Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie for his motion. In many ways, I thought he did a great job in his opening comments and in his motion of summarizing our government's record to date, as well as our vision for Canada's future in this clean growth century.
Among other things, his motion acknowledges our commitment to making Canada a global climate change leader, and rightly so. After all, we did not just sign the Paris accord on climate change; we helped to shape it.
Then we took a leadership role in the creation of Mission Innovation, a new global partnership that is accelerating clean energy solutions like never before.
We sat down with the provinces and territories. We engaged with indigenous peoples. We consulted with Canadians on how best to reach our climate change targets. The result was the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, which lays out a path to the clean growth, low carbon economy, a blueprint for reducing emissions, spurring innovation, adapting to climate change, and creating good, sustainable jobs across the country, the very things the hon. member opposite prescribes in his motion. However, we have not stopped there.
We continue to make generational investments in clean technology and innovation as well as foundational science and research. We are making similar unprecedented investments in the green infrastructure that supports clean growth. At the same time, we are putting a price on carbon and accelerating the phase out of coal. All of this leads me to think the hon. member opposite wrote his motion by taking a page out of our policy book. That will become even clearer as this debate proceeds.
Over the course of today, a number of my colleagues will speak to specific elements of the motion, including our comprehensive efforts to combat climate change, such as our record investments develop clean and renewable sources of energy, our focus on promoting energy efficiency, and our plan to protect Canada's oceans and coastal communities.
I would like to begin as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources by setting the scene, explaining how the many moving parts fit together, and how Canada's abundant natural resources, including our vast supply of energy, are a key piece of the clean tech puzzle.
The world is in the midst of something that has only happened a few times in history, a fundamental shift in the types of energy that power our societies. The page of that transition may vary from country to country, but it is under way and it is irreversible.
Climate change is forcing all of us to think differently about how we power our factories, heat our homes, and fuel our vehicles, and about the importance of using both traditional and renewable energy more efficiently.
This is not just another issue. We are not talking about tinkering with a particular government policy or deciding whether to build a road somewhere. We are talking about the future of our planet. We are talking about creating an entirely new direction for our economy, redefining how we see our connectiveness to other nations, and about the importance of global action.
That is why our government is taking action. This year alone we have invested in smart electricity grids, electric and alternative fuel for charging stations, more energy efficient homes, and help for northern communities to move off diesel. Each of these takes us a step closer to the future we want, a country driven by clean technology and defined by innovation.
We are also reimagining carbon by turning otherwise harmful carbon dioxide emissions into valuable products, such as building materials, alternative fuels, and consumer goods.
Just last week we heard exciting news reports about a company on the west coast that had found a way to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turn it into a low carbon fuel for vehicles at an economical price of less than U.S. $100 per tonne. That is where Canadians are taking us with their ingenuity and their imagination. This is the kind of innovation that will transform our economy and create great green jobs for years to come.
Then there is energy efficiency, an area that is too often overlooked. According to the International Energy Agency, improving energy efficiency could get us almost halfway to our Paris commitments. Just think of that: halfway. Thus is why we have proposed new building codes that will require our homes and offices to do more with less and transform the use of energy in the country for generations.
Canadians are helping to lead the way with innovative and novel ways to reduce our energy consumption. Our government is investing in those opportunities but there is still plenty of work to be done, which is why we continue to invest in our traditional sources of energy, and why we continue to develop our vast oil and gas reserves as a bridge to tomorrow's low-carbon economy.
There are two reasons for that. First, as the IEA also tells us, global demand for energy will increase by 30% by 2040. That is like adding another China in terms of energy demand. Even under the most optimistic scenarios for renewable energy, and even with our best efforts at enhancing energy efficiency, much of that increased demand identified by the IEA will have to be met by fossil fuels. The fact is the world will continue to rely on oil and gas for some time, meaning that our conventional energy is not “increasingly obsolete”, as the hon. member opposite would have us believe.
The second reason for developing our oil and gas resources is so Canada can leverage the revenues it generates to invest in our low-carbon future. I will have more to say on that in a moment, but first I would like us to return to the motion before us.
I presume the hon. member opposite's reference to fossil fuel infrastructure is a thinly veiled reference to our government's decision last month to secure the Trans Mountain pipeline and its expansion. Even on that score, I would argue that the hon. member is playing catch-up to our government. Let me explain.
As all members of this House know, our government approved the Trans Mountain expansion and Line 3 replacement pipelines based on the best science, the widest possible consultations, and Canada's national interest. Those decisions were made as part of a sensible policy that includes diversifying our energy markets, improving environmental safety, and creating thousands of good middle-class jobs, including in indigenous communities.
However, what the member opposite may have forgotten is that we made two other key decisions at the same time. First, we rejected the northern gateway project because the Great Bear Rainforest is no place for an oil pipeline. Second, we placed a moratorium on tanker traffic along the northern B.C. coastline, including around the Dixon Entrance, the Hecate Strait, and the Queen Charlotte Sound.
All of those decisions reflected balance, and our belief that economic prosperity and environmental protection can, and indeed must, go hand in hand, and that there must be a balance. The Trans Mountain expansion pipeline is part of that balance. It is part of the plan that I described earlier using this time of transition to Canada's advantage by building the infrastructure we need to get our resources to global markets and then using the revenues they generate to invest in cleaner forms of energy. By moving more of our energy to tidewater, our producers will have greater access to global markets and world prices, which according to analysts at Scotiabank and others, could add about $15 billion annually to the value of our oil exports.
In addition, the construction and operation of the pipeline is expected to generate as much as $4.5 billion in new federal and provincial government revenues. Those are new tax dollars to pay for our hospitals and schools, to build new roads and bridges, to fund our cherished social programs, and yes, to invest in clean technology and renewable energy.
The TMX pipeline will operate within Alberta's own 100-megatonne cap on greenhouse gas emissions, making the project consistent with Canada's climate plan. For all those reasons it was essential that our government take the necessary steps to protect the project from the political uncertainty caused by the Government of British Columbia. However, as the Minister of Finance has said, our plan is not to be the long-term owner of the TMX pipeline. We know that the TMX pipeline has real economic value and we fully expect that investors will want to be part of the project's future. In fact, we are already seeing that. A number of investors, including indigenous groups, have expressed interest in taking an ownership position.
This is all part of a well-begun journey to our clean energy future, a journey that started as soon as we formed government and set about restoring public confidence in the way major resource projects, such as the TMX pipeline, are reviewed.
One of the first ways we did that was by adopting an interim approach for major projects already in the queue. These principles include assessing direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project, expanding public consultations and indigenous engagement, and recognizing the importance of indigenous knowledge, all the while ensuring that no project proponent would have to return to the starting line.
This new approach led to a number of significant breakthroughs. For example, we led the single deepest indigenous engagement ever for a Canadian resource project in Canada, and we responded to what we heard from those consultations by co-developing an indigenous advisory and monitoring committee to oversee the lifespan of the TMX pipeline, as well as an economic pathways partnership to enable indigenous workers to reap the benefits of the projects. Both are Canadian firsts. Our government also appointed a special ministerial panel to hear from Canadians whose views may not have been considered when the National Energy Board concluded its review of the TMX project.
In the end, we approved the project and accepted the NEB's 157 binding conditions as part of our larger plan for clean growth. It is a plan that combats climate change, protects our oceans, invests in clean technology and energy, restores investor and public confidence, and advances indigenous reconciliation.
We introduced legislation, Bill C-69, as a permanent fix to the way environmental assessments and regulatory reviews are carried out in Canada. We have also launched a historic process to recognize and implement inherent indigenous rights, a new approach that will renew Canada's relationship with indigenous peoples, rebuild indigenous nations, and set a real path to indigenous self-determination based on mutual respect and partnership. We have tabled budget after budget that promotes clean growth, improves opportunities for indigenous communities, and supports fundamental science. Our budget this year builds on its predecessors by encouraging businesses to invest in clean energy and use more energy-efficient equipment. It also invests in cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, such as energy grids and information networks.
Budget 2018 recognizes that Canada will not get ahead if half of its population is held back, that investing in women is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.
Our government has matched its words with actions, investing to build exactly the kind of future that the hon. member opposite envisions, one where science, curiosity, and innovation spur economic growth. All of these things I have talked about today are part of a solid plan, a balanced practical plan, one with many elements but a single goal: making Canada a leader in the global transition to a low-carbon future by creating the prosperity we all want while protecting the planet we all cherish.
I know the hon. member opposite shares those same goals. His motion speaks to our vision, and I hope he will continue to support our efforts.