of self-determination and environmental management that lie at the heart of the Nisga'a treaty.

We aspire to become a prosperous and self-sustaining nation that can provide meaningful economic opportunities for our people. This aspiration is reflected in our treaty, which sets out the parties' shared commitment to reduce the Nisga'a Nation's reliance on federal transfers over time. The Nisga'a Nation takes this goal very seriously. However, it stands to be undermined by Bill C-48.

Our future prosperity and the ability of our people to enjoy a better quality of life requires the creation of an economic base in the Nass area that meets the requirement of our treaty. This is the first priority of our government.

In the 17 years since our treaty came into effect, we have successfully negotiated many environmentally sound agreements in the mining, hydroelectric, and liquefied natural gas sectors. We were the first indigenous nation to conclude an agreement with TransCanada to run a natural gas pipeline over 200 kilometres of treaty lands.

November 2nd, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Madam Chair, this is a pretty significant issue that has been brought to our committee's attention. This northern gateway project was a $7.9-billion project. As I understand it, the Aboriginal Equity Partners were at minimum offered a 10% equity stake. They were offered the commitment to recruit aboriginal Canadians into senior management positions on this project. They were offered economic opportunities and jobs in the construction itself. That was at minimum. My understanding is that this equity stake may very well have instead found its culmination in a partnership that would have seen aboriginal peoples, Enbridge, and oil suppliers each owning one-third of this project, and seeing for the first time in the north a significant aboriginal ownership and investment of this pipeline.

Could you speak to the lost opportunities that your communities are facing as a result of decisions taken by the government not only in respect of the northern gateway project but also in respect of Bill C-48?

November 2nd, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Thank you to the witnesses for appearing in front of us today to talk to us about your concerns around the duty to consult and accommodate. I think it's important to have your views on the record.

The government has a clear, constitutionally defined responsibility as outlined in section 35 and also outlined in court decisions from the Supreme Court in recent years about a very specific duty to not only consult but to accommodate. It seems to me that didn't happen, Madam Chair, in this instance on Bill C-48.

The duty to consult and accommodate doesn't simply mean having a meeting with aboriginal peoples whose treaty rights are affected by this project. It goes far deeper and is far more specific than that. For example, the government cannot act unilaterally in any regard. It needs to consult on what studies need to be done to assess the negative impacts on aboriginal peoples along the route, and it needs to consult with aboriginal peoples before information is taken. There are many other very specific requirements that the court has outlined in various decisions.

Other than the meetings that you've mentioned, it doesn't seem to me that a lot of those proper consultations and accommodations were made ahead of the introduction of Bill C-48. For example, did the government ask you what studies it needed to undertake to assess the negative impacts on your communities if Bill C-48 were to proceed?

November 2nd, 2017 / 4 p.m.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you to our guests for being here and providing testimony.

I want to speak about ministerial discretion, so I'll direct my first question to Mr. Swampy. Subclause 6(1) of Bill C-48 allows the minister, by order, to exempt identified oil tankers from the ban on any terms and for any period of time.

Subclause 6(2) says that the Statutory Instruments Act does not apply to such exemption orders, which removes requirements that such exemption orders be published and made easily available for public inspection.

Do you have any concerns about this broad ministerial power?

November 2nd, 2017 / 3:40 p.m.
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Steward, Aboriginal Equity Partners

Elmer Ghostkeeper

Therefore, I'll end by saying that we strongly recommend that this parliamentary committee ensure that Transport Canada uphold the crown's constitutional obligations and the government's own stated principles and undertake deep consultation with our communities before implementing Bill C-48. We believe that, by working in partnership, we can enhance protection for the beautiful B.C. north coast area, while also allowing a viable aboriginal-led oil transport project that will benefit all Canadians.

Thank you.

November 2nd, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)) Liberal Judy Sgro

I call the meeting to order of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, October 4, 2017, we are studying 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.

Welcome to our committee, members and witnesses. We would like to start off with the Aboriginal Equity Partners, Mr. Dale Swampy, coordinator, and Mr. Elmer Ghostkeeper, steward. We also have from the Lax Kw'alaams Band, John Helin, the mayor.

Whoever would like to start off, you have five minutes. I'll try raising my hand when you're getting close to that time. If you can get your comments in within that time, we'd appreciate it so that the members can ask their questions.

October 31st, 2017 / 4:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you to all our witnesses for appearing today and giving us your testimony.

I first want to ask Mr. Hage a couple of questions about the territorial issues around the area in question in Bill C-48.

My understanding is that the United States is not a member of the Convention on the Law of the Sea and so does not recognize our sovereignty—or any nation's sovereignty—beyond the 12-mile limit. We, however, are a party to that UN accord and we have a different position on that. Could you talk a bit about that issue in that area of Canada's coastal waters?

October 31st, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
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Misty MacDuffee Biologist and Program Director, Wild Salmon Program, Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Thank you, Madam Chair.

I'm going to be about five minutes and 30 seconds, but I might talk a little faster because I'm nervous.

Thank you, again, for this opportunity to speak in favour of the oil tanker moratorium act.

As you know, or may even have experienced, British Columbia's north and central coast, along with Haida Gwaii, comprise a unique environment that is increasingly uncommon not just in Canada but in the world. It is an archipelago where lush forests and granite buttresses greet the sea, where grizzlies dig for clams in sight of the open Pacific, where wolves swim to distant islands in pursuit of seals, where the ethereal calls of killer whales are used to pursue salmon migrating thousands of kilometres to freshwater rivers of a forest, and where the summer sun sets on the blows of feeding humpback whales that are surrounded by thousands of shearwaters, auklets, and gulls, all in pursuit of tiny fish that spawn on a sandy shore or on the giant kelps that buffer the fragile coast shoreline.

All this is to say that this assembly of iconic animals makes the B.C. coast qualitatively different from most other exceptional places in the world. Distinctively, these animals are tied to the sea within a food web that knows no boundary between terrestrial and marine. Raincoast's two decades of published science studying coastal species confirms the knowledge that first nations have held for millennia. The coastal environment is an indivisible blend of land and ocean. What befalls the ocean, befalls the species of the land. It is no place for oil tankers.

Three recent academic papers by Raincoast are directly pertinent to the bill before you. First is a paper derived from our 10,000 nautical miles of surveys through the waters that Bill C-48 addresses, a region we refer to as the Queen Charlotte Basin. The paper, “Quantifying marine mammal hotspots” is a response to the overwhelming evidence that humans are contributing to rapid declines in marine species, particularly in coastal areas. This reality dictates the urgent need to identify important places for marine species, places where ocean processes and high species abundance interact to create hotspots.

We found that southeastern Haida Gwaii, outer Queen Charlotte Sound, the Scott Islands, Caamaño Sound, Calvert Island, Aristazabal Island, Chatham Sound, and Dixon Entrance are all places of exceptionally high marine mammal abundance. These areas all lie within the waters identified in Bill C-48.

A second paper on spills and marine mammals evaluates the consequences of potential oil exposure on 21 species of B.C. marine mammals. All marine mammals are inherently vulnerable to oil spills because they live their lives at the air-water interface where oil contact, inhalation, or ingestion can all occur.

We found that British Columbia's killer whales, Steller's sea lions, and sea otters ranked very high in terms of vulnerability to oil spills. Their elevated risk above other marine mammals is due to their small populations, their slow reproductive rates, their specialized diets, and the tendency for large percentages of the population to group together in space and time.

Our third paper on marine birds and chronic oil pollution, along with the book, At Sea with Marine Birds, by Dr. Caroline Fox, identifies marine bird species considered to be at elevated risk of extinction and those with a pronounced vulnerability to oil spills. Marine birds in this region are vulnerable to oil spills in any volume, large or small. Bill C-48 reduces the threat of catastrophic oil spills to at-risk marine birds and their habitats.

Lastly, Bill C-48 addresses the rising problem of underwater shipping noise disrupting the communication and feeding of cetaceans, and the growing threat of ship strikes. As on the east coast, Pacific shipping is a growing concern for large baleen whales like fin, sei, humpback, and the handful of critically endangered North Pacific right whales that inhabit these waters.

Over the last decade, Raincoast has tried to express what this maritime commons means to the people of British Columbia. Simply, it is a coastal archipelago that is priceless and irreplaceable, immeasurable in monetary terms.

We've also articulated the unequivocal evidence of decadal-scale biological changes that marine systems and species are undergoing, the ecological debt, and the perils of hidden consequences. But we held hope that the proposed industrialization of British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Basin was a step too far. My presence here is proof that it was.

As we codify a moratorium on oil tanker traffic into law, whales hunted to near collapse a century ago are returning to their historic feeding grounds. Bill C-48 honours the ecological legacy of this coast and the first nations people who existed with this landscape since time before memory. We will continue our work to ensure that this priceless and irreplaceable coast continues its evolutionary journey, and we will mark Bill C-48 as an essential step in determining that future.

Thank you.

October 31st, 2017 / 4:45 p.m.
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Robert Lewis-Manning President, Chamber of Shipping

Good afternoon, Madam Chair and members of the committee. I appreciate the opportunity to offer a few observations and a recommendation on this important legislation.

My comments are provided from the perspective of commercial shipping, marine transportation and, more generally, international trade. The Chamber of Shipping represents interests of shipowners, their agents, and service providers responsible for over 60% of Canadian international trade by ship. Some of our members also move bulk liquids and products of all types, including petroleum and chemical products, on both the east and west coasts.

Marine transportation includes everything from people in ferries and cruise ships to bulk commodities such as grain that is exported to Asia, to larger container ships moving goods that Canadian companies sell globally, and manufacturing goods that Canadians use in their day-to-day lives. Needless to say, marine transportation and its many spinoffs benefit and touch Canadians in their day-to-day lives.

I've been involved personally with marine conservation initiatives on all three of Canada's coasts and on the Great Lakes, and I am a member of the national Species at Risk advisory committee. As a former senior officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, I was also responsible for monitoring and coordinating surveillance in support of coastal protection. The Great Bear Sea on the north coast of British Columbia is indeed one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world and has enormous cultural significance to the people who live there, and it contains important resources for British Columbia's economy. Protecting it should be a priority, and in that respect, I doubt that anyone would question that goal.

Protection of our coastal environment goes hand in hand with being able to build trust with both Canadians and our international shipping customers. Furthermore, the ability to protect our coastal environment responsibly will also ensure the continued competitiveness of our trading gateways at a time when competitive pressures, especially from the United States, are increasing. This region is also an important trading gateway for Canada. It includes the country's fastest growing port, the Port of Prince Rupert, in addition to a number of smaller ports that afford future opportunities.

Within this context, there are three aspects of the proposed legislation that I would suggest are worthy of consideration by the committee. The first is the process and study that supported the identification and the list of scheduled commodities. The schedule was somewhat of a surprise when it was announced in May of this year, and until only recently the study that supported the decision to limit the scheduled commodities was also unavailable.

The study appears to have lacked some consultation with shipowners and operators, who currently move some of the products included on the proposed schedule. If the dialogue would have happened, those leading the study would have learned that most shipowners do not ship small quantities of a single product in a single sailing but frequently have cargo left on board that is destined for other ports. In this manner, a shipowner leverages efficiencies through multiple orders of a single or similar product. Limiting the quantity of scheduled commodities to 12.5 metric tonnes could result in unintended consequences, such as increased freight charges or a complete disruption in the supply chain.

Secondly, careful consideration should be given to whether the legislation is inconsistent with Canada's commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS. The intent of article 9 of this convention is to ensure that all ships, unless operating in a manner prejudicial to peace, good order, and security of another country, shall be provided innocent passage.

Article 24 reinforces this requirement on a coastal state, demanding that it shall not impose requirements on foreign ships which have the practical effect of denying or impairing the right of innocent passage. Furthermore, articles 194 and 211 also empower a nation to protect its marine environment and to harmonize, as much as possible, such laws and regulations with neighbouring states and international regulations more generally.

Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, this legislation establishes a precedent in Canada for managing our national supply chain and is another layer of complexity in the already multi-faceted supply chain, thereby making Canada a more complex country in which to operate. While the bill intends to embody the precautionary principle, it has not provided and is not providing a constructive framework for properly reviewing the maritime transportation supply chain of B.C.'s north coast.

I would like to make one simple recommendation. The proposed amendments to another piece of government legislation, namely Bill C-55, an act to amend the Oceans Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act, also embodies the precautionary principle. In the way that Bill C-55 takes a precautionary approach and then demands analysis and an evidence base to support a longer-term management plan, we heartedly recommend that the oil moratorium act also contain language that would require a risk assessment to be conducted at minimum every five years, such that it could inform the regulatory process of scheduled products.

In this manner Bill C-48 would take a similar approach to that of Bill C-55, a harmonized approach. It would be grounded in an evidence-based analysis that would engage affected stakeholders collaboratively and would also provide a responsible legislative framework that could be sustained over the long term.

Thank you, again, for this opportunity, and I welcome any of your questions.

October 31st, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
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Robert Hage Fellow, Canadian Global Affairs Institute, As an Individual

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

I should say that I've timed my remarks. They're five minutes and 30 seconds, so perhaps you would grant me the other 30 seconds.

During my 38 years in the Canadian Foreign Service, I have had the opportunity to work in the department's legal bureau, including a period as director general for legal affairs. I was also a representative for Canada at the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea.

I have written two articles relevant to the committee's work for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. The first is the “Legal Aspects of an Oil Tanker Ban: Bill C-211”, which I wrote in 2012; and “Risk, Prevention, and Opportunity: Northern Gateway and the Marine Environment”, which I wrote in 2015.

Bill C-211 was the last of five Liberal or NDP private members' bills between 2007 and 2011 to legislate an oil tanker ban on B.C.'s west coast in an area north of Vancouver Island. I wrote that this “opens a Pandora's box of issues involving the United States, including Canada's historic claims to these waters, the Alaska Panhandle boundary, the passage of nuclear submarines, innocent passage, and fishing rights.”

All five bills ban tanker traffic in the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound, an area under Canadian legislation known as fishing zone 3. The key issue is the nature of the Alaska boundary, called the A-B line, adjacent to Dixon Entrance. Canada claims that the 1903 British-American arbitration, which delimited this boundary, created both a land and maritime boundary. The U.S. position is that the A-B line is a land boundary only and does not demarcate an ocean boundary. It has claimed a territorial sea south of the line, thereby creating a disputed maritime area where each nation has arrested the fishing vessels of the other.

Since the 1890s, Canada has maintained that Dixon Entrance is part of the historic internal waters of Canada. Canada has made similar claims for Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. While the previous bills banned tankers sailing within the defined waters of fishing zone 3, Bill C-48 prohibits tankers carrying crude oil from entering or leaving ports in the same area.

In focusing on the use of Canadian ports, the government has avoided a confrontation with the United States over the status of these waters. A May 12, 2017, media report quotes Minister Garneau's response to reporters' questions about why Bill C-48 does not ban tankers simply passing through Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, or Queen Charlotte Sound. Minister Garneau replied that “such passage is allowed by international law, but it is effectively stopped under a voluntary tanker exclusion zone that the U.S. and Canada agreed some 30 years ago.”

However, for years, Canada has claimed these waters to be internal waters of Canada, where passage is governed by Canadian law and not international law. The U.S. maintains that its rights indeed are governed by international law and has sent numerous diplomatic notes in that regard.

The rather odd result under the bill is that tankers carrying crude oil can still ply these waters as long as they do not enter or leave from a Canadian port. The legislation also does not apply to tankers transporting refined oil. It does not apply to B.C.'s southern waters, including the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Port of Vancouver-Burnaby, the site of the Kinder Morgan tanker terminal.

Enbridge's Northern Gateway project was cancelled by the government, and the government always has the right to deny any future proposal for a terminal. This raises the question of why such legislation is required at all. The only pipeline and terminal project that the moratorium act affects is the proposed Eagle Spirit Energy corridor, which initially would build an oil pipeline across first nations traditional lands from Fort McMurray to a terminal on Lax Kw’alaams coastal lands, north of Prince Rupert.

In the 2015 article, I looked at Alaska's experience involving its native people and petroleum development. The United States government created 12 regional profit-making native corporations designed to give indigenous peoples the means to ensure their financial independence through their corporate ownership of large tracts of land and the opportunity to develop that land. The results have been very positive. One corporation on the north slope is the state's largest Alaskan-owned corporation, with over 10,000 employees. Another, on the Gulf of Alaska, designed, built, and operates the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, along with one of the world's largest spill preparedness and response organizations.

While Canada has not created similar native corporations, I believe the proposed Eagle Spirit Energy corridor on traditional first nations territory mirrors this partnership approach, with indigenous peoples very much in the driver's seat. It is paradoxical that this tanker legislation puts an end to a first nations project, which they see as an important move towards reconciliation.

I thank you for your attention, and I'm pleased to respond to any questions.

October 31st, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Now I have a question for the West Coast Environmental Law Association representative.

In an open letter, your organization expressed support for Bill C-48. You also, however, questioned the 12,500-tonne threshold.

Could you comment on that and provide any recommendations you have?

October 31st, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Campaigns Director, Sierra Club of British Columbia

Caitlyn Vernon

I can speak to that again.

The Great Bear Rainforest is the world's largest intact coastal temperate rainforest. The agreements that have been formed between first nations, industry, government, and environmental groups have been recognized globally. We don't need industrial sacrifices to support our economy; we can find ways for communities to thrive and prosper within ecological limits. All of these agreements that have been recognized, that have been signed, depend on a healthy marine environment. The salmon literally provides food for the trees. The bears depend on the salmon. The edge between land and sea is permeated; it's not a firm boundary. Everything depends on everything else, and so the integrity of the ecosystems of the Great Bear Rainforest, which is truly a global treasure, depend on a healthy ocean and depend on bills such as Bill C-48, and I would argue even more strongly, on prohibiting refined oils and articulated tug barges like the Nathan E. Stewart which also have an impact on the rainforest.

I don't know if either of you wants to say something else.

October 31st, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Gavin Smith Staff Counsel, West Coast Environmental Law Association

Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you for the opportunity to speak before the committee.

The West Coast Environmental Law Association also strongly supports Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. We've prepared a written brief, which I understand has yet to be translated. In that brief, we make a number of points, but I'm going to focus particularly on one of those right now, which is the clause 6 exemption provision that allows the minister to exempt oil tankers from the bill's prohibitions.

However, I will note that in our written brief we also address issues such as a recommendation to create a regulation-making power for appropriate public disclosure of monitoring enforcement information under the bill, as well as a recommendation about seeking further information from Transport Canada on the 12,500-tonne threshold when the oil supply study that Ms. Vernon mentioned indicated that supplies to communities are currently in the amount of approximately 3,200 tonnes.

I'm happy to answer questions on those, but I will focus on clause 6 and in particular recommend three amendments to clause 6, which we say would preserve its sensible purpose of allowing for the provision of necessary oil supplies during dire emergencies while adding three crucial safeguards to protect the purpose of the bill and the public's access to information, each of which I'll address in turn.

First, we recommend that clause 6 explicitly limit the use of the exemption provision to circumstances that, in the opinion of the minister, constitute an emergency. Currently under clause 6, the minister may issue oil tanker exemptions for any reason that the minister believes to be in the public interest or essential for community and industry resupply. The exemption provision is not limited to emergencies, and it could be used to grant oil tanker exemptions for other purposes, including those potentially contrary to the purpose of the bill.

Minister Garneau has been very clear before this committee and in the House that the purpose of the exemption provision is solely and exclusively to respond to dire emergencies. We say that the clause 6 exemption provisions should reflect that in order to ensure that the provision is not used for other purposes.

Second, we recommend imposing an expiry period for oil tanker exemption orders under clause 6 with ministerial authority to order extensions as necessary. We propose an expiry period of one year for oil tanker exemption orders and orders to extend them, although we note there's no magic in that number provided there is an expiry period of a relatively short term.

Currently under clause 6, the minister may order oil tanker exemptions for any period of time without restriction, including potentially long-term or even indefinite exemptions. We say that setting a default term for oil tanker exemption orders would greatly curtail potential use of the exemption provision for long-term objectives that are incompatible with the bill's purpose, and also reflect the reality that, in general, emergencies are not likely to require long-term oil tanker exemptions. At the same time, the ability to order extensions of those orders would provide flexibility to maintain exemptions for longer periods where required.

Third, we recommend adding a simple requirement that oil tanker exemption orders be published in the Canada Gazette. Currently, legal requirements for public notice of access to exemption orders are explicitly removed by subclause 6(2) of Bill C-48. That is because the Statutory Instruments Act and its regulations generally require publication of statutory instruments in the Canada Gazette and provide for public access to and the right to copy statutory instruments.

However, those provisions would not apply to an oil tanker exemption order under the bill, because subclause 6(2) says the Statutory Instruments Act does not apply. The apparent rationale is to ensure that exemption orders can enter into effect quickly with a minimum of procedural requirements during an emergency. We don't propose disturbing that approach. Rather, we simply recommend adding a requirement to publish the orders in the Canada Gazette to ensure that the public has proper notice of such exemptions.

In summary, the clause 6 exemption provision could, if used to its full extent as currently drafted, allow wide-ranging and long-term exemptions from the bill's oil tanker prohibitions to be ordered behind closed doors without appropriate public review, potentially gutting the very purpose of the oil tanker moratorium act. We fully understand that this is not the minister's intention. He has been very clear on that point. However, given that, as the minister stated to this committee, the purpose of the bill is to preserve the pristine north coast for posterity, we say, then, that the bill's provisions must stand the test of time. This requires firm prohibitions that cannot be easily circumvented in future through the use of a broad exemption power.

The three amendments that we propose to section 6 would achieve this goal, providing ample flexibility for oil tanker exemptions when necessary, during emergencies, while eliminating uncertainty about whether the exemption provision could, in future, be used for purposes other than that, and potentially those contrary to the spirit of the bill.

Thank you.

October 31st, 2017 / 3:45 p.m.
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Caitlyn Vernon Campaigns Director, Sierra Club of British Columbia

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to Bill C-48.

Sierra Club BC strongly supports this oil tanker moratorium act. However, to truly protect the coast and all who depend on it, we believe the bill needs to be strengthened in four key ways, outlined in our written brief, which I am told you will be getting very shortly: limiting the ministerial exemption to emergency circumstances; including refined oil under the scope of the bill; decreasing the tonnage threshold to 3,200 tonnes, which, according to a recent Transport Canada report, is the maximum needed for community fuel supply; and expanding the geographic scope to prohibit vessels above 3,200 tonnes from transporting crude or refined oil through Hecate Strait, Dixon Entrance, and Queen Charlotte Sound.

We believe these amendments are necessary, because oil spill cleanup is effectively impossible, and because B.C.'s north coast, the Great Bear Rainforest, is a unique and special place, truly a global treasure worth protecting.

Some years ago, I was invited to a feast at the Gitga’at Nation in Hartley Bay. The table in the big house was loaded with food from the ocean, food you can't find in a grocery store: smoked eulachon, sea cucumbers, and sea lion. The seaweed was particularly good, so I asked around to see if I could buy some to take home. The next morning, a woman came up to me and gifted me a big bag of seaweed; she wouldn't let me pay. In return, she said, I could help them stop the tankers.

It's difficult to overemphasize how the narrow waterways of the north coast are the breadbasket, livelihood, and culture to coastal communities. This is a place where you can watch a spirit bear catch a salmon, catch a whiff of a sea lion colony, and come eye to eye with the coastal wolves that eat seafood. Even on land, the globally recognized Great Bear Rainforest depends on a healthy ocean. The bears eat barnacles, and the trees actually grow bigger in years with good salmon runs. There is nowhere else on earth like it, so we commend the government for introducing Bill C-48.

This bill is an important step in preventing oil spills. In the case of a spill, what industry considers a success—10% to 15% recovery in accessible locations in good weather—is really a disaster for the communities and ecosystems left behind. While improving our spill response capacity is a good thing, having a bigger mop doesn't actually prevent the spills from happening in the first place.

In October of last year, the Nathan E. Stewart ran aground in Heiltsuk territory. This was an articulated tug barge that transported petroleum products between Washington state and Alaska. Fortunately, the fuel barge was empty. Even so, the sinking of the tug spilled over 100,000 litres of diesel, contaminating important harvesting and cultural sites. The response was slow, uncoordinated, and completely ineffectual for the conditions. Booms broke, and waves crashed over the booms. Fisheries are still closed. The Nathan E. Stewart provides a sobering reminder of the challenges of spill response in remote locations, and that social, economic, and environmental impacts can be very severe from even a relatively small spill of refined oil products. Note that I am not talking about just crude oil or persistent oil, but also the impacts of refined oil spills.

There are two refineries undergoing environmental assessment in northern B.C. that would result in supertankers carrying refined oil. These non-persistent oils are acutely toxic to marine organisms. The risk of an oil spill was a key motivating factor in why so many municipalities, first nations, unions, regional districts, businesses, and individuals over the years spoke out against Enbridge's Northern Gateway proposal, and why coastal first nations have declared a ban on tankers in their territories.

This government has broad-based public support for a tanker ban. However, the expectation is that the bill prohibit all tankers, not just some tankers. As I have outlined, this can be done through amendments that continue to allow for community fuel supply while prohibiting articulated tug barges, as well as tankers, from carrying refined oil.

While Bill C-48 focuses on the north coast, it must be mentioned that oil tankers also pose a huge risk to the communities, the economy, and the wildlife on the south coast of B.C., and that LNG tankers are a safety hazard. True coastal protection would ban oil and gas tankers, both north and south. Then, instead of investing in spill response, we could support the wild salmon economy and expand renewable energy production that could generate jobs without damaging our climate or putting our coast at risk of spills.

Thank you.

October 31st, 2017 / 3:40 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)) Liberal Judy Sgro

I bring to order the meeting of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in this 42nd Parliament. Pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, October 4, 2017, we are looking at 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—its beautiful north coast.

Thank you very much to our witnesses.

We will start with Friends of Wild Salmon.

Mr. Nobels.

October 26th, 2017 / 5:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

I know it's your position that you would be outside the schedule and therefore exempt from Bill C-48, so maybe you don't want to say this right now, but inside the bill, is there any issue with how you would actually prove that you shouldn't be put in the schedule?

I know the minister made comments back in February when you made this announcement, that they were still working on the criteria regarding how that would be done. Has there been any discussion since February on how you would be able to prove out this product so you wouldn't find yourself on the schedule?

October 26th, 2017 / 5:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair.

First, I want to give some clarification to some comments that Mr. Chong made earlier with respect to Bill C-48 and dealing with disputed marine borders. Bill C-48, just to be clear, does not deal with disputed marine borders. It's a land-based moratorium. I think that was made clear at the last meeting.

I do want to congratulate CN for taking a forward-looking approach, for looking at not just the moratorium we're dealing with and, of course, the possibility of it then moving forward, but also at taking it steps further than that and coming up with new products and new approaches to the impact of this moratorium.

October 26th, 2017 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair.

If you will permit, I'd like to split my time with Madam Block. I have a comment. I don't have a question.

My comment concerns the international aspect of this bill, which I don't think any of our witnesses have talked about, so I want to put this on the record. Bill C-48 concerns boundary waters for which we are in dispute with the United States. It involves the disputed waters around the Alaska Panhandle and also the waters around the Dixon Entrance, as well as issues concerning innocent passage, freedom of navigation, and the like.

The United States is not a party to UNCLOS, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and it's also a global maritime policing power, through the U.S. Navy, that has always been very clear about its determination to protect flag rights. Since the 1890s Canada has claimed these waters, both Dixon Entrance and Hecate Strait, believing they're internal to Canada. That's a position I support, but the U.S. doesn't recognize our sovereignty here.

As I understand it, the Government of Canada's foreign policy priority right now is protecting NAFTA, and I believe the Government of Canada should have a whole-of-government approach in ensuring that every resource of the Government of Canada is used to fighting for and protecting NAFTA, which is so vital to the approximately one-fifth of the Canadian economy that relies on trade exports to the United States. One of the things I have a concern about with this legislation is that it potentially will provoke the Trump administration while at the same time we're trying to get their attention and their support for the protection of Canadian jobs and Canadian interests in NAFTA. In that context, I think it's important for us, as members of Parliament, to put this on the record.

I think this is not well timed, and I don't believe it fits into what I believe should be a whole-of-government strategy to focusing every aspect, every department, every minister, and every part of the Government of Canada on the single biggest need, which is to protect our interests in NAFTA and to ensure that we can convince the Trump administration to come around to our point of view.

October 26th, 2017 / 4:55 p.m.
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Greg D'Avignon President and Chief Executive Officer, Business Council of British Columbia

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Thank you, standing committee, for the invitation to present today.

My name is Greg D'Avignon, and I am the CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia. We are in our 51st year. We are an organization of 260 firms that have assets and operations in the province, including leading firms in every sector of the economy, including our post-secondary institutions.

My comments today are really reflective of two key areas. One is related to the context of global and domestic energy demand and innovation and the role that Canada can play in meeting our obligations from an environmental and marine protection perspective. The other has to do with seizing the opportunity to export Canadian products to the benefit of the economy and the peoples of British Columbia and Canada.

These objectives were articulated in a submission in September 2016, but they bear repeating for the committee today. As the committee is aware, the International Energy Agency in its latest report showed that the global demand for hydrocarbons continues to grow and is projected to grow by one-third until 2040. Energy demand will be satisfied by a global mix of energy products, including renewables, but for decades to come it will involve primarily energy sources based on fossil fuels.

Canada, in our view, can choose to shut itself off from this demand and these market realities and forgo the benefits, including investment, taxes, jobs, and innovation that flow from our energy sector, which comprises today 10% of our GDP and most recently up to 25% of the capital investment in Canada as a whole, or we can choose to participate by contributing lower-greenhouse-intensive oil and natural gas products based on our baseline approach and innovations, as you heard about a moment ago, and drive change globally through a Canadian impact.

This is a unique proposition, particularly in British Columbia where we have the ability and today are integrating electrification in the upstream and downstream natural gas and oil production. These efforts are reducing by as much as half the carbon intensity of a barrel of oil, compared with the average in the U.S. The irony is that Canada today imports over 400,000 barrels of U.S. oil, while landlocking our Canadian product.

Canada's high environmental standards play a role in this, and Bill C-48 helps to strengthen it. Frankly, however, we have concerns with respect to our ability as the fourth-largest oil producer in the world, and given the innovations in electrification taking place in the market, to actually take advantage of the opportunities we have. The legislation in its persistence levels and schedule preclude both the innovations around the CanaPux, which we heard about earlier, and the opportunities that will arise out of natural gas production, which will include the production of light tight oil, condensate, and methane.

The British Columbia Business Council's concern is that the public narrative has not actually captured the voices of all indigenous peoples either. While many indigenous communities have the right to oppose the ability to ship, particularly diluted bitumen, from their traditional territories, the committee has heard from a great number who would like to seize those opportunities in environmental, traditional, and sustainable manners. This includes the supply chain through British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

Ironically, the oil industry and the energy sector in Canada is among the highest employers of indigenous peoples, creating self-determination, financial independence, and jobs for the future of those communities.

The opportunity for us in Canada is to seize these markets, to build on our innovation, to drive down the carbon intensity of our products, and, most importantly, to make sure that we create economic and cultural opportunities for all Canadians through the energy abundance we enjoy in Canada.

I'll conclude with some suggestions. While we are not in support of Bill C-48, we recognize the government's interest in moving forward with the legislation. Therefore, we would suggest the following. First, despite our views on the potential negative and unintended consequences of the legislation, permitting the export of products of less concern and less persistence than diluted bitumen through our northern deepwater ports must be recognized. Initially, the conversation on this legislation started around diluted bitumen, and, unfortunately, it has captured a much broader array of products and opportunities than was originally envisaged.

Second, reviews within the next 12 months of the legislation being passed and seeking royal assent should focus on the persistence level of products aimed at increasing the precision of in-out definitions, particularly given the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association's independent study on this topic, which is targeted for completion in 2018.

Third, the technology developments and other response capabilities should be reviewed within 24 months of royal assent of the legislation, particularly through the oceans protection plan and some innovations we heard about earlier, such as the CanaPux, to see whether the legislation continues to remain relevant.

October 26th, 2017 / 4:45 p.m.
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President and Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Networks Canada

Kathryn Moran

My main point is that Bill C-48 doesn't change anything that's now existing in terms of our tanker traffic on the coast. It doesn't impact the small communities in terms of needing oil, but we do see significant traffic of car carriers and cargo. Those are the ones that are most at risk.

October 26th, 2017 / 4:40 p.m.
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President and Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Networks Canada

Kathryn Moran

I thought I'd bring the ocean to you since you're talking about the ocean.

I'm appearing today representing Ocean Networks Canada. I'm the president and CEO. I've been in this position for five years. Prior to coming to Victoria, I served for two years in the U.S. as an assistant director in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, serving under President Obama's science adviser, John Holdren. During my secondment there, I was selected to be on Secretary of Energy Steven Chu's eight-member science team that oversaw shutting down the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon.

At Ocean Networks Canada, I lead an exceptional team that operates the world's leading ocean observing systems. Ocean Networks Canada delivers the Internet-connected ocean by observing and monitoring primarily the west coast but also assets on the east coast and in the Arctic. These are observatories that continuously gather data in real time for scientific research, but they are also important in helping communities and managers make decisions and, for example, in informing decisions such as those you're making today with regard to Bill C-48. These decisions are really important to protecting the ocean now and in the future.

The locations, as you know well, that would be most impacted by an oil spill accident are our oceans and coastlines. At best, coastal oil spill cleanup tools recover less than 10%, sometimes up to 15%, of the oil spilled, which everyone agrees is a pretty dismal record. These facts alone provide support for the intention of Bill C-48.

Seven years ago, the blowout in BP's Deepwater Horizon opened up that spouting spigot of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, marking the beginning of the world's second-largest oil spill. We all watched oil spew from the spigot on 24-7 cable news. I was watching it as we were trying to shut it down. That lasted for months, with feelings of both aversion and shame. After months of work, the spigot was shut, but not before almost five million gallons were spilled. Now, this is totally different from what we're talking about here in terms of tankers, but just bear with me as I talk about these other accidents.

Over 20 years earlier, the Exxon Valdez spilled 42 million litres of crude oil in offshore Alaska, which remains today one of the most devastating spills because of its remote location, the type of oil spilled, and the negative impact on the area's rich biodiversity. Most coastal waters in B.C. resemble those in Alaska where the Exxon Valdez spill occurred. They are remote, the waters are relatively cold, slowing down the breakdown of crude oil, and they consist of many narrow inlets and channels characterized by large tidal ranges and strong tidal currents. These waters are similar to those in B.C. that are home to seabirds; salmon, and other harvestable fish species; sea otters; seals; and resident migrating whales, most notably gray, humpback that are increasing in numbers, and both orca and transient orca whales.

To pause there for a moment, in response to the Exxon Valdez, the tanker industry has done considerable work in reducing accidents with tanker spills, which I'm sure you've heard from other people appearing before you. There were many lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez, which have reduced the risk of tankers going aground in these kinds of waters.

Let me talk about, most recently, the tug Nathan. E. Stewart, which foundered and sank along the rocky coast of B.C. Although the fuel barge it was powering was empty, the tug itself carried 220,000 litres of diesel fuel, and thousands of litres of petroleum-based lubricants. The result is that the pristine coastline and the Heiltsuk First Nation have been negatively impacted, and that impact is still being assessed. We don't know the full impact of that, but certainly the first nation is claiming that there was a significant negative impact.

How could these accidents have happened? When I worked on the BP accident, I was stunned at how the oil industry assured us—as they do today—that their technology advances allowed for safe development and transportation of oil and gas even in the most challenging environments. The simple answer is that each of these disasters was caused by a combination of human error, weak regulations, and a paucity of oversight that relies on robust monitoring.

I think Bill C-48 begins to strengthen the regulation gap and is a positive move forward. It supports, perhaps for the first time, Canada's use of the precautionary principle outlined in the London 1996 protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter.

Ocean Networks Canada recently completed—

October 26th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
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Janet Drysdale Vice-President, Corporate Development and Sustainability, Canadian National Railway Company

Good afternoon.

My name is Janet Drysdale, and I am vice-president of corporate development and sustainability at CN. I am making this opening statement on behalf of both CN and our research partner InnoTech Alberta, which is represented via teleconference by managing director Ross Chow. We appreciate the opportunity to appear today to add our perspective to your study of Bill C-48.

CN is the only railway that services the ports on the north coast of British Columbia. The Port of Prince Rupert is an important and rapidly growing part of CN's network, and over the past 10 years it has become a key gateway for Asian goods moving to the North American market. In addition, we serve the port of Kitimat, also on the B.C. north coast.

CN currently moves intermodal traffic, coal, grain, wood pellets, and lumber through terminals at Prince Rupert, and we are in active discussions with customers interested in moving a variety of other export products through the port. We also operate a rail barge service out of Prince Rupert, which serves the Alaska Panhandle. CN does not currently move any product to the B.C. north coast for export that would be affected by the provisions of Bill C-48.

For the past three years CN has been working with InnoTech Alberta to develop a process to solidify bitumen. InnoTech is part of the Province of Alberta's research and innovation effort and is an industry-leading expert in the fields of energy and the environment. Together, CN and InnoTech looked at many different ways to solidify the entire barrel of bitumen, with no refining involved. Frankly, nothing worked.

However, in reviewing the numerous methods we tested, we realized that if we combined several processes, we could create the solid, transportable product we were seeking. Through this research, we have now developed a patent-pending process to successfully solidify bitumen.

The process involves adding polymers to the bitumen to form a stable core and then creating a polymer shell around the bitumen-polymer blend, enabling us to create something that loosely resembles a hockey puck. Importantly, the bitumen-polymer blend is easily separated back into its bitumen and polymer components. The process does not degrade the bitumen, and the separated polymer can be subsequently recycled or reused in the solidification process. We have named the product “CanaPux”.

The key point for this committee is that CanaPux will not require tank cars for movement by rail, and the product will not move in ocean tankers to end markets. CanaPux will be transported much as are any other dry bulk products, such as coal and potash, in gondola cars on the railway and in the hull of general bulk cargo ships. At ports, CanaPux could be transported to ships utilizing existing bulk-loading infrastructure.

From a safety and economic point of view, CanaPux do not require diluent in order to be moved. As I am sure you are aware, diluent—or condensate, as it was referred to earlier—is a lighter, more volatile petroleum product used to dilute bitumen in order to make it easier to move in pipelines.

Unlike pure bitumen, the inclusion of the polymer ensures that CanaPux float in water, making recovery in the case of a marine spill straightforward. I do have a sample with me, if anyone is interested in looking.

To date, we have successfully proven the chemistry and the concept of CanaPux. In addition, we continue to work with InnoTech on scientifically confirming the environmental aspects, including its fate in the environment, as well as the GHG life cycle.

Of course, we also need to demonstrate the commercial viability. In other words, we need to show that we can create CanaPux at high speed and high volume. This is essentially a straightforward manufacturing question, and CN is currently leading the development of a pilot project that will answer that question. The pilot will allow us to demonstrate the technology to interested producers and global refiners. It will also allow us to quantify the actual costs involved and will create scalable engineering work that can be used to commercialize the technology.

We believe the pilot will demonstrate that CanaPux is a safe and competitive way to move bitumen from western Canada to offshore markets.

We briefed various officials from numerous departments in the federal, Alberta, and British Columbia governments before moving forward with the patent process.

Given that CanaPux would move in freighters rather than tankers, it is our understanding that the movement would be permissible under Bill C-48, thereby allowing the safe movement of bitumen while extending market options for Canadian producers. We believe that, given the environmental properties of CanaPux, this is appropriate.

Environmental protection of our coastlines is extremely important. Market access for Canada's rich natural resources, which provide economic opportunity for all Canadians, needs to be balanced with that protection.

CN and InnoTech are very proud to have taken the lead in the development of CanaPux. We believe that the safety and environmental benefits of the product will be of great benefit to Canadians.

We thank you for the opportunity to comment.

October 26th, 2017 / 4:30 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Thank you very much, Ms. Block.

To our witnesses, thank you very much for helping us out today as we continue on with our study of Bill C-48.

We will suspend while we switch our video conference folks around and our witnesses.

October 26th, 2017 / 4:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

I'd like to thank all of our witnesses for joining us today.

I don't have as much time as my other colleagues did, so I'll get right to the point. Given that this bill, Bill C-48, as was discussed in our last meeting and confirmed by departmental officials, does nothing to change the voluntary agreement that was put in place in 1985, and given that this current government has killed the northern gateway pipeline project, do you believe there is a pressing need for Bill C-48 today?

This is to either Ms. Brown or Mr. Bloomer.

October 26th, 2017 / 3:40 p.m.
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Chris Bloomer President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association

Good afternoon. Thanks very much for the opportunity to speak with you today.

I'm Chris Bloomer, president and CEO of CEPA, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association. We represent Canada's 11 major transmission pipeline companies. We transport 97% of Canada's natural gas and crude oil production. Our members have delivered oil and gas products with a 99.99% safety record for over a decade, a record we consistently improve through collaborative initiatives such as our integrity first program.

Our members are committed to public accountability, environmental stewardship, transparency, and continuous operational improvements through the application of management systems and evidence-based practices. We're global leaders in pipeline operations, technology, and innovation.

Although the approval of two pipelines by the federal government was a positive step for Canada, the cumulative effects of the many policy and legislative changes that directly and indirectly impact our industry are of deep concern and will determine whether or not we will be competitive in the future. This includes, but is not limited to, the potential for a complete overhaul of the system regulating and assessing major projects for interprovincial pipelines, the extent of proposed methane emissions reductions regulations, ambiguity about how indigenous people will be included within regulatory frameworks, and the fact that even recently approved pipelines are subject to further reviews and additional consultation requirements.

The proposed oil tanker moratorium act, Bill C-48, is yet another change that will compound uncertainty and negatively impact investor confidence in Canada. In his mandate letter, the Minister of Natural Resources was directed by the Prime Minister to introduce “new, fair processes” that will ensure that decisions for energy projects “are based on science, facts, and evidence, and serve the public’s interest”. This is the foundation from which we reasonably expect the government to legislate on critical matters of national importance like market access.

If passed, Bill C-48 will ban the shipping of crude oil to or from ports located on the northern British Columbia coast, restricting market access for one of Canada's high-value resources. This is perplexing given that Canada currently imports approximately 400,000 barrels a day of foreign oil into our eastern ports. CEPA strongly believes that, given the profound impact of this bill, more thought must be given to scientific analysis and achieving a broader consensus. Currently, Bill C-48 does not do this, despite claims to the contrary. Bill C-48 appears rushed, and CEPA is concerned about its content and disregard of Canada's world leadership on maritime safety.

For example, the low-carbon condensate from the Duvernay and Montney plays are of great economic and environmental significance and contribute to the government's strategic goals for wealth and job creation. However, Bill C-48 is unclear on whether they could be included in the definitions for banned oil products. The lack of clarity on this is alarming, especially given the inherent global opportunities that condensate represents for Canada.

Canada's history with marine oil transportation also contradicts the need for this bill. A 2014 Transport Canada report noted that, between 1988 and 2011, significant work by the government had improved the protection of marine safety. Since the mid-1990s, Canada has not experienced a single major spill from oil tankers or other vessels in national waters on either coast.

Additionally, this government has announced $1.5 billion in funding for a national oceans protection plan to strengthen Canada's leadership as a world leader in marine safety. It is fair to ask the question: what are the safety gaps this moratorium is supposed to restore?

In conclusion, the consequences of potentially drastic policy changes for future energy projects have instilled uncertainty within the regulatory system, adding additional risks, costs, and delays for a sector that the Prime Minister publicly acknowledged has built Canada's prosperity and directly employs more than 270,000 Canadians.

The approach to policy-making represented by the development of Bill C-48 contributes to this uncertainty and erodes Canada's competitiveness.

Thank you.

October 26th, 2017 / 3:35 p.m.
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Nancy Bérard-Brown Manager, Oil Markets and Transportation, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Good afternoon dear members of the committee.

My name is Nancy Bérard-Brown. I am speaking to you on behalf of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

I sent copies of our brief and of our presentation to the committee, as well as copies of the comments we submitted to the Honourable Minister of Transport in 2006. The documents are in both official languages.

Prior to introducing the oil tanker moratorium act in May 2017, Transport Canada undertook very brief consultations. CAPP did not support the proposed moratorium because it is not based on facts or science. There were no science-based gaps identified in safety or environmental protection that might justify a moratorium.

It is worth noting that Canada has an outstanding record on marine safety due to its stringent regulatory, monitoring, and enforcement regime and good operating practices deployed by industry. Canada has extensive experience in moving crude oil and petroleum products by sea.

The federal government has been a leader in ensuring that Canada has a world-class marine safety system that continues to evolve over time. Many safety measures have been implemented over the last number of years.

The government set up an independent tanker expert safety panel to review the Canadian regime. That panel concluded that the regime is fundamentally sound and it made some recommendations, which were all endorsed by the federal government. The national oceans protection plan launched by the Prime Minister will continue to ensure that Canada remains a leader in marine safety.

The bill as it stands would prohibit maritime access for a large range of hydrocarbon products. The moratorium would close the most economical route toward Asia, in addition to sending the message to the community of investors that Canada is not open for business.

Our production of oil and natural gas continues to increase. Canada has to expand its energy markets beyond the United States. The very broad definitions in the bill could exclude future condensate shipment opportunities from natural gas deposits that are rich in liquids and light hydrocarbons in the first stages of development.

Results have been very promising up till now.

My comments today will focus on the various definitions of oil and the need for science-based research.

As written, the regulations would prohibit the transportation of crude oil, persistent oil, or a combination of both.

First, the definition of crude oil is very broad and essentially includes all hydrocarbons. On the other hand, a list of persistent oils included in the moratorium is provided in the schedule. Having a “persistent oil” and a “crude oil” definition is confusing. If an oil product is not listed in the schedule, that does not necessarily mean that it could be transported, because it may fall under the definition of “crude oil”.

CAPP, respectfully, would recommend that the bill include only one definition of persistent oil, which links to a schedule that can be modified by regulation. Alternatively, CAPP would recommend that the crude oil definition be amended to say something like “any liquid hydrocarbon designated by regulation”.

The concept of persistent and non-persistent oils is very important, as it informs the response required in the event of a spill. The distinction is based on the likelihood of the material dissipating naturally. As a rule, persistent oils contain a large proportion of heavy hydrocarbons. They dissipate more slowly and require cleanup. In contrast, non-persistent oils are generally composed of lighter hydrocarbons, which tend to dissipate quickly through evaporation.

I would like to note that in the schedule, “condensate” is defined as a persistent oil in accordance with the ASTM D86 method. While distillation thresholds have been broadly used to define persistence, there are other key physical properties that should be considered in determining persistency.

Of note, definitions of persistent oil do vary. For example, Australia relies on standards that refer to API gravity and viscosity, in addition to alternative distillation.

Of note, western Canadian condensate is a unique, light hydrocarbon, which has very different properties and behaves differently from heavier crude oils. The timeline for condensate persistence in a marine environment is often hours or days.

CAPP would recommend that alternative definitions of persistent oil and thresholds be explored further. CAPP is also seeking consideration for alternative treatment of condensate from the list of persistent oil products.

The safe and reliable transportation of all of our products is critical for our members.

More scientific analyses are needed in order to better understand the changes and behaviours of various oil types. The industry is meeting that need. Our association and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association have commissioned a study which should be completed in 2018.

We recommend that the federal government undertake a science-based risk assessment related to oil tanker movements along the British Columbia north coast.

We also recommend that you examine scientific research regarding the fate and behaviour of oil products under the Oceans Protection Plan.

October 26th, 2017 / 3:35 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)) Liberal Judy Sgro

I'm calling to order meeting number 77 of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 42nd Parliament.

Welcome, everyone. Pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, October 4, 2017, we are studying 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.

We have witnesses today. From the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, we have Nancy Bérard-Brown, manager. We also have, from the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, Mr. Bloomer, president and chief executive officer; from the City of Victoria, by video conference, Councillor Ben Isitt; and from the City of Burnaby, Mayor Derek Corrigan.

We welcome all of you. Thank you very much for taking the time to join us today.

We'll open it up with Ms. Bérard-Brown.

October 19th, 2017 / 5:15 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Yes, and I understand that. Could we have included the force of that voluntary exclusion in Bill C-48? If we hadn't, why didn't we?

October 19th, 2017 / 5:10 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Is there any reason it wasn't included in Bill C-48 since it seems to have been working and everybody's fine with it?

October 19th, 2017 / 5:10 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Right, but the voluntary exclusion of big tankers coming down that coast, or the big tankers going up, that's not part of Bill C-48?

October 19th, 2017 / 5:10 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

I'd just like to follow up on that, maybe from the other side, and forgive me again, I'm new to this and haven't heard any other testimony. You say there's this voluntary exclusion area outside of Haida Gwaii.

Even if it has been working for umpteen years, I'm just wondering, is there a reason why it wasn't included in Bill C-48 because it sounds like this is something on top of that voluntary exclusion?

October 19th, 2017 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

That was what I was asking, though. If I have a supertanker with 318,000 metric tons of light diesel oil that's allowed under C-48, can I drive my boat up and down? Can I do that?

October 19th, 2017 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Doesn't Bill C-48 allow for that? Doesn't it allow for diesel fuel to come up—

October 19th, 2017 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Light diesel fuel, gasoline.... I notice in your example you list light diesel oil and that's allowed. If I have a supertanker full of 318,000 metric tons, can I pick that up, if I'm a Canadian tanker, in Valdez and work my way through and deliver it to California? Under Bill C-48 will I be allowed to do that?

October 19th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
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Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Thank you.

Is it likely that Bill C-48 would direct investment and traffic away from Canada and into the United States?

October 19th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
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Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair.

When the minister was sitting in that seat, I was attempting to get some history, as well as reasoning, behind this bill. I think he was very clear in response to my questions on why we're bringing this to the table.

However, I want to dig a bit deeper into the weeds with respect to a lot of what has been identified throughout Bill C-48. How is this region different from other parts of Canada where tanker traffic is currently permitted?

October 19th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

A comparison of the voluntary tanker exclusion zone and the proposed moratorium area under Bill C-48 reveals that the voluntary tanker exclusion zone is larger.

Will the voluntary exclusion zone remain in effect once the bill is passed?

October 19th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Thank you, Minister, for being here today.

I'd like to get a clear sense of the real impact Bill C-48 will have, using an example. If an oil tanker carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil entered the moratorium area, what exactly would happen?

October 19th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Thank you, Chair.

Thank you, Minister. I applaud the intention of the bill, especially knowing that it's designed to protect the incredible biodiversity of the Great Bear Rainforest region, Gwaii Haanas. There's a long-term New Democrat private member's bill, among others, so we're really glad to see it coming forward.

A concern, though, is that Bill C-48 doesn't do anything to prevent the kind of disaster we saw a year ago in Heiltsuk territory, the Nathan E. Stewart barge spill, because it specifically excludes refined oil products from the ban.

Even if they were included, the 12,500-tonne threshold is high enough to allow them to pass through some of B.C.'s most sensitive waters. Disasters like the Nathan E. Stewart show that we need better regulation and enhanced investments in spill prevention and response in the region.

My question is two-fold. First, why should large petroleum tanker barges be excluded from the bill, given the risks that we know already exist in the region? Second, is there a scientific case to exclude refined oil products from this legislation?

October 19th, 2017 / 3:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Thank you, Minister, for being here this afternoon.

Minister, since 1985 there has been a voluntary tanker exclusion zone, the TEZ, in place along British Columbia's coast. The TEZ ensures that loaded tankers carrying oil from Valdez, Alaska, to U.S. west coast ports transit west of the TEZ boundary to protect the shoreline. Therefore, Bill C-48 will simply be formalizing the status quo with respect to what's been occurring in that area. This has existed since 1985 and has not had any discernible negative impacts on international marine trade.

Here's my first question. In your opinion and that of the consulted stakeholders who you've spent a lot of time with, including first nations, will the moratorium provide an important added level of protection to measures already in place?

October 19th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Madam Chair and esteemed members of the committee, I am pleased to be here with you again today to speak about a third bill that advances my mandate priorities.

I'm sure I hardly need to remind you that we Canadians enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Among the many beautiful places in our country, the stretch of rainforest along British Columbia's northern coast is unique. There is nothing quite like it. The thought of this pristine ecosystem being fouled by oil pollution is simply intolerable.

That is why I am here today to speak to the proposed legislation intended to preserve and protect these coastal areas—namely, Bill C-48. I'm happy to outline the rationale for Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. The comprehensive measures of the proposed legislation are the result of extensive consultations with Canadians. While there continue to be differing perspectives, what we did hear loud and clear is that the transport of both crude oil and persistent oils by sea should be prohibited near the pristine coasts of northern B.C.

The proposed moratorium would cover all ports and marine installations in the area encompassing northen B.C. and extending from our border with Alaska in the north down to B.C.'s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Tankers with more than 12,500 tonnes of crude or persistent oil as cargo would be prohibited from stopping, loading, or unloading at ports or marine installations in this area.

The definition of crude oil in the proposed legislation is based on the one in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which is familiar to the shipping industry. Persistent oils are heavier and stickier. Because of this, they tend to break up and dissipate more slowly, and if they are spilled, they are more likely to cling to birds, wildlife, and shorelines. Examples of persistent oils in the moratorium schedule include partially upgraded bitumen and synthetic crude oil. We may consider changes to the list of targeted goods if a review of the scientific evidence and innovations in the transportation of oil or cleanup technology show that changes are justified. The safety of the environment will always be the main consideration, and any changes would have to be made through a regulatory amendment.

We recognize that many communities in the area of the proposed moratorium are not accessible by road or rail and depend on oil to be brought in by ship. To ensure the resupply of these communities and their industries, this act would allow individual shipments of less than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil to continue.

To reinforce how seriously we take this matter, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act also includes reporting requirements and strict penalties for violations.

All tankers capable of carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of oil would be required to report on the cargo they are carrying, or picking up, within the moratorium area. This information would have to be submitted 24 hours before the tanker calls at a port or marine installation.

I want to reassure shippers that the reporting burden would be kept to a minimum, because we are aligning the new requirements with existing reporting processes.

The only additional requirement for shippers would be to report the specific type of oil they are carrying and the amount of oil that would be loaded or unloaded at a port or marine installation in northern B.C.

With respect to enforcement, Transport Canada already has marine inspectors who enforce existing marine legislation. These inspectors would enforce the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act to ensure compliance.

The powers these inspectors would have under this act would be similar to the authorities they have under existing marine legislation such as the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

Inspectors would have the authority to board an oil tanker and take samples, or conduct tests, to verify compliance with the act. If a marine inspector had reasonable grounds to believe the law had been violated, the oil tanker could be detained.

Again, I want to emphasize that the safety of the environment is our top priority in advancing this legislation. Lest anyone doubt that, let me note that we would support this moratorium with an enforcement regime that could result in fines for violators of up to $5 million.

These strong measures against potential oil pollution are what Canadians want and expect.

Canadians helped us set the parameters of the oil tanker moratorium act. In 2016, I undertook an extensive series of engagement sessions, and met with stakeholders with clear views on a proposed moratorium. I talked to coastal and inland indigenous groups. I also met with environmental organizations, marine and resource industries, and representatives of affected communities. I met with colleagues from provincial and municipal governments as well. People across Canada logged on to our website to comment on the proposed oil tanker moratorium. I listened to their views on improving marine safety in Canada and formalizing an oil tanker moratorium.

It's clear that Canadians share certain goals—to keep our economy strong and protect the environment. We understand that marine safety is a precondition to sustainable economic development.

Madam Chair, this legislation complements our government's larger national strategy to promote marine safety and coastal protection under the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan, which we announced in November 2016. As part of this plan, we are investing in new prevention and response measures, based on the latest oil spill cleanup science and technology.

Madam Chair, and members of the committee, this legislation is long overdue. Canadians have been asking for this for years. Fortunately, it is not too late. Once passed by Parliament, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act will provide an unprecedented level of environmental protection for British Columbia's north coast.

The oil tanker moratorium will allow us to preserve this precious ecosystem for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations. We have an opportunity now to accomplish something of historic importance. And we should grasp that opportunity.

And so I urge this committee, and my fellow parliamentarians, to support this bill.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

I would now be happy to answer your questions.

October 19th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair (Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)) Liberal Judy Sgro

I call to order the meeting of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, 42nd Parliament, meeting number 76, pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 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.

Appearing today we have departmental staff, and we have Minister Marc Garneau here for the first hour.

Minister Garneau, welcome. I'll turn the floor over to you.

The EnvironmentLegislative AmendmentsRoutine Proceedings

October 17th, 2017 / 10:10 a.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the second petition, many petitioners are calling upon the government to go farther than Bill C-48, which is is currently before the House, with respect to a tanker ban on the north coast of B.C. The petitioners ask that a ban on crude oil tankers extend through B.C.'s entire west coast.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the House

October 16th, 2017 / 6:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank our hon. colleagues for their speeches and their interventions in the House today, and on Bill C-48.

I listened to the debate intently, and heard it over and over again. It is very similar to what we have heard from the government time and again, whether it was on Bill C-55, which was earlier today, on the marine protected areas, or electoral reform, or the tax measures that the government proposed earlier on and is now backtracking on. It is very interesting. It comes down to consultation. It comes down to the fact that this has nothing to do with really banning tankers on the west coast, but has to do with slamming shut anything to do with a pipeline to get our product from the Alberta oil sands to the west coast and to get our product to other markets.

I should be really clear that there are approximately 4,000 ships or vessels each year that go in on the east coast, in terms of oil or petroleum-based tanker traffic. On the west coast, oil or petroleum-based tanker traffic represents less than 1% of the vessels that are arriving and departing off the west coast ports which is about 200,000 vessels each year, using 2015 numbers.

It was about 1,487 vessels total for 2015. It is interesting, and I know that other speakers have mentioned this, that it is okay for over 4,000 vessels each year, to go in through the east coast with over 600,000 barrels a day of foreign oil from some of the worst contributors of human rights violations in the world. It is okay for us to be reliant on foreign oil, but far be it for us to be self-sufficient and actually be able to get our product to market on the west coast.

This is really about shutting down the opportunity of the pipeline that was going through my riding of Cariboo—Prince George, one that had a lot of first nations' support. A lot of first nations became equity partners in this program that could have lifted some of our most vulnerable communities up. Instead what we are seeing is that those opportunities have gone away. Just recently, the Hereditary Chiefs' Council of Lax Kw'alaams, which is a community that would have been impacted by this, came out publicly and said, and there have been many who have been mentioned as well:

....we categorically reject interference of outside environmental NGOs (especially those foreign-based) who appear to be dictating government policy in our traditional territory.

That is talking about why we are moving so quickly to implement this tanker moratorium.

Canada has the largest coastline, over 243,000 kilometres. We also have some of the most stringent safety standards. I want to talk about some of those safety standards that we have. We have marine inspectors who board oil tankers that ply Canadians waters to make sure that they have double hulls. We do that because, as has been mentioned before, of the terrible, disastrous incident that happened with the Exxon Valdez in 1989. After that, the global oil shipping industry made a 25-year phase-out plan that banned single-hull ships. As of 2010, there have been no single-hull ships, massive tankers that have been shipping oil, plying the waters of Canada. There have been no single-hull tankers. We have marine inspectors who go out and check that.

Again, a lot of times the Exxon Valdez incident is used to shut down pipelines or have tanker moratoriums. It is used to anger and facilitate a lot of opposition in these areas.

Interestingly, the Liberal government approved Trans Mountain or Kinder Morgan. It said that it approved it, but we have not seen anything about it. That will facilitate 900,000 barrels of oil per day to that west coast port that is right among communities, and an interior passageway, and that is okay. However, to have an economic development project in the northern part of our communities, one that was critically important and had national interest, was nixed.

I look forward to the next nine minutes or so that I have to speak the next time that this debate comes up.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the House

October 16th, 2017 / 5:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am very glad to be up here tonight to speak about the crude oil tanker moratorium on B.C.'s west coast. I was asked a little while ago if I would speak on Bill C-48, and I jumped at it and said that I would like to speak about Bill C-48 and the moratorium on the tankers.

This moratorium act would not be protecting the west coast. Let us face it. It would not be protecting Canadians and would not be helping our aboriginal neighbours. If we really look at what this is all about, it is about the Prime Minister making a promise during the last election that he would stop shipment of oil from Canada and would put a moratorium on tankers on the west coast. He did a mandate letter and told his Minister of Transport to make sure to get policy out there. Thirty days later, he has come out with Bill C-48 that would stop the movement of tankers along the west coast. Who suffers? All Canadians. What we need is more debate and more consultation, especially with the aboriginal community because they have already told us that.

I want to go back a long time. I was a young lad of about five years of age, and I was staying with my grandparents as my parents were living in Edmonton. I stayed with my grandparents out on a farm in northern Alberta in a community called Two Hills. I loved being out in the field with my grandfather. I worshipped my grandfather.

I was out there running around in the field and my grandfather was working, discing I believe, if my memory is correct. He hit a big rock and it jammed between the discs, and he stopped. I was just a little five-year-old but I ran over to help, and I watched as my grandfather struggled to pull that rock from between the discs. Anybody who has been in the farming community knows what discs are. They get pretty sharp because they are turning in the ground all the time.

As he yanked on it, the rock came out, and his hand hit the disc on the other side and he put a big slash on the side of his hand. The blood gushed out. I hope nobody is queasy out here. I said, “Grandpa, look what happened.” He reached down, grabbed the fresh black earth, and he pressed it into the wound on his hand. I looked at him and said to him that he could not do that because it was dirty. He stopped what he was doing, looked at me, sat on the hitch of the tractor, called me over there, and he put me on his knee. He reached down. The bleeding had stopped. He pulled the earth and said that there was nothing more pure than Mother Earth.

Then he proceeded to tell me that the earth gave him the food that we ate. He proceeded to tell me that the jack pine at the end of the farm was where we got the lumber to build his house and barn. He told me about using common sense and only working the crop for a certain portion. He told me about selective logging that morning when I was five years old. I remember him telling me about living off the land, and the land giving him a product that he could sell to buy tobacco, because he always had a cigarette in his mouth. He received money from the grain he sold from the land. He said that the earth was energy and it gave us an opportunity to live and prosper. I always remembered that, and I love nature. I know I am kind of rambling on here. However, at that time, as a five-year-old, he told me to love nature and I have loved nature ever since.

I was very fortunate at the last election that my party assigned me to the environment and sustainable development committee, and I was given the opportunity to learn a lot more about this great country of ours. I learned about the need to protect spaces across Canada and about the Aichi agreement: 17% of our land mass by 2020 and 10% of our sea coastal waters by 2020. I do not think that they are obtainable, but they are realistic and we need to work and strive toward that.

I hear a lot from the government about science based, that we need to rely on the scientists to tell us what to do in our great country. In the Ukrainian language we call our grandfather “gido”. My gido was a very smart man. He knew everything that he needed to know to survive. He put it in very simple language, so I will quite often step aside from listening to the academics and go to the people on the land. Some of the smartest people on the land who I know of are our aboriginal neighbours. Many times, I have gone to different powwows and listened to the people living on the land, Petitot landing and Taylor landing, for example. These are very wise people. They have worked the land. Trappers are other people who know the land. They have spent 40 or 50 years on it. They know about the environment.

We have aboriginal equity partners in the pipeline project that was to go across northern B.C. to take oil products from Alberta to Saskatchewan and parts of B.C. They are suffering because of the government's policy to stop the pipeline. The government could not stop it because it met all of the environmental rules and regulations of the National Energy Board. The only way it could do that was to come out with a moratorium to stop any ships from going in there to pick up the oil. The aboriginal people will tell us they were not properly consulted.

I believe some may have read this before. It is not just the B.C. coast. According to the Assembly of First Nations chief, Perry Bellegarde, 500 of the 630 first nations across Canada are open to pipelines and petroleum development on their lands. Going back to the aboriginal equity partnership, a specific example was 31 first nations were equity partners and held 30% of the financial position in the northern gateway pipeline project. This was before it was cancelled due to the fact that there was no use having a pipeline if the ships could not get to the pipelines to ship the worldly products.

Communities like Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, and Smithers have struggled over the years with hard economic times. They have had a hard time prospering, like other parts of Canada, especially Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the northeastern part of B.C.

They have seen a decline in forestry. Why? Was there a decline in the market? No, there was a decline because of the pine beetle destroying a great portion of B.C.'s pine forests. Those pine beetles wandered into Jasper National Park and Banff National Park. If people drive through the park, which is not part of my riding, they will see a great portion of the park is brown now. There are no more green trees. The pine beetles have devastated them. What is worse is the pine beetles got mad at the park and left. They are now moving into the pine forests of Alberta. In fact, the latest statistics to come out show that from last year to this year, the amount of trees being affected in Alberta is tenfold.

The communities are struggling. The northern gateway pipeline would have been good for those communities. It would have been great for their economy and it would have helped the aboriginal communities grow and prosper in the future, to give their youth new goals, ideas, and places to go. It would have helped in education. They lost billions because of the moratorium on ships. If they do not have the ships, there is no use having a pipeline to the coast.

My riding is called the Yellowhead. Oil and gas is very important to my riding. It is very important to me and to my family. My son-in-law has a small company that works directly in the oil patch. It is kind of related to fracking and other types of ventures. He employs close to 100 people. He makes a very good living from the oil patch, and the 100 people working for him make a very good living from it.

The proceeds of the oil patch, whether in Alberta or Saskatchewan or northern British Columbia, bring a tremendous amount of revenue to this great country of ours, Canada. A lot of that revenue is spent here in the central part of Canada.

The Yellowhead is known as a major transportation corridor. Highway 16 runs right through the centre of my riding from the east to the west. In fact, the Yellowhead Highway is known across Canada as a major transportation corridor. It goes from Prince Rupert to Winnipeg. I have travelled it from the west to the east and from the east to the west many times, and the pipeline was to follow a great portion of that highway through British Columbia. Northern gateway would have been beneficial to all Canadians if it had been built, but it was not built, because the moratorium on shipping on the west coast would not allow ships to go to a port that could have had a pipeline to it.

I have also been to communities such as Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Bella Bella, Bella Coola, Queen Charlottes, Masset, and Stewart. I have been to every one of those communities personally. I have been very fortunate in my working career to have lived on the west coast. I have partied and lived with the aboriginal communities on the west coast and throughout the interior of British Columbia. I have sailed from Mexico to Alaska on the west coast. I love the beauty of the west coast of Canada and the United States. I have been to the Hecate Strait, Queen Charlotte Sound, the Dixon Entrance. I am a pilot. I have flown from Mexico to Alaska. I have landed on many of the pristine coastal beaches of British Columbia. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I have been so fortunate in life to have had the opportunity to travel to many of the inlets and beaches to meet many of the local people.

One thing I have learned from my travels is that, yes, we need to protect our coastal waters. It does not matter whether they are on the west coast of British Columbia or the east coast of Canada or the Arctic. We need to protect them.

As I said, I have been fortunate. I have also travelled extensively on the east coast and in the Arctic. I cherish the beauty of all of Canada and recognize that we need to protect all parts of Canada, but I also realize that Canada is country with an abundant supply of many different types of energy. Whether coal, oil or gas, our natural tree products, mining, aluminum etc., this country from coast to coast to coast is abundant in natural resources. These natural resources have been instrumental in making Canada one of the world's most economically viable countries and one of the best countries to live, bar none.

When I meet young people in my riding of Yellowhead, I ask, “You have won the lottery?” They say, “What do you mean?” I say, “You were born in Alberta. We have an abundance in Alberta. We have an abundance of oil and gas energy. We have an abundance of coal. We have an abundance of agriculture. We have an abundance of forestry, and we are a tourist location for worldwide travellers.” I tell them that there are so many different fields and occupations in Alberta that they could enter and prosper in. However, that is very true of a lot of our provinces. Any member from any riding here can probably stand and brag about the quality of his or her specific riding, but it would all end up with Yellowhead being the greatest riding in Canada. I have said that a few times, though it might require a bit of debate.

The west coast of British Columbia is beautiful, breathtaking, but so is the east coast of Canada, the Maritimes. They are all breathtaking and beautiful. The Arctic is breathtaking and beautiful.

Bill C-48 would put a moratorium on shipping oil on the west coast of Canada. We ship oil to many other destinations. We are probably one of the few countries in the world that would not require any importing of oil to this great country of ours, because we can produce enough in house, and that is exactly what we should be doing. When we have a large, diversified country like Canada that stretches thousands of miles from coast to coast to coast, it makes one wonder why we have to import as much oil as we do.

I was astounded when I looked at a graph recently from Canada's statistics in long form. That is why it took a little while to get it here, because it is a lot to read. I was astounded to see the amount of oil we bring into this great country of ours.

This is the daily number of barrels we bring in, and these are 2016 statistics: Saudi Arabia, 86,741 barrels; Norway, 41,858 barrels; United Kingdom, 9861 barrels; Colombia, 5,314 barrels; Kazakhstan, 19,200 barrels; Algeria, almost 85,000 barrels; Nigeria, about 74,000 barrels; Ivory Coast, around 12,500 barrels; and the United States 265,000. That is what we import into Canada on our east coast. The ships come from the southern United States across the ocean into the St. Lawrence, on the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in our beautiful maritime provinces. How can we do that? It is unsafe. According to the Liberal government, it is not safe to have tankers on the west coast, but it is safe to bring in $12.7 billion a year of oil on the east coast. Why is it safer on the east coast than it is on the west coast? I cannot fathom that logic.

Many years ago, a former prime minister, by the name of Trudeau, left Alberta. He was on a train, and I think he put his finger out to check the wind. Now we have his son who is Prime Minister, and it would almost appear that there is another testing of the wind. I hate to say that someone out there does not want to see Alberta, Saskatchewan, or even B.C. prosper from our natural resources of oil and gas. That is a shame.

Since 1985, ships have been sailing up and down the west coast of British Columbia. They have been sailing under a mutual understanding agreement to stay off the west coast shore at least 100 kilometres.

I have studied that route because, as a police officer, I also patrolled the west coast. I was stationed there for a number of years. If we look at the average, it is probably closer to 150 kilometres off of the west coast of British Columbia. It is under a mutual understanding and agreement. There have been no problems since the start of that agreement, and I see no need why we need a moratorium today to stop shipping on the west coast of British Columbia.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the House

October 16th, 2017 / 5:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to participate in this debate today on behalf of the official opposition. I think it is extremely important that further study be conducted on Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. Further study would also be consistent with the government's claims that they encourage wide consultation with Canadians across the country to share their ideas on how we can work together to create a stronger marine safety system and better protect our coasts.

I do want to stress the fact that this legislation is of great national importance. Bill C-48 is an act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast. It is important to recognize that this legislation will have an impact not solely on local communities, but also nationally and certainly in my home riding of Calgary Midnapore. As a result, Canadians should have the opportunity to present their concerns, and having the transport committee engage in hearings is one way to make sure that happens.

Further to that, I want to refer back to comments my colleague from Lakeland made in her speech on Bill C-48. As she pointed out, following the general election in 2015, the Prime Minister sent a mandate letter to the Minister of Natural Resources, directing him to ensure that, "decisions are based on science, facts, and evidence, and serve the public's interest".

However, just over three weeks later, on November 13, 2015, mandate letters from the Prime Minister to at least three ministers directed them to work together to formalize a moratorium on crude oil tankers off British Columbia's north coast. As my colleague questioned, “One wonders quite reasonably how it could at all be possible that there was sufficient time in 25 days to ground this directive on the results of comprehensive assessments of existing environmental and safety records, standards, outcomes, and gaps; a comparative analysis of marine traffic rules, enforcement, and track records on all Canadian coasts and internationally; and thorough local, regional, and national economic impact studies.”

The answer is that there just was not time. Clearly, there was not time to consult with stakeholders such as first nations, local communities, industry, and experts. With today's motion, we are here asking for those steps to be taken.

I want to read a portion of an email of many emails I received last week.

A Calgary writer states that the Prime Minister has introduced Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, “...to ban oil tankers off B.C.'s northwest coast to Parliament over the objections of coastal and inland first nations. Tankers off Canada's east coast importing 759,000 barrels a day of foreign crude are apparently okay with the government and the Prime Minister, as are another 400 tankers per year through Vancouver's busy inner and outer harbours, under the Second Narrows bridges, under the Lions Gate bridge, past Stanley Park, through the Gulf Islands and narrow Haro Strait, and down the length of the Salish Sea past the provincial capital of Victoria and through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This is all apparently okay with the Prime Minister, but not for tankers off Prince Rupert, the safest and best port on Canada's west coast!”

This bill is, of course, not really about transport standards, marine traffic, or protecting the safety and ecology of B.C.'s northern shore. It is a poorly disguised move by the Liberals to further limit Canadian oil development and transportation, and not the only instance that we have seen of this lately with the cancellation of energy east. In complete contradiction to his claims of wanting to consult Canadians, this is just one more example of the Prime Minister's own explicit goal to phase out the oil sands.

Once again, I am going to reiterate the comments made by my colleague from Lakeland earlier this month.

As she pointed out, “the unbiased, non-partisan Library of Parliament's legislative summary states explicitly that the debate around the tanker moratorium stems from the Conservative-approved northern gateway pipeline project”. This project would have had oil transported from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, B.C. After forming government, the Liberals told the National Energy Board to cancel the project. Now, by putting in place a ban on tanker ships in this region, the Liberals will permanently prevent any other opportunities for pipelines to transport world-leading Canadian oil to the Prince Rupert and Kitimat areas. As a result, Canada will not be able to expand our customer base by taking advantage of the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region.

As I stated at the start of my speech, Bill C-48 is not a piece of minor legislation. It will negatively impact all of Canada with future consequences for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians employed in the energy sector across the country. Energy is the biggest private sector investor in Canada's economy and oil and gas is Canada's second biggest export with 97% imported by the United States. My colleague outlined some of the direct benefits Canadian oil and gas provides across the country including 670,000 direct and indirect jobs in this country. Deliberately limiting export capacity potential and thereby putting a ceiling on production would be detrimental to the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere and certainly in my riding of Calgary Midnapore, and, as we heard from the previous speaker, Alberta as a whole

As global oil demand continues to increase in the years and decades ahead, reaching tidewater in all directions for Canada's oil and gas should be a pressing priority for the Liberals. It makes no sense to delay, hinder, or equivocate on this point from an economic, environmental, or moral perspective in the global context.

The Liberals claim they are concerned about the environment, however, similar to the small business tax suggestions, their actions prove the opposite. By taking Canada out of the equation in terms of oil, the Liberals are allowing oil- and gas-producing countries, whose standards, enforcement, and outcomes are inferior to ours, to prevail. Additionally, they are opening up the market to corrupt regimes with abysmal environmental and human rights records, where energy development benefits only a select few. The government does not seem to realize that in Canada, energy development benefits every community with jobs and with revenue for multiple levels of government.

Between 2000 and 2014, for example, on a net basis Alberta's individual and corporate taxpayers shipped an estimated $200 billion-plus to the federal government and a major source of that revenue was from oil and gas. This money helps ensure that all Canadians have access to similar benefits and programs. To paraphrase, oil and gas revenue in Canada pays for benefits and programs for all Canadians. It is important that the members across the way hear that message. In case they want to open themselves up to even more factual evidence, a 2014 WorleyParsons study compared Alberta's environmental and regulatory systems with similarly sized oil- and gas-producing jurisdictions around the world, and found that Alberta was among the best. My province of Alberta was near the top of the list for the most stringent environmental laws and at the top for the availability of public information about the environmental performance of the oil and gas industry.

The study confirmed that Alberta is unmatched on the compliance and enforcement scale. Unfortunately, the Liberals' decisions are largely politically based, rather than being based on science, evidence, or consultations, or reaching conclusions in service of the broad national public interest.

I am again going to paraphrase my colleague, the official opposition shadow critic for natural resources, as she also pointed out in her speech that the result of the constant Liberal and leftist barrage of attacks on Canadian regulators and energy developers along with their changes to rules with new red tape and added costs is that energy investment in Canada has dropped dramatically.

Since the Liberals were elected, the policy uncertainty and additional hurdles during an already challenging time for prices, costs, and competitiveness have caused the biggest two-year decline in Canadian oil and gas investment...since 1947. This year alone, there is a projected 47% drop in oil and gas capital from 2016 levels.

She went on to say that one-sixth of total energy workers in Canada had lost their jobs since the Liberals formed government.

This number is reflected in the vacancy rates out of Calgary this morning. The resulting lost investment is equivalent to the loss of about 75% of Canada's auto manufacturing and nearly the entire aerospace industry. The current government continues to make ideological decisions which hurt Canada's economy.

My Conservative colleagues and I know this tanker ban is not in the best interest of all Canadians. Nor is it necessary. Tankers have safely and regularly transported crude oil from Canada's west coast since the 1930s. There have not been any tanker navigational issues or incidents in about 50 years in the port of Vancouver. Instead of putting forward regulations to allow for the safe passage of all vessels through Canadian waters, the bill deliberately and specifically targets one industry. It is really all about Liberal politicking.

Another fact I would like the Liberal members to acknowledge is that conventional oil and gas, oil sands, and pipeline companies are among the largest private sector investors in alternative energy technologies, like wind and solar, in Canada. When one sector thrives so does the other.

We on this side of the House value the responsible development of natural resources in all sectors in all provinces to benefit all of Canada. We therefore request further input from Canadians on Bill C-48.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the House

October 16th, 2017 / 4:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it really is a pleasure for me to rise today in our House of Commons to speak in defence of Canada's energy sector, a sector that is very important to me personally and very important to my constituency. It is our energy sector that brought my grandfather to Alberta. He was there during the first national energy program. Unfortunately, now we are living through what looks very much like the second iteration of the national energy program. I will speak to that a little bit later on.

The energy sector is deeply important to me as well as to my constituency. My constituency is called Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, but it covers Canada's industrial heartland. It is a hub of energy-related manufacturing.

It is interesting to hear some members, such as the leader of the Green Party, suggest that somehow we have to make a choice between upgrading energy-related manufacturing and pipelines, when, in fact, people in the energy sector in my region say that we can and we should look for opportunities to do more of both. We need those pipelines to export, regardless of whether we are exporting final product or an earlier-stage product. There are opportunities, as well, to develop our upgrading and refining capacity, certainly. We see those opportunities being developed in my constituency, directly in our industrial heartland.

It is the policies of the government, such as its carbon tax, its attack on small business, and the general uncertainty around the regulatory environment, that are killing not only the transportation section of the energy sector, not only the extractive sector, but also the value-added and upgrading section of the energy sector.

There was an American journalist named Michael Kinsley who once quipped that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. I think this is an interesting quote. That might be rephrased a little to say that a gaffe is when politicians say what they actually think.

When we look at some of the comments that have been made by ministers and by the Prime Minister about the energy sector or various other issues, oftentimes some of these one-off comments are dismissed as gaffes or mistakes, or we are told, “Don't worry, the tweet was deleted; he offered a clarification”, or whatever the case may be.

However, when we start to see a pattern when comments are made, it is worth reflecting on this Kinsley quote. These are gaffes in the sense that these are cases when people are actually letting the curtain slip and are showing what their real agenda is with respect to our energy sector.

For example, we have, in this House, the Minister of Democratic Institutions, who, ironically perhaps, sits right beside the Minister of Natural Resources. She tweeted, in 2012, “It's time to landlock Alberta's tar sands.”

That is pretty offensive language, but this came from someone who is now a minister in this government, saying, “It's time to landlock Alberta's tar sands.” The clarification was issued. The tweet was deleted. However, now this person is sitting in cabinet, and it makes people wonder what her views are with respect to Alberta's energy sector. Actually, we do not really have to wonder, because she has told us what her views are with respect to the energy sector.

We had the Prime Minister say, more recently, that it is time to phase out Canada's oil sands. He made a comment once that he thinks Canada does not do well when we have people from my part of the country in key leadership positions.

These kinds of comments that are very derogatory towards Alberta, and in particular suggest an opposition to energy development and a desire to landlock our energy resources, are sometimes characterized as mistakes or gaffes. However, I think, actually, that they are quite revealing. They are gaffes in the sense that there are moments when the curtain slips and the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet actually say things they really, truly believe.

What was the agenda the minister in question had in mind when she said, “landlock Alberta's tar sands”? Of course, we say oil sands, but that is the quote.

We had two new pipeline projects within Canada, and there were other pipeline expansion projects. There was the pipeline through the United States, the Keystone XL, but two new pipeline projects to tidewater were proposed within Canada, one going west and one going east. At the time of the last election, the pipeline going west, the northern gateway pipeline, had been approved. The pipeline going east, energy east, was in process. If they were trying to do what the minister said she wanted to do, which is landlock our energy resources, I guess they would have to come up with a way of killing these two pipeline projects. The Liberals have done it. Today, one of those projects has been killed directly; one has been killed indirectly.

We have a tweet from a minister in 2012 that the objective is to “landlock Alberta's tar sands”, and here we are five years later. The Liberals are in government and she is cabinet, and it has happened. We had a gaffe where the agenda was revealed, and now the agenda has come to fruition. Unfortunately, the Liberals have taken steps to landlock our energy resources. We have seen this, and it is hard to deny that this is happening.

I want to highlight a number of other examples where the Prime Minister made comments that were perhaps explained away or qualified, or referred to as a slip of the tongue or a gaffe at the time, but revealed something fundamental about the way in which he sees the world. He said in an interview during the election that, in his view, many small businesses are ways for wealthy Canadians to avoid paying taxes. That is what the Prime Minister said. I do not know how many people took that comment seriously. However, with the punitive measures that have since been proposed toward small business, it looks like the Prime Minister believes we should go after and punish small businesses because they are a way for wealthy people to avoid paying taxes. That seems to be the Prime Minister's view. He expressed that view in an interview with Peter Mansbridge during the last election, and now he is undertaking punitive measures against those businesses.

He also said that he admires China's basic dictatorship, and he has gone on to pursue policies with respect to China that concern many Canadians. He has gone on to govern this country in a particularly autocratic way, trying at every possible turn to limit the input of the opposition members. We had two opposition speakers in the traditional period allowed for this debate before Liberals shut it down. We are only now able to have further conversations about this legislation because of a motion we are putting forward on an aspect of the committee's study, and travel related to that committee's study.

In each of these cases, where these gaffes or comments from the Prime Minister or from ministers were portrayed as a mistake, they revealed something quite fundamental to what appears to be the world view of the Prime Minister and members of the government.

Again, a comment was made by a minister saying that they wanted to landlock Alberta's energy resources, and effectively they have killed the two new pipeline projects proposed to tidewater within Canada. The bill that is being considered in terms of committee study at the moment is Bill C-48, which deals with tanker export from northern British Columbia. As soon as the government took office, Liberals instituted a ban on energy oil export from northern B.C. They have killed the northern gateway pipeline, and now they are formalizing this through legislation, which they are calling the oil tanker moratorium act.

Let us be quite clear, though, about what this legislation would and would not do. Once we lay it out, it will be quite obvious to members that this is only about killing off energy exports in the west. It is not fundamentally about tankers, because tankers take oil in and out of the country, and between different jurisdictions along our coast. There are oil tankers that come into the St. Lawrence. There are oil tankers that bring oil in and export oil off Canada's east coast. Certainly, if there were ever a spill from an Alaskan oil tanker carrying American oil, it would not discriminate. It would not somehow fail to touch the Canadian coast, and yet what the government is proposing would only deal with oil produced in Canada, and the ability to export it out of northern British Columbia specifically.

I would take the view that we should do everything possible to ensure good safety standards and to do away with any risks of a negative environmental impact, but ultimately recognize that by taking a leadership role and setting those standards and then benefiting from them economically through the export of Canadian oil, we really achieve a win-win situation. If the alternative is the export of other countries' oil, the non-development of our energy resources and, potentially, a greater environmental risk insofar as we are missing an opportunity for setting standards for our own oil exports, that alternative policy pursued by the current government is a lose-lose situation. It is a loss for the economy certainly, but also a loss for the environment.

At least we have to give the Liberals credit for acting directly in the case of the northern gateway pipeline. They did not seek to hide it. They said they were going to kill it and they killed it, and they are bringing in legislation that would formalize that. At least they were up front and direct. That is not much of a defence of it. It is the wrong policy. It is bad for jobs. It would kill opportunity in B.C., Alberta, and throughout the rest of the country because we are economically interconnected, but we can say that at least they have been direct about it

They have not been so direct with the energy east pipeline. Many people in the Maritimes voted Liberal, hoping that they would see the energy east pipeline come to fruition, and many members of the Atlantic caucus would have said they were supportive of energy east. Meanwhile, we had other members—and here I refer especially to the tweet by the member for Burlington, the Minister of Democratic Institutions—talking about wanting to land-lock Alberta's energy resources. We had other members with this agenda, the Prime Minister's agenda, of phasing out the oil sands. However, because of how popular energy east was, not just in Alberta but also in Atlantic Canada and many places in-between, they realized they could not kill it directly but would have to pursue some other strategy for achieving their objectives one at a time, which they were actually quite frank about before they deleted the tweet I mentioned.

Consequently, the Liberals introduced all kinds of regulatory hurdles and additional regulatory uncertainty and they tried to build in the idea that a project should be evaluated on prospective down-stream emissions. It would not just be the direct emissions from the use of that particular piece of infrastructure, but the prospective emissions that would eventually derive from it. This is a standard that notably is not applied anywhere else. We do not force aircraft manufacturers to be accountable for the subsequent likely greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of their aircraft in the future. We do not do this for cars. We do not do this in any kind of manufacturing. We look at the environmental footprint of the manufacturing process, but we do not say that the manufacturers have to be accountable for all of the subsequent downstream emissions. This was a unique, unusual standard, and ultimately turned out to be an impossible one for energy east.

The government's response to the understandable decision of the company, in this case not to proceed with energy east, is to say that it is a business decision. For one thing, it points to oil prices. Companies understand that oil prices go up and down. No company decides to build a pipeline based on the price of oil on Monday, saying the price is good so let us build that pipeline. If it is down on Tuesday, it does not know. Companies are smart and sophisticated enough to realize that oil prices go up and down over time. They have to consider the overall situation, the overall environment, the probability of getting to a yes, and being able to proceed. It is not just about what the price of oil happens to be on Monday. That is a rather ridiculous suggestion from the Minister of Natural Resources.

Then the Liberals say it is a business decision, that Sisyphus just could not push the stone all the way, that it was too heavy for him. The task was set up in a way that success was likely impossible. There certainly was no credible certainty around it. We need a government that actually is looking for ways to get to a yes, to ensure the proper consultation happens, but not set up sort of a Sisyphean task, as in one that cannot be realized. It is clear from the debate in the House that is what is envisioned by the opponents of energy development. They do not want to say that they are opposed to energy east, but they want to kill it directly by coming up with all of these ambiguous, unclear criteria that make success impossible.

It is particularly clear from the exchange I just had with the member for Beloeil—Chambly what social licence is. He said that we had to get to social licence in order to get these things done. I then asked him what social licence would look like, because it surely could not be unanimity. We are never going to get unanimity on any question. People are not even unanimous in the belief that Elvis has died. We are not going to get unanimity on any question.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the House

October 16th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I talked about some of the consultations and the voices not heard. I mentioned the chiefs council eagle spirit energy project. I made it clear that it was allowed to present but it was not heard. Its comment was that there had been insufficient consultation. This is a first nations group that is ready to create jobs for its people and for other first nations. It is a chance for them to take part in the wealth that the energy industry delivers. The government sat there, thanked it for its comments and said that it was going elsewhere.

The Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia, which is responsible for shipping the oil, commented that the government was not interested in what it had to say.

The BC Coast Pilots, the people responsible for the safety of the marine life off B.C., presented but was told that it was nice, but the government was not willing to hear what it had to say.

That was the problem with the consultations the government had with respect to the small business tax. It said that it heard 2,100 consultations. However, it only listens to those who are willing to provide a Liberal point of view, not to anyone providing a point of view with respect to first nations so they can get jobs for their people. The Liberals are not willing to hear the evidence from the experts in the area because they only want to hear a Liberal point of view.

This is the issue. For two years in the House we have heard how the government has consulted on this and consulted on that, held a round table for this, and held a round table on how to hold a round table. It holds round tables and consults, but does not actually listen. That is the problem with Bill C-48.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the House

October 16th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about the consultation. I think our hon. colleague from Port Moody brought up the fact about listening to the scientists and those who were out there saying that this was indeed the right way to go. We heard earlier on about 75 consultations. Now we are hearing first nations that have a stake in this saying that they categorically reject that the government truly consulted with them and listened to what they had to say. I think the hereditary chief said that. These first nations are in the communities that would be impacted by this decision.

We know this moratorium will cause more concern with respect to the economic viability of the first nations communities, as well as the coastal communities there. It could also put Canada at risk for lawsuits by the U.S., because of the shipping routes up there. U.S.-bound ships would be impacted by this.

Therefore, I want to touch on two points, which are the consultations with the shipping industry and with first nations. Does our hon. colleague feel that some time should be spent listening and fully understanding what the ramifications of passing legislation such as Bill C-48 will be for these communities and the industry?

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the House

October 16th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. I am very pleased because I was intending to speak to this two weeks ago before the Liberals brought in closure on this, but it is part of their whole plan of hypocrisy with their government. They say one thing and they do the other. For years, we heard about no more closure and how evil it is to have constant closure on debate. What they do every single chance they get when they do not like what they are hearing from the opposite side, or before they even hear from the opposite side, is bring in closure. Shame on them, but I am glad that we are able to discuss it today.

I want to correct the record. One of my colleagues across the way, the member for Winnipeg North, constantly talks about there being no pipelines built under the Conservative rule. I just want to correct that. Four were built. They are going to say that none went to tidewater. Three of the four connect to pipelines that go to tidewater. Saying that the TMX anchor that connects into Kinder Morgan that goes to Burnaby is not a pipeline that goes to tidewater is like saying that there are no flights that go from Ottawa to Vancouver because they have to connect through Toronto. They do get there. The reality is that the former Conservative government approved and had built four pipelines during our rule, three of which go directly to pipelines that go to tidewater. Therefore, I just want to correct the roll.

The Prime Minister has stood in the House many times promising to achieve both environmental salvation and unparalleled economic growth. He said his government believes that the Liberals and only the Liberals know how to bring about the true formula to achieve this seemingly oxymoronic balance of economic growth and environmental care. They dismiss the critics in the NDP as excessively environmentalist and they scoff at the Conservatives' concerns about putting arbitrary limits on business and economic development. No, they assure the economic growth and environmental communities, they know what they are doing. What better document to prove this finely calculated balance than Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act?

Let us look at some history. Alberta, being a landlocked province, is paying dearly for the situation of not having more pipelines. Our energy companies apply for pipeline permits to the faraway paradises of British Columbia, New Brunswick, and the gulf states in the U.S. Pipelines, being the safest method of transporting crude, are in short supply in Canada despite the previous government's approval and oversight of the construction of multiple new ones, as I mentioned previously. Frustrated with selling a product under market value for years, Alberta companies placed their hopes in projects such as Keystone XL, northern gateway, Kinder Morgan, and energy east. The gargantuan, bureaucratic pipeline approval process in Canada means that most of these projects had their inception in the late 2000s, before finally becoming topical today.

One by one, project by project has made its way through the National Energy Board, and one by one the projects were demonstrated to be safe. The NEB, in doing its job, attached conditions, sometimes hundreds, to the pipeline approvals but some groups were not happy. Some special interest groups did not like the fact that Alberta might get its oil to market and so began protesting. Sensing an opportunity, the activist Liberals, at the time in third-party status, captured this overblown sentiment by promising to redo the process. If people do not like the process and do not like the decision, the Liberals said, then it must be flawed. The Liberals then began a campaign of discrediting the National Energy Board for following a long-standing process that arrived at decisions that the Liberals did not like. They shamelessly accused the NEB of bias, industry favours, and lack of diligence. For many decades of its existence, the NEB was a harmless and adequate process but suddenly, with Liberal votes on the line, it became a tool of Stephen Harper, the paragon of anti-environmentalism—so said the Liberals—and thus the NEB was his way of destroying the planet.

The Liberals promised to reform the NEB to remove bias and make decisions on evidence. What is one of the first things they did? They ignored the evidence surrounding the northern gateway decision by the NEB and killed it; then, they reformed the NEB in a way that does not make the process any better but does absolutely make our process more bureaucratic, a winning formula to be sure. With a few strokes, the Liberals now watch from the sidelines as pipelines languish. Where once there was hope, we are now left relying on Keystone XL to the U.S., the very same pipeline the Prime Minister, despite his cringe-worthy bromance with President Obama, could not deliver; northern gateway, cast aside by the oil tanker moratorium, which the government wants to codify with Bill C-48; and energy east, of course left to die in the labyrinth of ever-changing rules that only apply to Alberta oil, special interests, pontification, and Liberal indecision. That will be the new NEB.

Kinder Morgan is on its way to the courts thanks to the new government in British Columbia and the lack of enthusiasm from the Prime Minister. It will spend years tied up in court, moving from one hearing to another, until, as I am sure the government hopes, the company finally relinquishes the fight and concedes defeat.

Perhaps if Kinder Morgan had named the pipeline the C Series, the Liberals would be tripping all over themselves to get it built. Oddly, the government does not realize that approved does not mean constructed. Just two weeks ago in this very House, the energy minister stood and claimed that 6,400 jobs had been created already for Keystone, even though it has not been started, and by the way it was approved by the U.S. government, not the Liberal government.

He stood here and claimed that 15,500 jobs had been created for Kinder Morgan already, despite the fact that it has not started and they are sitting idly by while this project is slowly smothered. Like the non-stop bragging about historic levels of infrastructure spending, mere announcements do not mean anything has been accomplished. Until the taps are turned on, the Prime Minister's approval is meaningless.

What should the Prime Minister do? He should champion the project. He should meet with stakeholders, press his claim and make the case for the project to go through. If he can get down to the U.S. and press President Trump for Bombardier, he can certainly do the same by heading to B.C. and pressing for Kinder Morgan.

The current government seems to forget that projects do not magically happen. Budgets do not just balance themselves, and pipelines do not magically build themselves. Most likely, the Prime Minister took a call from Gerald Butts who took a call from some angry activists in British Columbia, who were astonished that the government would ever approve something as dastardly and destructive as the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

This brings me back to Bill C-48. We expect to hear much about how the Liberals have found the formula for protecting the environment while at the same time allowing our natural resource sector to grow. They have consulted far and wide, they say. In the government's press release, the Liberals have held approximately 75 engagement sessions to discuss improvements to marine safety and formalizing the oil tanker ban. It is funny that with a number as low as 75, they have to approximate and cannot count how many they actually did.

The Liberals consulted extensively with indigenous groups, they say, and also consulted with industry stakeholders and communities across Canada. Much like their consultations on electoral reform and the small business tax attack, they only listened to a select few within the Liberal echo chamber.

Here are some other voices from the consultation, though, that the Liberals did not seem to hear. The Chamber of Shipping of B.C. suggested that the proposed moratorium:

...contradicts ...the federal government's stated approach to environmental protection: evidence-based decision making....sends a very harmful signal to the international investment community.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers argued that this proposed moratorium:

....could significantly impair Canada's oil and natural gas resources from reaching new markets....

It added that such a moratorium also prevents Canada from:

....receiving a fair market value for its resources.

The Chief's Council Eagle Spirit Energy Project, a first nations-led energy corridor proposal that has the support of the affected communities in B.C. and Alberta, has stated, on the proposed moratorium, which they say does not have their consent:

....there has been insufficient consultation....

Most interesting is the Liberals' outright ignoring of the fact-based evidence of the B.C. Coast Pilots. The B.C. Coast Pilots, who are responsible for the safe operating of ships off the coast, have some interesting facts. There has not been a single accident or oil spill with an oil freighter off the B.C. coast in over 50 years. That is not something we can say on the east coast where oddly enough we are happy to bring in oil from some of the worst human rights abusers in the world.

The B.C. Coast Pilots have an aggressive and unmatched-in-Canada safety program that has successfully protected our oceans and coastlines. At least a month before a vessel is placed on hire to come into our waters, the pilots do an extensive vetting process that includes all aspects of the vessel: safety records, crew records, past history. Any deficiencies will ensure that the vessel is not hired. This is even before the ship leaves foreign ports to come to our shores.

In addition, in the 96-hour report sent in, the Coast Guard VTS, the vessel traffic services, port state control will have all the necessary information from its last 10 ports of call, and any and all incidents will be recorded, as will all equipment deficiencies, if there are any.

Before the pilot boards, the VTS will have been provided with the deficiencies and the Transport Canada safety inspectors' report. Then, and only then, does the pilot board the vessel and is the final eyes and ears of the inspection process. The pilot will have the final say whether the ship will be put into anchor.

They have other safety standards above and beyond what I have listed, which is why they have an unblemished record with the transfer of oil on the B.C. coast over the last 50 years. That is not something we can say in regard to the east coast. Do we use the same strict measures on the east coast for oil brought into refineries in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Quebec? No, of course we do not.

Also, let us look where we are bringing this oil into eastern Canada from. Six hundred and fifty thousand barrels a day of conflict oil is brought right into Canada off the pristine shores of the east coast. Why is there no ban on the east coast? Why is there a double standard? Is it not a case of pristine coastal shoreline is pristine coastal shoreline is pristine coastal shoreline? I guess not.

The oil that we bring in from Saudi Arabia is from a regime that is often criticized in the House for rights abuses using Canadian-made arms. The Liberals will gleefully hold that country and the oil freighters it uses to a lower safety standard than used on the B.C. coast.

Oil comes from the democratic paradise of Venezuela. This is what the foreign affairs minister had to say about our great oil supplier off the east coast: “Canada denounces and condemns today’s significant and undemocratic action by the Venezuelan regime.... robbing the Venezuelan people of their fundamental democratic rights.” The minister even applied sanctions two weeks ago against the officials responsible for the deterioration of democracy in Venezuela. However, it is okay to allow its oil to come into Canada with freighters using a lower safety standard.

On the east coast, we bring in oil from Nigeria. Human Rights Watch says this of Nigeria: “Many of the grave human rights challenges he promised to address in his inauguration speech remain largely unaddressed and unresolved.” Again, that oil is subject to lower safety standards than on the west coast. Human Rights Watch continues that Angola has suffered during 2016 due to continued government repression.

I want to read a couple of quotes from people in this House about some of the countries we bring oil into Canada from. The NDP foreign affairs critic said of Saudi Arabia that “These cases once again highlight the Saudi authorities’ disregard for human rights.... Canada must stand up for its values and show leadership in defending human rights at home and abroad.” Here we are criticizing Saudi Arabia, saying our government must stand up and show its leadership and Canadian values at home and abroad, at the same time as we are banning the use of oil freighters off the north coast using Alberta oil, the most highly regulated oil extraction in the world. We are banning that, but on the east coast, which uses a lower safety standard for oil freighters, we are bringing in oil from Saudi Arabia, one of the worst human rights abusers in the world. Even our NDP colleague stated this.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs states about Venezuela that “Our government deplores the actions of the Maduro regime.... [A]nd will not stand by as the Government of Venezuela robs its people of their fundamental rights.” She will not stand by while the government robs its people of their fundamental rights, but she will stand by to ensure that they get Canadian money for their oil. The oil industry has been nationalized in Venezuela, so every single day we bring in oil from Venezuela, we are propping up the despotic regime of Maduro. We sit in the House and criticize him, but at the same time we block Alberta oil and ensure that we enrich the thugs of the Venezuelan regime. It is absolutely shameful.

The former leader of the NDP, a man I have a lot of respect for, has said, “It does not make any sense that in Canada right now, we are importing crude oil from insecure foreign sources like Algeria and Russia, and having it refined at Valero's large refinery in Saint-Romuald across from Quebec City.” He was also commenting on the hypocrisy of the Liberals in dealing with Saudi Arabia, selling them arms and bringing in Saudi oil.

He continued, “They can emote about human rights and Canada's role in the world. What we see them...doing is selling...[arms] to one of the most gruesome, repressive regimes on the planet...Saudi Arabia.” It is one of the most repressive regimes, and yet we are happy to buy their oil, give them hard currency, and prop up their despotic regime. Again, why is bringing in oil from serial human rights abusers using lower safety standards for shipping into the east coast okay, but shipping Canadian oil from the Pacific coast using the highest safety standards not okay?

Industry believes that Bill C-48 is too heavy-handed, and first nations groups who stand to benefit from the project did not give their consent to the moratorium. Of course, environmentalist believe that the legislation does not go far enough. Social licence to them is much like the Stanley Cup to the Maple Leafs, something to be dreamed about but we know is never going to happen.

The government does not seem to get it. It writes legislation solely to satisfy foreign-funded special interest groups to chase away investment and jobs from Canada and to punish Albertans and Canadians. This legislation, Bill C-48, is the epitome of typical Liberal policy. It is too focused on special interest groups to look at real evidence, the Liberal government then capitulates, and Canadians are made to suffer for it.

I want to discuss a few letters I received from some Albertans in my constituency. It is no secret that the province has been suffering for a few years between the provincial government's carbon tax, chasing away investment, driving up costs, and driving up taxes, and the Liberal government's carbon tax and pipeline killing rules. Alberta is suffering. We have received a lot of calls to the office about some of the issues.

Since 2014, unemployment has doubled in Alberta. Over 200,000 people are unemployed, 122,000 oil workers have lost their jobs, and unemployment is near a 20-year high. Food bank usage in Edmonton alone is up 60%. According to the CFIB, 45% of Alberta business owners are looking to cut back on staffing. What do we do? We have a government that destroys pipelines and takes away the hope of getting our oil to market. Our communities and families are suffering.

I received a letter from a lady named Sharon who lives in my riding. She says:

The job crisis in Alberta affects my family...negatively. My husband lost his job last July, and is still job hunting. I'm worried because I'm the only one working in the family. It's...tough...now, and I don't know when everything goes back to normal.

I can feel for Sharon. Just last week, we held a town hall in downtown Edmonton because the member for Edmonton Centre refused to do an open town hall. We had a town hall on the business tax attack. We had well over 120 people come out and tell us about their issues. I met a young lady whose husband had just been laid off. She had been laid off as well. They could not find work so their answer was that they would create their own work, create their own jobs and go into business for themselves. Then they sit and look at the Liberal attacks on small businesses and ask us how they can do that. They have lost their jobs in the energy sector, the Liberal government is killing pipelines and killing hope. They want to go into business for themselves but now they are being attacked on that front as well. They asked how they could even hope to thrive in Alberta. It is difficult to understand how, given what the Liberal government and the NDP government in Alberta are doing, they can find help or hope, but I can trust that Albertans will pull through if anyone can.

I met a lady named Kathy who said that her husband worked for a large firm. That firm has is are continuing to lay off thousands, and it is scary living that way. A gentleman named Don contacted our office and said that the Liberal government's lack of a real plan was putting families like his further in debt with no help to recover. It is a struggle to keep up with day to day bills. A lady named Martha said that the continuing lack of employment opportunities were concerning and disheartening. She constantly worries about how she will be able to support her family. It goes on and on and on and on.

What could we do to help? A perfect example would be the superclusters we hear so much about from the Liberal government. Superclusters here, superclusters there, superclusters for everyone. The energy industry, together as a consortium, put in a bid for some of the supercluster funding. We had some of the biggest names in the energy world putting through a package to be one of the named superclusters. They put one through for energy investment, including clean energy investment, and what happened? The government passed them by in order to invest in other areas of Canada.

The government's attack on Alberta must end.

I see that I am out of time.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 16th, 2017 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleague about the national unity dimension of the whole discussion around pipelines, because some of this has come out recently. It is my belief that we should be able to have these kinds of debates without the Prime Minister, for instance, saying that we should not have this debate for fear of a negative impact on national unity.

We should be able to have this conversation and debate and present different points of view. Most Canadians I talk to are united in believing that development should be able to go forward. Maybe the NDP and the government have a different perspective on it, but certainly we should be able to have debates on Bill C-48, the importance of pipelines, and these sorts of things in the House without raising the spectre of negative impacts on national unity.

If there is anything negatively impacting national unity, frankly, it is the unfair policies of the government toward the west. I wonder if the member would agree with me on that.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 16th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member gets a gold star for working middle-class Canadians into his question. However, I again quote from page 1 of the Liberal throne speech on December 4, 2015, which states, “Canada succeeds in large part because here, diverse perspectives and different opinions are celebrated, not silenced.” They are only celebrated if they are the same as the Liberals' preconceived notions. That is the only time they celebrate diversity and different opinions. We can have different opinions as long as they are the same as the Liberals'. They say diversity is our strength as long as they are the same as we are.

Conservatives have a different opinion on Bill C-48, and again and again the government takes away an ability of the representatives of the people to speak. We are temporary occupants here, but we are each sent here to represent about 100,000 people. When Liberals prevent us from sharing the points of view of the people who sent us here, they are not depriving Conservatives of their right to speak, which is what they think they are doing—they think this is just a partisan game—they are depriving the people of Chilliwack—Hope, and all constituents, the right to be heard. This is the House of Commons. It should be respected, and it is time that Liberals started to do it.

Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 16th, 2017 / 3:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

moved:

That it be an instruction to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities that, during its 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, the Committee be granted the power to travel throughout Canada to hear testimony from interested parties and that the necessary staff do accompany the Committee, provided that the travel does not exceed 45 sitting days.

Mr. Speaker, it is as always a pleasure to rise in the House on behalf of the people of Chilliwack—Hope.

We are going to speak a bit this afternoon to Bill C-48, the proposed oil tanker moratorium act, which the government does not actually want us to talk about. The government moved closure and cut off debate after only two official opposition members had an opportunity to speak to it. They used what the member for New Westminster—Burnaby calls the parliamentary “guillotine” to cut off debate on a bill that is important to people in our caucus and the people we represent.

People all across the country have different views on Bill C-48, but they were not allowed to be heard, so we are going to give them a voice here today in the House by debating this motion to have the committee travel.

Even though the government does not want to hear from the representatives of the people of Canada, we want that committee to go across Canada to talk about this legislation and to the people who will be most impacted by it. That could mean going to Calgary to talk to people who have seen their livelihoods ripped away from them, aided and abetted quite frankly by government policy that is punishing the energy sector. We saw today on the news that the vacancy rate in Calgary office towers is still near 30%. It is a tragedy that the Liberal government has ignored, but we will not let it ignore it. That is why we will be talking about this here in the House today.

The committee could go to northern British Columbia, where members could talk to the aboriginal equity partners, a group of 31 first nations and Métis communities that signed on to be a 33% partner in the northern gateway pipeline project that was killed by the government for no reason other than it went through a forest the Prime Minister liked. This was a completely arbitrary political decision not based on evidence, not based on science, but on the political whims of the Prime Minister and his friends in the PMO.

What did that decision do? It stole $2 billion of prosperity from aboriginal communities in northern B.C. and northern Alberta, which have no other prospect of economic development. They were going to be for the first-time owners of a major trans-provincial pipeline. They were going to have a stake in that, and the Liberal government took it away. Not only did the government take away the prosperity that would have resulted from that project, but took it away for every project that might cross northern British Columbia for the rest of time, by making this oil tanker moratorium come into effect.

The government never talks about how the aboriginal equity partners supported this responsible resource development project, which was approved using the exact same rules this government used to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The Liberals talk about what a great decision that was. They brag about it when they are in Houston. They brag about it when they are in Calgary. They do not come to B.C. and talk about it very much because Liberal members are afraid of the backlash they will receive, but they used the exact same process for the northern gateway pipeline as the Trans Mountain pipeline, but again, this one went through a forest that the Prime Minister might have hiked in a couple of times and he did not want it to go there.

What did that do? I am going to read into the record a statement by the aboriginal equity partner stewards, Bruce Dumont, the past president of the Métis Nation British Columbia; David McPhee, president of the Aseniwuche Wienwak Nation; Chief Elmer Derrick, Gitxsan Nation hereditary chief; and Elmer Ghostkeeper of the Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement, who said:

We are profoundly shocked and disappointed by the news that the Federal Government has no intention of pursuing any further consultation and dialogue with our communities on the important issue of the Northern Gateway Project. We are also deeply disappointed that a Prime Minister who campaigned on a promise of reconciliation with Indigenous communities would now blatantly choose to deny our 31 First Nations and Métis communities of our constitutionally protected right to economic development. We see today's announcement as clear evidence of their unwillingness to follow through on his promise.

The Government of Canada could have demonstrated its commitment by working with us as environmental stewards of the land and water to enhance marine safety. All 31 AEP plus the other affected communities should have been consulted directly and individually in order to meet the Federal Government's duty to consult.

The North Coast tanker moratorium will eliminate significant financial and social benefits committed to our communities through our ownership and participation in the Project.

It is time for governments to stop politicizing projects which take place on our lands - especially projects that are owned by Indigenous peoples.

The Aboriginal Equity Partners is a unique and historic partnership that establishes a new model for conducting natural resource development on our lands and traditional territories. We are owners of Northern Gateway and are participating in the project as equals.

The economic benefits from Northern Gateway to Indigenous communities are unprecedented in Canadian history. As part of the opportunity to share up to 33% ownership and control in a major Canadian energy infrastructure project, the project's Aboriginal Equity Partners will also receive $2 billion in long-term economic, business, and education opportunities for their communities.

Our goal is for Northern Gateway to help our young people to have a future where they can stay in their communities with training and work opportunities. We remain committed to Northern Gateway and the opportunities and responsibilities that come with our ownership. We also remain committed to working with our partners to ensure our environment is protected for future generations.

AEP will now consult with our member communities to determine our next steps.

We have never heard that from the government. The Liberals shut down debate on Bill C-48 so we could not hear it again. The Liberals do not want people to understand the damage they would do to aboriginal economic prospects, to aboriginal prosperity, by shutting down tanker traffic in just one region of the country. The health and prosperity of those communities would be put at risk. We notice this does not apply anywhere else in the country. For Venezuelan tankers coming up the St. Lawrence Seaway, no problem. For Algerian tankers coming in to New Brunswick, it is all good. For U.S. tankers coming in to the Port of Vancouver, no problem. It is only when Canadian tankers might take Canadian oil to sell abroad that there is a problem, that we then have to shut down an entire region to economic development. There is more aboriginal support for responsible resource development and more opposition to this very bill, Bill C-48, that the government does not want us to debate here in this chamber.

Here is a statement on the federal tanker ban legislation by the chief's council of the Eagle Spirit energy project:

As Chiefs from British Columbia and Alberta we are very disappointed with the inappropriate actions taken today by [the] Prime Minister...and the Federal Government by introducing a tanker ban on Canada's west coast. We feel strongly that a blanket tanker moratorium is not the answer. Once again, government and international environmental lobby groups want to make decisions for our communities instead of us letting us make them.

The Government of Canada should accept the analysis of affected coastal First Nations rather than put in place a blanket Tanker Moratorium, especially for First Nations led projects. We believe a First Nations process should be implemented to help determine what resource projects can be developed on our lands and what products can be shipped off of our coast lines.

To be clear; there has been insufficient consultation for the proposed Tanker Moratorium and it does not have our consent. As Indigenous peoples, we want to preserve the right to determine the types of activities that take place in our territories and do not accept that the federal government should tell us how to preserve, protect, and work within our traditional territories.

[The Prime Minister] committed to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which combined with Section 35 of the Constitution means that the Government of Canada has a commitment to achieve free, prior and informed consent of Aboriginal groups in several instances, including for the approval of any projects affecting Aboriginal lands or territories. We will not support projects that endanger our communities and the environment; however, we do believe environmental protection and responsible economic development is possible. This ill-conceived legislation puts the prosperity and the future of our people, particularly our youth, in jeopardy.

Once again the federal government is not respecting nation-to-nation dialogue and consultation and is forging ahead on proposals without the consent of many Indigenous communities. We urge the Prime Minister to live up to the commitments he has made to Indigenous Peoples. The Chief's Council will continue to study this legislation and our options and will have more to say in the days to come.

Again, these are indigenous groups who stand to benefit from responsible resource development on their traditional territories, first nations-led projects. However, the Liberals saw no need to consult with them. They only want to consult with people who agree with their point of view. We have seen that time and time again, and we saw it again in this House. When they did not agree with our point of view as the official opposition, they shut down the debate all together. After only two opposition speakers, they cut off the debate and said this would be better studied in committee, as though the 96 members of Parliament represented in our caucus have no value here. What we saw is the breaking of another promise.

In their throne speech of December 4, 2015, entitled “Making Real Change Happen”, the Liberals said the following on page 1:

Canada succeeds in large part because here, diverse perspectives and different opinions are celebrated, not silenced. Parliament shall be no exception.

In this Parliament, all members will be honoured, respected and heard, wherever they sit. For here, in these chambers, the voices of all Canadians matter.

Once again, that was a broken promise. They obviously did not mean it. That did not last very long.

We want to be heard on Bill C-48, on this tanker ban moratorium, and we want to be heard because of the people this impacts. The Liberals just want to pat themselves on the back and say they did not need to consult with Aboriginal Equity Partners or with Eagle Spirit Energy group. They did not need to consult with them because they had heard enough. They heard what they wanted to hear, so then they stopped listening. That is what they are doing again today. That is what they have done throughout this Parliament. They simply say that they know best and only consult with groups that are going to tell them what they want to hear.

That is why, when I was the shadow minister for natural resources, I asked, through Order Paper Question No. 786, for the government to detail the consultations they had between October 19, 2015 and November 26, 2016, the date they announced they were killing northern gateway. I asked them to include a list of the dates that they met, the location where they met, the first nation and Métis communities present at those meetings, the cost of each meeting, and the summary for each meeting. That was to make sure that they had fulfilled their duty to consult with those groups. What did I get back? In short, I got back that the Government of Canada was not required to undertake those consultations with indigenous groups because they determined it did not impact their section 35 rights. I would say that the aboriginal communities that I have read these letters from certainly feel that their section 35 rights have been impacted, yet the Liberal government does not want to hear from them.

Closure has been forced. They slammed the door on further debate at second reading and sent it off to committee. We say that the committee should travel to hear from Canadians. If they do not want to hear from the representatives of Canadians, which they obviously do not and have made that clear, then maybe we should go from coast to coast to hear from those Canadians who would be directly impacted. They could also talk about the impact they have had, not only on the west coast but on the east coast as well. There has been deafening silence from the 32 Liberal members of Parliament who represent the Atlantic provinces after the actions of the Liberal government helped to kill the energy east project.

The Liberals want us to believe that the spot price of oil on any given day determines the outcome of a 50-year, $55-billion project. That is crazy to think that the spot price today can impact the decision for energy east. Former employees who worked on that project have made it clear that it was the government's interference, the changing regulatory regime, the constant moving of the goalposts, and the shutting down of the review process and restarting it again that caused energy east to back away and give up the $1 billion they had already sunk into the project. They said they were done, that they knew under the Liberal government they could not get this project built.

We saw Liberal politicians dancing on the graves of those energy worker jobs. We saw Denis Coderre celebrating and taking credit for it. Did we see any push-back from the government when that project that would represent 15,000 construction jobs, that would represent $55 billion in GDP to this country, which would have displaced foreign oil from conflict regions of the world, was killed by this regulatory burden? Did we see any push-back?

We saw the government hilariously trying to blame Stephen Harper. That was a new one. Apparently Stephen Harper was not in favour of energy east. I do not quite understand. It blamed Stephen Harper for its killing of energy east. It blamed the spot price of oil, as if TransCanada, the same company that is still building the Keystone XL pipeline, had suddenly decided that the spot price of oil is where it is and it could not build pipelines anymore. TransCanada is still building pipelines. It is building them now in the U.S.

It is like all of the major energy projects that have fled the country or have been cancelled since the government took office. These companies have not left the oil and gas sector, they have left Canada because of the regulatory burden and uncertainty that has been created by the government.

We say that we should go across the country. We should send the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities across the country to hear from Canadians. Even though the Liberals do not want to hear from their representatives here in the House, we want to hear from them. We know there is not universal acceptance of this. We know that the energy sector has suffered in the last two years because of the uncertainty that has been created by the government's regulatory processes. We should go across the country and talk to energy workers in Alberta, in Fort McMurray, on the west coast of British Columbia, and to the east coast folks, who now see their job prospects evaporating thanks to the work of the government.

Again I am reminded of how different the government's actions are from its rhetoric, how every time there was time allocation under the previous government, the members, who are no doubt going to stand up and ask me questions here, would get up and rail about what a horrible thing this was, how this was a deadening of democracy, a terrible precedent, and how they would never do this.

The Liberals did it on the only bill that we told them we wanted to have a substantial debate. We have had five or six bills that the Liberals have passed already in the first three weeks of this Parliament. However, instead of taking that as a good faith gesture, the Liberals telegraphed that they were going to use time allocation this fall, and they have been true to their word on that. That is about the only thing they have kept their promise on, that they were going to limit our debate opportunities.

We have said again and again that we wanted this to be a substantial debate. We had significant interest in our caucus in it. What did the Liberals do? They used the occasion of the Governor General's installation, a half-day Monday, and counted it as one of the days of debate. Then, on a Wednesday, after they invoked a bunch of procedural manoeuvres to cut the day off, we had one eight-minute speech. There were two full speeches and an eight-minute speech at second reading, and that was good enough for the government. It had heard all it needed to hear.

This is, again, what the Liberal government is all about. It wants an audience; it does not want an opposition. When it fears that it might hear something it does not like, the Liberals cut off the consultation process. It cuts off debate in this House.

Canadians are growing tired of it. We are seeing that. We certainly saw it during the small business proposals that the government tried to ram through, which it was unsuccessful at due to the good work of the opposition and business groups across the country.

We are not going to let them do it on Bill C-48. We think the committee should travel across the country to hear the voices of Canadians, even if the government does not want to hear from them.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

October 5th, 2017 / 3:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by asking the House leader if she could tell us what the business is for the rest of this week and when we return after the Thanksgiving constituency week.

Given that we have been very co-operative over the last two and a half to three weeks and have seen a lot of government legislation move through that period, I am hoping that she will be respectful of some of the bills that we really would like to have ample time to discuss. Bill C-48 was basically shut down after one member spoke to it, which was disappointing. I am hoping that, moving forward, we will be able to press the reset button and that we will be allowed to speak on issues that are important to us.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 5:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Bob Benzen Conservative Calgary Heritage, AB

Madam Speaker, for some time now, from well before the by-election in April that brought me to this place, I have watched with a mix of resentment and regret as the Liberal government engages in what I have come to call “proxy politics” on the issue of pipelines. I say “resentment”, because for many in my province of Alberta and even closer to home in my riding of Calgary Heritage, pipelines are too important an issue to play political games on. I say “regret”, because what the government views as political manoeuvring only is having real and negative effects on the ground in Alberta, jeopardizing the livelihoods of thousands of people whose employment relies on the health of the energy sector.

As I speak today on Bill C-48, I see in its provisions not just the express purpose of its title to ban oil tankers, but also another example of the proxy politics that the government has been playing when it comes to pipeline development in Canada. What does proxy pipeline politics entail? It simply refers to the government's penchant for attaining indirectly, through legislation and politicized bureaucrats and signalling to special interests, what it cannot attain directly because of the political optics involved. This bill is another step by the government toward a goal that it pursues, but does not publicly name, the phasing out of the oil sands.

Bill C-48 would prohibit oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading, and unloading at ports or marine installations in the moratorium area. On the surface, it purports to enhance environmental protection by banning oil tankers from the north coast of British Columbia. However, that is just a greenwashing of the bill's true intent: to convert a vast region of Canada's west coast into a no-go zone for tankers under the pretext of environmental protection. Reading and listening to the Liberals' messaging around this bill, one might assume that an environmental apocalypse was imminent in B.C. That, of course, is not the case at all.

In fact, the Conservative government enhanced protections for the environment in 2014 by creating a world-class tanker safety system. We modernized Canada's navigational systems, enhanced area response planning, expanded the marine safety capacity of aboriginal communities, and ensured that polluters would pay for spills and damages. We did these things because, in contrast to the party opposite, Conservatives understand that the environment can be protected while also growing the economy.

Conservatives believe in fair and balanced policy-making. Liberals, however, would have us believe there is no middle ground. They would have Canadians forget that a voluntary exclusion zone of 100 kilometres for oil tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington State has been in place since 1985. They would also have us ignore how the Alaskan panhandle juts deep into the moratorium zone, meaning that any U.S. community sharing B.C.'s coastline can welcome oil tankers. The Liberals say never mind to the realities on the ground and to the protections already in place. Instead, they craft policies to address hypothetical contingencies that have become even less likely in recent years. Where is the fairness and balance in such an approach?

The bill's inherent unfairness is clear. It is unfair to coastal communities in northern British Columbia, excluding them from even the possibility of oil pipeline projects as a means of economic development and local job creation. This bill is unfair to those aboriginal communities in B.C. that support and seek responsible pipeline development to the west coast as a means to achieving economic independence for their communities. There are many more of those communities than the Liberals care to admit. In fact, according to the chief of the Assembly of First Nations, 500 of the 630 first nations across Canada are open to pipeline and petroleum development on their lands.

The bill is also unfair to the energy companies that take all the risks and make all the investments and do all the work that we require of them to meet our world-class safety regulations, only to discover at the end of the process that it all means nothing when a political, unbalanced, unfair outcome results.

This bill is not balanced. It favours environmental interests and their activists while marginalizing economic stakeholders. The Liberals do this not only in the interests of the environment but also because they are opposed to pipelines, and legislation such as Bill C-48 helps them to achieve their ends.

In November of last year, the federal government directed the National Energy Board to dismiss the northern gateway pipeline project. It cited concerns about oil tankers transporting some of the half-million barrels per day of a petroleum product at Kitimat, oil that would have found new international markets via tidewater. How convenient it is that we now have legislation before us that effectively bars any similar projects in the future. After all, if tankers cannot receive what pipelines send them, there is little reason for a pipeline.

For the government to engage in such reckless spending to fulfill its all-encompassing view of the role of the state shows little understanding of what is needed to fund such largesse. Governments do not create wealth; they only tax the wealth created by others to finance their objectives. Therefore, it strikes me as odd that the Liberal government consistently seeks to smother one of Canada's largest sources of wealth. Alberta's oil sands alone represent a potential $2-trillion boost to Canada's gross domestic product over the coming decade. That would help to fund health care and other social programs and priorities for many years to come. Rather than champion responsible development of a resource beneficial to everyone, the government continues to throw up hurdles.

We have seen the same with the energy east pipeline. The Liberals continue to allow interference during the approval process by bureaucrats who seem intent on moving the goalposts on investors. Allowing the regulator in that case to step outside its mandate to consider upstream impacts of the pipeline sends a signal to opponents of oil and gas development that the process is politically driven and can be disrupted. It does by proxy what the Liberals cannot do publicly for political reasons.

However, there is a cost to such interference. We cannot ask companies to make massive initial investments in the energy sector, to responsibly follow all of the regulations set before them to safely develop such projects, only to have politics change the rules in the middle of the process.

Canada stands in jeopardy of losing future oil and gas sector investments if the Liberal government continues to allow this. We cannot afford to do that, especially considering the debt into which the government is sinking us and the staggering number of public dollars that will be needed to pay it back.

Demand for Canadian oil is strongest in the rapidly growing markets of the Asia-Pacific region. However, the government's response is to ban Canada's gateway to such large markets from transporting our oil. This is not going over well with everyone, by the way.

The Chief's Council Eagle Spirit Energy project, a first nations-led energy corridor proposal that has the support of its affected communities, has claimed there has been insufficient consultation on the ban and says it “does not have our consent.”

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 5:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand in the House on behalf of the residents of my riding of Davenport to support Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. The environment is very important to the residents of the riding of Davenport, so I stand to support this bill.

For anyone who does not get a chance to watch this live, I want to review very quickly what the oil tanker moratorium act would do. The act would formalize a moratorium for oil tankers off British Columbia's north coast. It would do three things. It would cover an area from the northern Alaska-B.C. border down to the point on B.C.'s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. That includes Haida Gwaii. Tanker traffic would not be allowed to go in and out of the ports in the northern part of B.C. This would apply to all ships carrying over 12,500 tonnes of crude oil or persistent oil as cargo in this area. As well, the tanker moratorium would complement the existing voluntary tanker exclusion zone, which has been in place since 1985.

If we have a voluntary moratorium, what would this tanker moratorium actually do? The act would expand the current area to include areas such as the Hecate Strait, Dixon Entrance, and Queen Charlotte Sound, off the coast of Haida Gwaii. Also, the voluntary moratorium only dealt with ships that were actually passing through the area. The bill proposes to include all the traffic that goes through the area. We are very pleased with the two changes this bill would put in place.

This is a pristine part of northern British Columbia that from time immemorial we have wanted to protect. First nation groups and community groups along the coastline have been asking governments for many years to protect it. We made the promise years ago that we would do so, and I am very pleased that today we are moving forward by pursuing this bill.

The other thing I want to mention is that the tanker moratorium act would complement the $1.5 billion comprehensive national oceans protection plan. That plan has four priority areas.

First, the Government of Canada will create a world-leading marine safety system that improves responsible shipping and protects Canada's waters. When we talk about world-leading, we mean that the system will meet or exceed the best practices in the world. This area focuses both on prevention and response measures.

Second, the government will focus on the preservation and restoration of marine ecosystems and habitats. This will be done using new tools and research as well as measures to address abandoned and derelict vessels and wrecks.

Third is building and strengthening partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities. The government is helping to build local capacity so that indigenous groups play a meaningful role in emergency response and waterway management.

The fourth part of our oceans protection plan is that the government will ensure that Canada's marine safety system is built on a stronger evidence base, supported by science and local knowledge. I am delighted that this is going into place.

I started off by saying that the environment is very important to Davenport residents. I have always told them that one of the key things we promised as we formed government was that as we looked forward to developing our economy, we wanted to do it in a sustainable way. The oceans protection plan and the oil tanker moratorium act are both part of that plan.

I will now move to my more formal remarks.

In an earlier session, there were some questions about government consultations. Indeed, there has been extensive government consultation. I want to acknowledge the leadership of the member for Vancouver Quadra, who has done such a wonderful job for years advocating for this. I know that there were a lot of consultations at that time, and I am very proud that we continue to engage in additional consultations. We made sure that we reached out to as many groups as possible. We listened and incorporated their views into the bill before us today.

I am very pleased and proud to take part in today's discussion about implementing an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's northern coast. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the efforts made by the government and its partners to reach the decision to implement this moratorium. It is important to remember that with this bill, the Government of Canada would be honouring its commitments to Canadians. Formalizing this moratorium and improving marine safety were among the priorities set out in the mandate letter from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Transport.

We believe it is essential to protect the environment, a particularly sensitive environment in the case of northern B.C., while also developing a strong economy. It is just as important to note that the decision to impose this moratorium was the outcome of a vast consultation process.

Our government is committed to pursuing its objectives in the spirit of renewed collaboration. We firmly believe it is essential to maintain and enhance our relationships with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments and with indigenous groups to bring about concrete, positive change. Therefore, we undertook these consultations when the government first announced its intention to adopt a legislative framework to formalize the moratorium.

The first meetings were held in British Columbia, where the minister brought together representatives from first nations, industry, local communities, and non-governmental organizations dedicated to environmental protection.

Discussions were held across the country, including in Iqaluit, St. John's, Montreal, and Calgary, to name only a few locations. It was important for us to bring together Canadians with differing opinions on the moratorium. The government took great care to include various stakeholders from different settings, namely, the marine community, the oil and gas industry, environmental groups, provincial and municipal governments, Canadians from across the country, and of course, first nations.

In total, Transport Canada organized 16 round tables and over 30 bilateral and multilateral meetings to involve Canadians in improving marine safety, which included discussions about the moratorium on oil tankers. With the aim of extending the discussion further and enabling those who were unable to attend those meetings, Transport Canada set up a web portal. Indeed, many letters from Canadians were also forwarded to the department. Overall, nearly 5,000 users visited the online portal. Of them, 330 provided comments or submitted documents. Most of those comments were about the moratorium that is the subject here today.

It is obvious that Canadians wanted to be heard. I can assure members that this was done. We not only listened closely to the concerns of our partners and Canadians about the matter, we took steps to meet their expectations. For example, a number of stakeholders expressed concerns about the moratorium's potential impact on transporting supplies for the communities and industries on British Columbia's coast. Resupply is vital to their welfare. The communities and industries must be able to continue to receive shipments of petroleum products. Therefore, the government ensured that the proposed legislation would allow resupply to continue by setting a threshold of 12,500 metric tonnes of crude oil and persistent oil in a tanker's cargo spaces. The resupply of communities and industries would therefore not be affected by the proposed moratorium.

Some stakeholders pointed out to us that they also wanted to ensure that the moratorium was transformed into action by an act of Parliament. That is exactly what the bill is proposing.

During the Canada-wide discussions, concerns were raised about marine safety. The stakeholders found that the Canadian Coast Guard lacked resources, including salvage tugs. Stakeholders also raised concerns about the time required to respond to an incident. The oceans protection plan will allay their concerns by giving the Canadian Coast Guard a greater role when it comes to patrols and monitoring the marine environment. The Coast Guard is also going to have increased towing capacity.

A number of stakeholders also noted that there could be more involvement from local communities in emergency responses. For that reason, the government is making plans to better coordinate the federal emergency response plan. With greater resource capacity from coast to coast to coast, the government is ready to work with local communities and indigenous groups. New indigenous community response teams will also be established, with training in search and rescue, environmental response, and incident command.

Remember that Canada is a maritime nation that was built on a safe, secure maritime transport system. This government is dedicated to developing a long-term agenda for marine transport that demonstrates that a healthy environment and a sustainable economy go hand in hand.

In short, the moratorium on oil tankers would be a major initiative for protecting the B.C. coast. I encourage all members to come together and support this bill that would protect our environment.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Joyce Murray LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Davenport.

I am pleased and proud to be part of today's debate on Bill C-48, and to discuss implementing an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's northern coast.

It is important to remember that with the bill, the Government of Canada is honouring its promise to Canadians. By formalizing this moratorium and including marine safety, the government is delivering on its promise, as set out in the mandate letter from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Transport.

I want to thank our Prime Minister for his commitment to the oil tanker moratorium on the Pacific north coast. I also want to thank the Minister of Transport for taking his thoughtful approach in consulting widely on the bill and delivering on this commitment.

This is one of those times when it is very satisfying to be a member of Parliament.

The House resumed from October 2 consideration of the motion that Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that my colleague brought up the fact, as I did beforehand, that Bill C-49 passed yesterday through clause-by-clause. It is certainly my hope that Bill C-48 will go through a similar collegial process. There will be that opportunity.

I totally respect the independence of the committee as our government has done from the very beginning, unlike the previous government. I am sure when it does arrive at committee, there will be a similar opportunity to hear witnesses to argue for and against, and eventually go to clause-by-clause. I hope to do all this in a collegial manner.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the course of the past two years, we have allowed ample amounts of time for debate. As we know, we are going through Bill C-48, which is on the moratorium. It will go to committee. When it goes to committee, there will be opportunity to debate it. Witnesses will be heard on both sides, I am sure. After that, it will go to third reading and to report stage. After that it will go to the Senate.

We are following the proper process to turn this bill into law and we feel that an adequate amount of time has been allocated for Bill C-48.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed in this, and we as a party are offended.

There was an agreement made two and a half weeks ago when this session started that we would work together with the government and not be obstructionist, but work to help pass bills that we were able to support.

The result so far is that the government has passed Bill S-2, C-21, C-47, and Bill C-58 all without time allocation, and progress was being made on three more bills, Bill C-55, C-57, and C-60.

There was one bill that we said we had a lot of interest in and would like to have enough time for all of our members to be able to speak, and that was Bill C-48. Now the House leader has broken her word. There is no other way to interpret this. If this is the way she is going to start this session after we have worked in such good faith for the last two and half weeks, all the members know that it will be a case of here we go again: a repeat of the failure we saw in the spring session.

Where in the world is the House leader's integrity and ability to keep her word?

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 3:50 p.m.
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Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

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

moved:

That, in relation to Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the Bill;

and

That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-48—Notice of time allocation motionOil Tanker Moratorium ActPrivate Members' Business

October 3rd, 2017 / 6:25 p.m.
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Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Orders 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to the second reading 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.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at the said stage.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my remarks, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Lakeland not only for the tremendous job she is doing as a shadow minister for natural resources and taking the lead on this file, but also for the wealth of experience she brings to it having worked in the industry in the province of Alberta.

I rise today in response to Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, a bill that will have devastating effects on our oil sands and the many jobs created as a result of that development. Once again the Liberals are playing games with Canadian jobs. Ostensibly, this act was introduced as a transportation bill. However, in practice, I believe Bill C-48 is a jobs bill or rather a job-killing bill singling out one specific sector of our economy, the oil sector, and punishing that sector irrationally. Since the Liberals formed government, they have made no attempt to hide their disdain for Canada's oil producers and the men and women who work in that field. This bill is another example of that.

Let us be clear and cut through the rhetoric. Bill C-48 is not really about banning tanker traffic; it is about banning development in the oil sands and the pipelines needed to get the product to market. Right now there is no oil flowing to the northern British Columbia coast. That means that there is no oil for tankers to load in the northern British Columbia coast identified in Bill C-48.

There could have been a northern gateway pipeline project. It was meant to run from Alberta to the northern coast of British Columbia, where our oil would have been loaded onto tankers and exported around the world. The development of a safe and efficient means of transporting our oil to the coast would have led to an economic boom in northern British Columbia, as it has in Vancouver and along the east coast. In those waters, tankers have operated safely for decades. The export of our oil would have strengthened Canada's economy by diversifying our market in the Asia-Pacific region. It would have ensured future economic stability, and it was cancelled because of politics.

Under the previous Conservative government, and through the National Energy Board, Canada had an impartial, evidence-based system that based its decisions on the viability of a project via a rigorous set of tests. These tests reviewed everything from the safety of the project to its environmental footprint to its economic impact and to its effect on our first nation communities.

The northern gateway project passed the first phase in that assessment before it was ended due to a short-sighted election promise by the Prime Minister. His action was not based on any science, but entirely on partisanship. Under the regime of Bill C-48, such a project will now be impossible.

Despite what the Liberals may say, this bill is not really about the environment. To be clear, the bill does not actually do what the Liberals claim it does. Bill C-48 does not ban tanker traffic along our coast, but merely the loading and unloading of oil tankers at our northern B.C. ports, which is currently not happening. Tankers will still operate 100 kilometres from shore, as they always have. The bill will do nothing to reduce the risk of oil spills. Quite frankly, it is 20 pages of empty symbolism on the environment, but with a real impact on the future of our Canadian economy.

In contrast to this empty symbolism, the previous Conservative government strengthened Canada's environmental regime by creating a world-class tanker safety system, including modernizing our navigation system, building marine safety capacity in first nation communities, and ensuring that any polluters pay for the clean-up and environmental impact of spills and damages.

The Conservatives pursued environmental protections based on the facts. Using those facts, we enacted real change that would protect our natural wonders, both now and tomorrow, and we achieved all of that without destroying future prosperity.

It would seem that the Prime Minister is not actually serious about reducing the impact of pollution on our planet. If he were serious about reducing pollution, he would do everything in his power to ensure that whenever possible, Canadian oil replaces oil from countries that have less stringent environmental protection regimes.

The fact is Canadian producers are subject to far more oversight and regulation. Environmental standards in Canada are much higher than the majority of other oil-producing nations'. Our oil production sites are cleaner. Our air is cleaner. This is no random accident. It is a consequence of our strong standards. Canada is a world leader on clean oil production and has been for decades.

Instead of basing their decision on these facts, the Liberals prioritize their anti-oil bias over science, over evidence and, most importantly, over people. That is what the bill is about. It is actually about people.

For no discernible reason, with no due diligence, the Liberals are damaging Canada's economic security. The hundreds of thousands of middle-class Canadians who work or hope to work in the oil and gas sector will see this news as another blow to their future prosperity.

This is not only about Canadians who work directly in this sector, nor is it simply an issue in western Canada. The implications of this legislation along with the partisan decision to end northern gateway will not only be felt in western Canada. It will be felt by Canadians from coast to coast to coast. At least 670,000 Canadians are employed directly or indirectly by our oil and gas sectors. Over 80,000 of them call Ontario home. Over 25,000 are Québecois. This sector is Canada's largest private industry investor.

The Liberals unilateral symbolic decision to ban tanker traffic on British Columbia's northern coast will be felt all the way to the St. Lawrence River and beyond. These businesses employ middle-class Canadians who have become constant targets of the Liberal government. They are already preparing to deal with the unfair tax hikes proposed by the Prime Minister, which will damage our competitiveness worldwide. They will be further disheartened to see yet another opportunity ripped from their grasp by the Liberal government.

If I did not know better, I might think the Liberal government is intentionally sabotaging Canadian jobs.

Perhaps the hardest hit in all of this are our first nations. With the tanker ban, and before that the cancellation of northern gateway, first nations in British Columbia and Alberta are losing out on an estimated $2 billion equity windfall. Thirty-one first nations equity partners supported northern gateway, holding a 30% stake in the project. Those first nations knew that the pipeline would bring jobs to their communities and they hoped that prosperity would follow. Without any consultation, the Prime Minister took that opportunity from them. The Prime Minister's symbolic ban on tanker traffic and cancellation of northern gateway will have real effects on real people.

Millions of dollars that could have gone to first nation communities and the families they represent will now never reach them. The affected communities could have used this money for schools, housing, infrastructure, job creation, or any of a hundred other purposes. But no, that will not happen, all because the Prime Minister does not like the oil sands. Perhaps if some of the money from northern gateway went to building sheds to store canoes, the Prime Minister would have supported it.

I must again draw members' attention to what this legislation would really do, or rather what it would not do. Nowhere does this legislation actually ban tankers from operating off of our west coast. Nowhere does it add anything to our already stringent environmental standards. Nowhere does it reduce risks.

Originally I thought I was only going to have 10 minutes to speak to the bill, but apparently it is up to Conservative members to carry the day on so many of the pieces of legislation the government has been introducing. Members of the Liberal Party, the NDP, the Green Party, and even the Bloc may have an opportunity to pose many questions of those of us who are participating in this debate.

While I do not have a crystal ball, I have a premonition that their questions to me will revolve around four topics. I think the first topic will be on the environment.

As I have said, Bill C-48 would do nothing for the preservation of British Columbia's environment. Ships, including U.S. tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington State, would continue to be able to travel up and down the coast just outside the 100-kilometre limit I mentioned. As I said, this is a pipeline moratorium under a different name.

Further, Canadian oil is extracted and transported under some of the safest and most environmentally strict regulations in the world. Preventing our Canadian oil resources from reaching customers in other countries only serves to proliferate the use of all products extracted and transported in a less safe and environmentally-friendly way. The strange contradiction we see with the Liberals, NDPs, Greens, and Bloc's views on Canadian oil is that their opposition to it defeats their supposed greater goal of protecting the world's environment.

The second question I anticipate from Liberal members in this place will be around the fact that this promise was contained in the Liberals' 2015 election platform.

The Liberals' 2015 election platform is basically a list of broken promises. The Liberal platform was not worth the paper on which it was printed. We have seen considerable willingness, if not eagerness, on the part of the Liberal government to break promises made in its election platform.

I will highlight a few of the broken promises from the Liberals' election platform.

First, there was a commitment to run only modest deficits of $10 billion. Well, we now know that promise was a complete joke. The Liberal government blew past that proposed limit faster than the Road Runner.

Then we had the disingenuous and overreaching promise that 2015 would be the last election under first past the post system. It is amazing when we think about the absolute arrogance that was embedded in that promise.

The third topic I anticipate members of the other parties will pose to me will be around the opinions of first nations. I know I touched upon this, but it bears repeating.

There is considerable support among first nations on B.C.'s coast for energy development opportunities. In fact, it is not just on B.C.'s coast. According to the Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde, 500 of the 630 first nations across Canada are open to pipeline and petroleum development on their land.

As I mentioned, 31 first nations were equity partners, holding a 30% financial position in the northern gateway pipeline project. For the Liberals to move forward with this tanker moratorium without properly consulting coastal first nations is absolutely hypocritical. We know they did not consult because we know this was in the minister's mandate letter. He was directed to put this moratorium in place without any consultation. The Liberals only consult when it is to get the result they seek. They have no interest in dissenting or contrary views.

Finally, we have the Liberal government's much aligned proposals on open and transparent government. I could go on, but I do not want to use the rest of my time embarrassing the government with these facts.

To conclude on this point, to say their platform commitments are binding would be the height of hypocrisy from the Liberals.

The final subject on which I anticipate members of the other parties to pose questions to me on probably will revolve around pipelines or pipeline approvals. As I said earlier, this is not a tanker moratorium bill; this is a pipeline moratorium bill. The Prime Minister and the Government of Canada must champion pipeline development or pipeline projects will never be completed.

Approving one pipeline but not the other is only a partial solution to improving market access for western Canada's energy producers. Additionally, pipelines are the safest means of transporting oil that is already being produced and moved, yet is appears the Liberals and NDP would rather it be moved in a less safe manner.

The bill would only serve to undercut the future prosperity of Canadians in Quebec, British Columbia, first nation communities, and all throughout our country. I am left with only one question. Why does the Prime Minister care more about empty symbolism than about the prosperity of Canada's middle class?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to express my support for this worthy legislation, one of many components of our oceans protection plan. Bill C-48, an act to establish an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's north coast, the latest in a suite of actions to protect British Columbia's Pacific coastline, would advance our transportation 2030 vision to safeguard Canada's waterways and three ocean coasts.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the health and well-being of our oceans are vital for our communities, our environment, our economy, and the well-being of all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Canada has the longest coastline in the world, and it is critical that those vast stretches of coastline and marine environments are well protected to ensure that our oceans continue to support a rich variety of sea life. Our oceans also play an important role in Canada's economy, facilitating the movement of goods and people to other destinations and enabling the trade that our high standard of living depends upon.

We fully understand how important it is to improve marine safety and to protect the marine environment while fostering a climate that supports Canadian trade and economic objectives. That is why the creation of a world-leading marine safety system is a central plank in our government's $1.5-billion oceans protection plan. It will help ensure that future generations of Canadians continue to benefit from abundant fisheries, tourism, traditional indigenous and community livelihoods, and global trade.

To develop this plan, the Government of Canada undertook extensive consultations with Canadians all across the country on how to best improve marine safety and formalize an oil tanker moratorium. This included consultations with indigenous groups, stakeholders from the marine industry and the oil and gas sector, environmental groups, and other levels of government. Their perspectives informed the parameters of the moratorium outlined in Bill C-48.

The proposed oil tanker moratorium is just one of several crucial and complementary measures this government is taking to protect our coastlines and our oceans. The oceans protection plan will build a world-leading marine safety system that will increase responsible shipping and protect Canada's waters, including new preventive and response measures.

We are also taking steps to preserve and restore marine ecosystems and habitats using new tools and research. To support this work, we are building a stronger evidence base, supported by science and local knowledge. We are investing in oil spill cleanup research and methods to ensure that decisions taken in emergencies are evidence-based. We are strengthening partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities to benefit from local knowledge of the region and to build local emergency response capacity.

These efforts and actions are national in scope, so let me focus on a few specific measures designed to protect British Columbia's northern coast.

I remind my hon. colleagues that our government has instituted a concentrated campaign to inspect tugs and barges in the province. The aim of the campaign is to ensure that tugs and barges, including those engaged in community and industry re-supply, comply with all safety regulations.

Preventing accidents from occurring in the first place really is our primary goal, and this is the rationale behind the concrete steps being taken by our government to build a strong prevention regime that enhances marine safety. For example, we will be providing mariners, indigenous groups, and coastal communities in British Columbia with improved marine traffic and navigation information. This will include designing new information-sharing systems and platforms so that they have access to real-time information on marine shipping activities in local waters. We want to provide maritime situational awareness—who is doing what and where—in a user-friendly way that meets their needs.

A new program will fund initiatives to test new ways to bring local marine traffic information to indigenous and local communities from existing open-source information from ports, the Canadian Coast Guard, and other government systems. This will not only prevent accidents but also give indigenous groups and local communities a meaningful role in responsible shipping.

The oceans protection plan is also making investments so that a quick and adequate response can be mounted when incidents occur. This will mean enhanced search and rescue capabilities in British Columbia, including four new lifeboat stations, and improved communication capacity.

The Canadian Coast Guard will be increasing its towing capacity by equipping its large vessels with towing kits. It also will lease two large vessels on the B.C. coast capable of towing large commercial ships that are in distress and pose a hazard to navigation and to the marine environment. This will improve Canada's ability to effectively respond to incidents, which will ultimately save lives and protect the environment.

Beyond protecting marine ecosystems, our government is committed to restoring them. We will establish coastal zone plans and identify restoration priorities that will engage indigenous communities as well as local groups and communities.

Furthermore, we are working to understand the threat of marine transportation to marine mammals and will examine how to diminish these effects, such as understanding how to reduce the threat whales face from noise and potential collisions with commercial traffic along the B.C. coast. The government will also fund research on the impact of increased shipping on marine ecosystems, which will better position us to protect these mammals.

Strengthening partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities is a key element of the oceans protection plan. With the plan, as well as the oil tanker moratorium, B.C. indigenous communities will have peace of mind that there is the highest level of protection possible on their coast, and they will have a real opportunity to be partners in the marine safety regime. This means being offered training in search and rescue missions, environmental monitoring, and emergency spill response. It also means that our government will work with indigenous and coastal communities to create regional response plans for the west coast and to pursue shared leadership opportunities in other areas. As one example, this might mean creating local traffic management areas to minimize safety risks and environmental impacts.

Ensuring that indigenous groups play a leading role in decision-making processes is a major goal of the oceans protection plan. We have demonstrated this commitment with the new Pacific region places-of-refuge contingency plan, which was developed in collaboration with the Council of the Haida Nation and other provincial and federal partners. We are proving that working together, we can more effectively manage and protect our marine environment across Canada.

By formalizing an oil tanker moratorium on the north coast of British Columbia, the government would be delivering on the commitment to develop a world-leading marine safety system, one that would meet or surpass the marine safety practices of other nations.

By collaborating with the provinces, indigenous groups, environmental NGOs, and other interested stakeholders, I am confident that we have found an approach that demonstrates that a clean environment and a strong economy can go hand in hand. In the same way, members on this side of the House want to work with all our parliamentary colleagues to enhance marine safety and protect the environment to promote responsible and sustainable economic growth.

I hope I can count on all-party support for Bill C-48, which would help protect the northern British Columbia coastline for the benefit of generations to come.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country B.C.

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Kanata—Carleton.

It is indeed an honour to be a member of Parliament from British Columbia and to be able to stand in this House in support 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.

Residents and communities on Canada's west coast have been working toward this legislation for years, as reflected in the comments made by my colleague, the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam. It is a key aspect of actions our government is taking to protect British Columbia's Pacific coastline and to advance our transportation 2030 vision to protect Canada's waterways and three ocean coasts.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the health and well-being of our oceans is vital for our communities, our environment, our economy, and the well-being of all Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Canada has the largest coastline in the world, and it is critical that these vast stretches of coastline and marine environment be well protected to ensure that our oceans can continue to support a rich variety of sea life, and our lives too. We are all one.

Our oceans play an important role in Canada's economy, facilitating the movements of goods and people and enabling trade to protect our high standard of living. It was a distinct pleasure for me to attend recently at the expansion of the Port of Prince Rupert, for example, with the Minister of International Trade. The head of the Indiana railway said to me, “There isn't a shipper in Indiana that doesn't know the Port of Prince Rupert.”

That goes to show how integrated Canada's transport system really is.

In full respect for the importance of trade, British Columbians and Canadians are passionate about the importance of marine safety and protecting the marine environment, which is exactly why the creation of a world-leading marine safety system is central to our government's $1.5 billion oceans protection plan. This will ensure that future generations of Canadians will continue to share and benefit from fisheries, tourism, and traditional indigenous and community livelihoods and knowledge, as well as global trade.

To develop this plan, the Government of Canada undertook extensive consultations with Canadians across the country on how best to improve marine safety and formalize an oil tanker moratorium. This included discussions with indigenous peoples, stakeholders from the marine industry, the oil and gas sector, environmental groups, and all levels of government. These perspectives informed the measures of the moratorium outlined in Bill C-48 today.

I am very proud of the work that many in my riding and throughout British Columbia did to get us here today.

The proposed oil tanker moratorium is just one of several crucial and complementary measures this government is taking to protect our coastlines and oceans. The oceans protection plan will build a world-leading marine safety system that increases responsible shipping and protects Canada's waters, and it includes new preventive and response measures.

We are also taking steps to preserve and restore marine ecosystems and habitats by using new tools and research. To support this work, we are building a stronger evidence base, supported by science and local knowledge. We are investing in oil spill cleanup research and methods to ensure that decisions taken in emergencies are based on the best information possible.

We are strengthening partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities to benefit from local knowledge of the region and to build local emergency response capacity.

These efforts and actions are national in scope, but I would like to be permitted to focus on specific measures designed to protect British Columbia's northern coast.

I would like to remind my hon. colleagues that our government has instituted a concentrated campaign to inspect tugs and barges in the province to ensure that tugs and barges, including those working in community and industry re-supply, comply with all safety regulations.

Preventing accidents from occurring in the first place is our primary goal. This is the main idea behind the steps our government is taking to build a strong prevention regime that enhances marine safety.

For example, we will be providing mariners, indigenous groups, and coastal communities in British Columbia with improved marine traffic and navigation information. This includes designing new information-sharing systems and platforms so they have access to real-time information on marine shipping activities in local waters.

We want to provide maritime situational awareness of who is doing what, and where—which is easier said than done—in a user-friendly way to benefit the safety and protection of British Columbia's coastline.

A first-of-its-kind program will fund initiatives to test new ways to bring local marine traffic information to indigenous and local communities from existing open source information from ports, the Canadian Coast Guard, and other government systems. This will not only help to prevent accidents but will also engage indigenous peoples and local communities with a real, important, and vital role in ensuring responsible shipping.

The oceans protection plan is also making investments so that a proactive, timely, and effective response can be mounted when incidents occur. This would mean enhanced search and rescue capabilities in British Columbia, including four new lifeboat stations and improved communication capacity. The Canadian Coast Guard would be increasing its towing capacity by equipping its large vessels with towing kits. It would also lease two large vessels on the B.C. coast capable of towing large commercial ships that are in distress and pose a hazard to navigation and the marine environment. This would improve Canada's ability to effectively respond to incidents, save lives, and protect the environment.

Beyond protecting marine ecosystems, our government is committed to restoring them. We would establish coastal zone plans and identify restoration priorities that would engage indigenous communities as well as local groups. Furthermore, we are working to understand the threat marine transportation poses to marine mammals and we will examine how to diminish these effects—for instance, by understanding how to reduce the threat whales face from noise and potential collisions from commercial traffic along the B.C. coast. The government would also fund research on the impacts of increased shipping on marine ecosystems, which would better position us to protect these mammals.

Strengthening partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities is a key element of the oceans protection plan. With the plan, as well as the oil tanker moratorium, B.C. indigenous communities would know that there is the highest level of protection possible on their coasts and that they will have a real opportunity to be partners in the marine safety regime. This means taking training in search and rescue missions, environmental monitoring, and emergency spill response. It also means that our government would work with indigenous and coastal communities to create regional response plans for the west coast and pursue shared leadership opportunities in other areas. As one example, this might mean creating local traffic management areas to minimize safety risks and environmental impacts.

Ensuring that indigenous groups play a leading role in decision-making processes is also a major goal of the oceans protection plan. We have demonstrated this commitment with the new Pacific region place of refuge contingency plan, which was developed in collaboration with the Council of the Haida Nation and provincial and federal partners.

We believe that we are demonstrating that by working together, we can more effectively manage and protect our marine environment across Canada. By formalizing an oil tanker moratorium on the north coast of British Columbia, the government is delivering on our commitment to develop a world-leading marine safety system, one that will meet or surpass the marine safety practices of other countries. I am confident that by collaborating with the provinces, indigenous groups, environmental NGOs, and other interested stakeholders, we have found an approach that demonstrates that a healthy environment and a strong economy can go hand in hand.

On a more personal note, I would like to say that it is a testament to the people of British Columbia that we are at second reading for an oil tanker moratorium act, and we are very grateful for the leadership of the Minister of Transport, his parliamentary secretary, and his collaborators in cabinet.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak in favour 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.

Legislating the prior informal ban has been a policy objective of Canada's NDP for many years, which received support from Liberal MPs, particularly on the west coast.

The history of Bill C-48 has been quite the legislative roller coaster. Multiple private members' bills have been tabled to protect the north coast, but none became law.

In 2001, Bill C-571 was introduced by an NDP MP. In 2009, Bill C-458 was introduced by an NDP MP. In 2010, Bill C-606 was introduced by a Liberal MP. In 2011, I introduced Bill C-211. In 2012, Bill C-437 was introduced by a Liberal MP. In 2014, Bill C-628 was introduced by my colleague, the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley.

In 2010, the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley moved a north coast tanker ban motion, which passed in the House 143 to 138, with the support of all parties in the House, except Conservative minority government members who voted against it.

Now, here we are finally debating a bill that would protect the north coast from crude oil tanker traffic for good. The New Democrats welcome the legislation, but we do so with caution. We are concerned that Bill C-48 would give the minister of transport too much arbitrary power to exempt vessels from the legislation and the power to define what fuels would be exempt from the act. We hope the government will implement constructive amendments to limit ministerial power and increase oil spill response resources beyond its ocean protection plan commitments to respond to spills from refined oil vessels not covered by this ban.

Our NDP caucus, local first nations, municipal governments, trade unions, environmental NGOs, grassroots activists, and concerned citizens have over the years increased the call for this ban due to the environmental threat posed by the northern gateway pipeline project.

Northern gateway would have meant the annual passage of 225 supertankers bigger than the Empire State building, which would carry three times as much oil as the Exxon Valdez did before its catastrophic spill into similar waters. Cleanup and coastal recovery for the Exxon Valdez spill cost about $9.5 billion, of which Exxon paid only $3.5 billion. Twenty-five years after that spill, fish habitat and stocks still have not fully recovered. I shake my head in disbelief that so many MPs in the House still think the northern gateway pipeline project would have been a net benefit to Canada.

It is equally galling that our last government ripped up essential environmental laws and undermined the National Energy Board process in order to rubberstamp this pipeline project and others like it. As a result, we are still living with the short-sighted rip and ship mentality for Canada.

It was this short-sighted economic vision that disregarded the crown's obligation to our first nation's people. Canadians still remember how in December, 2013, despite overwhelming opposition from British Columbians and first nations, the National Energy Board recommended approval of the project, along with its 209 conditions. British Columbians showed their resolve to defend our coast by creating a broad-based movement of resistance, which today has shifted its focus to the Liberal's Kinder Morgan pipeline project expansion.

The defenders of our coast were vindicated in January 2016 when the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the Province of B.C. “has breached the honour of the Crown by failing to consult” with the Gitga'at and other coastal first nations on the Enbridge northern gateway pipeline project.

Not considering the environmental dangers of a pipeline through northern B.C. was a grave mistake. A large spill would be a disaster for the north coast. In particular, a supertanker oil spill could deal a serious blow to our already struggling wild salmon.

In British Columbia, our wild salmon are considered an iconic species, an integral part of our identity. They are a keynote species that delivers nutrients deep into the forests when they die. They are a major part of what makes the Great Bear Rainforest so great. Salmon support first nations communities, coastal communities, and are an integral part of our west coast economy.

The waters off British Columbia's north coast are a significant salmon migration route, with millions of salmon coming from the more than 650 streams and rivers along the coast. The impacts of a single oil spill would be devastating.

The commercial fishery on the north coast catches over $100 million worth of fish annually. Over 2,500 residents along B.C.'s north coast work in the commercial fishery. The fish processing industry employs thousands more.

The magnificent beauty of this region and the abundance of salmon have made it a world-renowned destination for ecotourism. The tourism industry has been a major catalyst for employment, economic growth, and opportunity in British Columbia. Businesses in this region have worked hard to promote their location as a major tourist destination.

As other resource-based jobs have taken a hit, tourism has provided a much-needed economic boost. The west coast wilderness tourism industry is now estimated to be worth over $782 million annually, employing some 26,000 people full-time and roughly 40,000 people in total. People from all over the world come to the north coast to witness the annual migration of the more than 20,000 gray whales and northern killer whales.

The shoreline is dotted with sports fishing lodges, as fishing enthusiasts flock to experience the natural marine environment and wild ocean and take part in the world famous fishery. People are often left awestruck after spending even a day kayaking, bear watching, or enjoying a guided trip showcasing the majestic west coast. They come to photograph sea otters and bald eagles, and to experience in some cases the untouched natural environment of the Pacific coast.

This legislated crude oil tanker ban will help protect the Great Bear Rainforest and Gwuii Haanas marine conservation parks. These two protected areas have incredible biological diversity that all parties in the House agree should be protected. They contain many species of concern like iconic killer whales, grizzly bears, bald eagles, and Pacific salmon. With so much at stake for our economy and our ecology, we are happy that Bill C-48 legislates an end to the threat posed by projects like northern gateway, but are also disappointed that the bill does not protect B.C.'s coast outright from oil tanker spills.

Limiting tankers to more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil on the north coast of Canada appears arbitrary and dangerously high. I encourage the government to make public the past and current oil shipment information for this region and provide a rationale for the 12,500 tonne threshold, including the types of vessels or shipments it will include or exclude. There is no reason to impede necessary vessels that help our coastal communities thrive, but clarity is required to ensure a proper threshold so as not to cause undue risk.

The bill makes exceptions for refined oil products like diesel, gasoline, and propane in order for coastal communities to be resupplied and to support value-added petroleum industries. While most of this is understandable, it means the bill does nothing to protect our coast from refined oil spills that could impact marine environments and disrupt valuable ecosystems.

The recent Nathan E. Stewart disaster shows just how big a threat refined oil spills can be. It demonstrates the need for increased oil spill response funding and training on the north coast and increased oil spill prevention measures for refined oil vessels.

For those needing a reminder, the Nathan E. Stewart ran aground in the early hours of October 13, 2016, near Bella Bella, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, spilling toxic diesel into critical fishing areas off B.C.'s central coast. The vessel eventually sank, spilling as much as 110,000 litres of diesel into the marine environment. Cleanup efforts were repeatedly hampered by bad weather and the vessel was not recovered until more than a month after it sank. Good thing the Nathan E. Stewart was not at maximum fuel capacity. The damage would have been even worse.

A Transportation Safety Board investigation showed spill response was inadequate, including slow response time, insufficient and ineffective equipment, a lack of safety gear, and confusion about who was in charge. First nations leaders were outraged at the government's slow and inadequate spill response. This bill would do nothing to ban vessels like the Nathan E. Stewart from carrying the amount of fuel that it did. We must learn from this disaster to prevent such accidents, and to ensure that, if they do occur, coastal communities are better equipped to quickly respond. We are encouraged to see investments in spill response as part of the government's much-touted oceans protection plan. However, these investments alone are simply inadequate.

It is discouraging that despite the NDP's objections, the government closed three integral marine communications and traffic services centres on B.C.'s coast, which undermines the ability of a speedy spill response. Justine Hunter of The Globe and Mail wrote:

The MCTS is responsible for monitoring distress calls, co-ordinating responses, and taking action to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vessels in Canadian waters. However, with only two MCTS officers responsible for monitoring a vast stretch of B.C.'s coast, from north of Vancouver Island to the Alaskan border and including the inside passage, a source with knowledge of the situation says there was little chance that anyone would have spotted the doomed course of the tug, charted in real time on marine traffic maps through its Automatic Identification System transponder.

The best spill response plans include spill prevention plans and, sadly, the current government is moving in the wrong direction. B.C.'s MCTS centres deal with an incredible volume of marine traffic. By consolidating MCTS resources into only two centres, Prince Rupert and Victoria, the government has increased the number of vessels that our already overworked Coast Guard staff have to monitor and has opened up the system to new failures. Marine vessels continue to report that communications systems regularly go down, leaving vessels without Coast Guard contact. It was short-sighted to close the Comox MCTS centre, removing much-needed resources along our coast who have local knowledge and monitoring capacity. The most troubling aspect of Bill C-48 is that it would allow the Minister of Transport to make exceptions for indeterminate lengths of time without public review or comment.

Gavin Smith of West Coast Environmental Law said:

Section 6(1) of Bill C-48 allows the Minister, by order, to exempt identified oil tankers from the ban on any terms and for any period of time. Moreover, section 6(2) says that the Statutory Instruments Act does not apply to such exemption orders, which removes requirements that such exemption orders be published and made easily available for public inspection.

This provision, if used to its full extent, could allow wide-scale and long-term exemptions from the oil tanker ban to be ordered behind closed doors without opportunity for public review and input, effectively gutting the purpose of the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act. The need for this provision is unclear given that Bill C-48 already includes sensible exemptions from the oil tanker ban for vessels in various forms of distress (e.g. to ensure the safety of the vessel, for medical emergencies, or to render assistance to another vessel in distress), as well as vessels under the control of the Minister of National Defence. It is even more puzzling that the government has proposed excluding such exemption orders from the application of the Statutory Instruments Act, which effectively makes them less public.

Canada's New Democrats agree. The powers given to the minister in this bill would undermine its positive aspects. The minister's power to exempt ships for indeterminate amounts of time if deemed in the public interest is far too broad. There should be time limits on exemptions and opportunities for public comment on any long-term exemptions. This should also apply to the regulatory authority to add or remove fuel types that count under the ban.

Bill C-48 has loopholes large enough to drive an oil tanker through. Ministerial discretion has been used by the Liberal government and others to circumvent the positive aspects of this bill. There is no need to continue this pattern of letting industry circumvent Canada's environmental laws without constraint or review.

This bill is a positive development for British Columbians and Canadians, but it can be improved. It protects what we hold dear and takes us a step closer to a different vision of development on Canada's west coast. However, with the ability to veto protection for destructive megaprojects, the bill still leaves B.C.'s north coast vulnerable.

We ask the government to listen to first nations, NGOs, and coastal communities to close the gaps in Bill C-48 and truly protect the assets of the Pacific north coast.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 3:35 p.m.
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Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Mr. Speaker, of course I am here to talk about the moratorium bill, Bill C-48. I am very proud that it covers the regions from the United States-Canada border in the north right down to the point that is roughly aligned with the northern tip of Vancouver Island. This is a pristine area for which we promised we would establish a moratorium for tanker traffic, and we are keeping that promise.

British Columbia's economy and environment are important along its entire coast. That is why we are particularly proud of having brought in the oceans protection plan, which will put in place world-leading marine safety measures to ensure that the economic development of British Columbia continues but does so with an eye to ensuring the highest levels of environmental safety.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, legislation has been coming fast and furious from this minister, and I can imagine that he wants to get something done so that the Liberals can say their government actually accomplished some of the things that they promised to do. However, this would be one promise that we ask the government to think very carefully about.

As the minister noted, currently there is a voluntary moratorium on tanker traffic. It has been in place since the 1980s and it covers the area that would be affected by this bill. Regardless of whether one philosophically agrees with this voluntary moratorium, it appears to have been working. Since Bill C-48 would do nothing to change the current situation in regard to tanker traffic travelling up and down B.C.'s coast, why is the minister wasting the House's time with this smokescreen of a bill?